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Report's Late Arrival Causes Frustration
USAgNet - 11/11/2019

People trying to get the U.S. Department of Agriculture's monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report for November were met with frustration Friday.

"USDA.GOV sites are temporarily down for maintenance," according to a notice posted on the site, according to Bloomberg News.. "We are performing scheduled maintenance. We should be back online shortly."

It was a tricky time for scheduled maintenance, if that's what actually happened, given that most of the agricultural trading community relies on these monthly figures for data on how much corn and soy and other crops are coming to the market. Last year, the department ended so-called lock-ups for the monthly report -- in which reporters got access to the data ahead of time but under embargo -- saying that posting the information online offered a fairer way to distribute the information.

But for about six minutes on Friday, the USDA website wasn't offering any information. Corn prices moved higher as the market awaited the data.

"That is very annoying, it's bad," said Pierre Tronc, a broker at BGC Partners in Geneva. "Look how wheat was up, or corn, and nothing came out when we had a chance to see what was inside the report."

The department didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. A tweet from the USDA announcing the release of the report at noon was pulled down. When the information was eventually posted, corn, soy and cotton markets moved in response.

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