Category: Crude Oil

27 May 2022

AG MARKET UPDATE: MAY 12 – 26

Corn has traded lower over the past couple of weeks as planting progress has sped up following a slow start to the planting season. While we knew the corn would get planted, the early delay was worrisome and continues to have the potential to lead to harvest yield loss. Despite the gains in many states, ND and MN are still wet and cool with no warmer weather in the forecast to help pull these areas into any form of normal pattern.

With the country wide and regional delays to planting, the latest USDA yield estimate of 177 bpa seems realistic vs the initial 181 bpa. That said, more progress will be made over the 3-day weekend as catch up is played leaving traders only guessing how the lates progress data will be reported come Tuesday. 3-day weekends tend to be unpredictable as the markets do not open until Monday night, so any weather event over the weekend followed by a shortened trading week will likely lead to continued volatility.

Via Barchart

Soybeans have bounced back the past couple of weeks as they have traded up and down since making contract highs in February. Diesel’s rally has helped beans as it increases the need for more vegetable oil in renewable diesels. Chinese demand has been quiet and their new deal with Brazil for corn could lead to friendlier trade elsewhere as well. Planting is slow but we are not late enough into the year yet to worry about yield loss, like we are with corn. More progress will be made over the long weekend and could see a volatile open Monday night as well.

Via Barchart

Crude Oil

Crude is back trading near its post invasion highs of the mid $110s while natural gas continues higher. The world energy market continues to trade higher while countries try to explore ways to ease the burden on their citizens. This problem will not be fixed anytime soon so we should expect higher prices in to the summer.

Via Barchart

Equity Markets

The equity markets saw a welcome rally this week amidst the continued bear market of the last few months. While this may just be a temporary bounce before the Fed reduces its balance sheet, it is nice to see some positive days in a row. Mixed earnings, interest rates, and the war in the Ukraine continue to dominate the story lines. Keep an eye on the big names as they will continue to decide which way the market goes.

Via Barchart

Drought Monitor

The drought monitor below shows where we stand week to week.

Podcast

There is an agriculture tug of war happening across the nation, impacting America’s farmland. Fertilizer prices are continuously fluctuating, and it has us taking a page the “The Clash” should we stay, or should we go?! And we aren’t the only ones. Many farmers are asking their agronomist and chemical salespeople, “what will fertilizer cost me the rest of the season, and what are my options if I don’t want to go all-in on my typical fertilizer treatment plan?”

In this episode of the Hedged Edge, we are joined by a special guest who needs no introduction in his local circle, Dick Stiltz. Dick is a 50-year veteran of the fertilizer and chemical industry and is the current Agronomy Marketing Manager of Procurement fertilizer and crop protection at Prairieland FS, Inc in Jacksonville, IL. He is at the pulse of the current struggle and here to discuss the topic at hand.

 

Via Barchart

 

Contact an Ag Specialist Today

Whether you’re a producer, end-user, commercial operator, RCM AG Services helps protect revenues and control costs through its suite of hedging tools and network of buyers/sellers — Contact Ag Specialist Brady Lawrence today at 312-858-4049 or blawrence@rcmam.com.

01 Apr 2022

AG MARKET UPDATE: MARCH 24 – 31

A bullish USDA Prospective Plantings report for corn saw both old and new crop corn getting a boost on Thursday. The USDA sees corn-planted acres for all purposes in 2022 at 89.5 million acres, down 3.87 million from last year and well below the average trade estimate of 92 million. Several factors might have played into this number but going from 92 million acres at the USDA Ag Forum to this number a month later is very interesting. Input prices and supply chain woes likely played a major role in the USDA predicting more bean acres than corn as the cost per acre to raise corn will be very high this year with the risk of not receiving all inputs in time. On top of the fallout of the war in Ukraine, this lower number should see tightening on the world balance sheets even with a record yield this year.

Via Barchart

Soybeans had a bearish report as the USDA came out with 91 million planted acres in the US for 2022. This would be a record for planted acres and 4 percent higher than last year, with planted acreage being up or unchanged in 24 of the 29 estimating states. Fewer inputs are needed per acre to grow beans than corn played a major role in the shift in acres year to year. How the market trades in the next few days will be interesting to watch as 91 million is a lot of acres, but the world needs it, so will it actually be enough?

Via Barchart

Wheat remains vulnerable to Ukraine and Russia news while also figuring out its value in the world market. Wheat acres came in at 47.351 million, lower than the pre-report estimates — 2022 winter wheat planted area at 34.2 million acres and (23.7 million HRW, 6.89 million SRW, 3.62 WW) 11.2 million acres of spring wheat. China’s poor crop and the issues with the U.S. crop seem to be priced into the market possible, but for the time being, Russia’s war in Ukraine will be the market moving news.

Via Barchart

Cotton made another jump higher this week before falling following the report. Cotton acres came in at 12.2 million acres, up 9% from last year. Many growing areas have been dry this winter and could use a spring rain to help improve planting conditions. World demand is still present, so the US will have buyers if they can produce a crop. The old and new crops have been over $1 for several weeks now, making it easier to plant than when it was in the 50 cent range a couple of years ago.

Via Barchart

Crude continued its move lower this week with a couple of large intraday ranges. The Biden administration announced that it would release 1 million barrels of oil a day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves to help fight higher gas prices. The big dip came from rumors of progress in peace talks in Ukraine that seemed incorrect as the conflict continued. The Biden administration also wants to make companies with leases on federal land “use em or lose em” but that would take months to years to go from 0 production levels. When Democrats want to shift to EVs and other “green” energy, it is hard to see why companies invest capital when that party wants to get rid of their dependency as fast as possible.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

The equity markets fell slightly during the week due to Thursday’s fall into the close of trading. The 2/10 yr treasury yield inversion has been the main talking point this week as it could be a signal of a recession. While it does not always mean there will be a recession, we have not had a recession without that happening, even though it is usually over a year later. Q1 ended this week after a few months of losses, volatility, confusion, and inflation, and it is hard to see it calming down anytime soon.

Via Barchart

Drought Monitor

The drought monitor below shows where we stand heading into April compares to last year.

Podcast

RCM Ag Services put a unique spin on National Agriculture Day by going international. That’s right, we jumped right into international waters with Maria Dorsett from USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Services for an interesting discussion about linking U.S. agriculture to the rest of the world.

Each year, March 22 represents a special day to increase public awareness of the U.S.’s agricultural role in society, so why not take it one step further by bringing in a global component? As the world population soars, there’s an even greater demand for producing food, fiber, and renewable resources. That’s why we’re taking a deeper dive into the USDA’s trade finance programs, like the GSM-102, which supports sales of U.S. agricultural products in overseas markets and supports export growth in areas of the world that are seeing some of the fastest population growth.

So, jump aboard (no passport needed), as Maria discusses how U.S. companies use GSM-102, what the program features, and the benefits that it offers!

Via Barchart.com

Contact an Ag Specialist Today

Whether you’re a producer, end-user, commercial operator, RCM AG Services helps protect revenues and control costs through its suite of hedging tools and network of buyers/sellers — Contact Ag Specialist Brady Lawrence today at 312-858-4049 or blawrence@rcmam.com.

 

04 Mar 2022

AG MARKET UPDATE: FEBRUARY 24 – MARCH 3

Corn made large gains this week following wheat, but not with the same panic. While Ukraine is a major corn exporter, it is not on the same level of wheat. Corn’s moves will be similar to wheat as the news from eastern Europe, and war will be problematic for the world balance sheets. While it has not moved with the same vigor as wheat, the $1 gain in the last eight trading days shows the potential fallout from this spooks the market. It is hard to tell how many acres will be lost this spring, but it is estimated that only 60% of corn seed is on farms. How likely is it the rest will make it to the farms? We cannot be sure, but it certainly won’t be much more if the conflict drags out. We are still in an inflationary environment, and fund money is very much in these markets, so when they decide to take profits, we will see the same volatility we have of late.

Via Barchart

Soybeans gained on the week but barely when compared to corn and wheat’s gains. Corn and wheat are major exports for Ukraine and Russia out of the black sea area where beans are not, so they are not immediately affected. South America’s weather outlook has improved but will not turn around the crop too much after its rough start. Soybeans will benefit from the corn and wheat stories, but they also have their own story to follow in South America.

Via Barchart

The soft red winter “Chicago” wheat is in full-on panic mode, as you can see from the limit move days in the chart below. The war in Ukraine does not seem to be ending soon, and the sanctions on Russia will last and hurt their economy. Eventually, the market will figure out what fair value wheat is, but for now, with the potential for Ukraine to not do their regular care of the crop, it is on a ride. If Ukrainian farmers cannot apply the fertilizer they usually do, the crop will shrink by several metric tons and could be double digits. Ukraine is the 5th largest exporter of wheat globally; Russia is number 1; this conflict will have major ramifications in the wheat market for the foreseeable future.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

This week, the equity market made decent gains as they have had a mixed trade the last few days. Jerome Powell said this week that it is all but a certainty that rates will be raised 25 basis points in the March meeting, lower than the 50 thought a few weeks ago before the war with Russia and Ukraine. Inflation has been bad the last year and will not improve soon with higher commodity prices across the board and Russian sanctions presenting a problem for some trade. Look for investors to focus on U.S. equities for the time being, as Europe and emerging market countries use Russia for a lot of their energy and could see issues with production and energy crunches.

Via Barchart

Crude Oil

Crude moved higher this week as sanctions against Russia have made the future of Russian oil exports cloudy. The U.S. purchases roughly 600,000 barrels of crude from Russia a day, which does not help our already high gas prices. Crude still has room to go higher as ramping up production to make up for any lost oil takes months to do. If this conflict drags out, we will see elevated fuel prices through the summer and be a larger expense on the farm than the last few years going back to 2014. The 10-year chart below shows the current levels to 2014 to help you budget if you did not hedge your fuel prices.

Via Barchart

Podcast

Tune in as biotech guru Dr. Channa S. Prakash discusses everything from Alabama football, genetics as one of the most extensive agricultural advancements, the most significant risk factors to feeding the world over the next 30-50 years, plus everything in between.

Why producing crop plants with a much gentler footprint on the natural resources will help feed the growing population. How 75% of the world’s patents in agriculture gene editing are coming from China. Understanding that trying to impose restrictions on our ability to grow food can be a considerable risk to agriculture. Listen to hear about these topics and more!

 

 

Via Barchart.com

 

Contact an Ag Specialist Today

Whether you’re a producer, end-user, commercial operator, RCM AG Services helps protect revenues and control costs through its suite of hedging tools and network of buyers/sellers — Contact Ag Specialist Brady Lawrence today at 312-858-4049 or blawrence@rcmam.com.

04 Feb 2022

AG MARKETING UPDATE: JANUARY 27 – FEBRUARY 3

Corn suffered small losses this week, going a different direction than beans. Private estimates of the South American crop are consistently lower than the USDA’s last estimate, and we should see an adjustment on next week’s USDA report. The Chinese’s cancelation of 380,000 tonnes of corn was a drag on the market on Thursday. One cancelation is not the end of the world; it happens, but should we see a trend develop that could damper the bull sentiment right now. The driest areas of South America will continue to dry over the next couple of weeks, hurting their crop in those regions. Private estimates think that Argentina’s corn yield could be 43.5 million metric tons, while Brazil’s could be 112 MMT. These are well below the last USDA report’s numbers, so next week will be interesting to see how much the USDA adjusts their estimates.

Via Barchart

Soybeans continued to move higher this week as the South American weather issues will probably significantly impact the soybean crop. The continued heat and dry weather will continue to stress the crop like corn. The market can’t go up every day, no matter what it seems like; the closing off the highs the last two trading days suggests the market may want to take a break until there is more news. Brazilian producers are still not selling, which has interior cash bids competitive with exporter bids. With this playing out in Brazil, the U.S. could see some more business as a result. Especially if China steps in and makes purchases out of the Pacific Northwest, keep an eye on drought conditions around the U.S. even though we are well out from planting as we have seen drier than normal weather in some growing areas to this point of the year.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

Equities have made a strong rebound off the lows until Thursday’s struggles following some bad earnings report lead by Facebook’s (now Meta) major fall. Amazon posted a good quarter which may give investors some relief that Facebook’s problems were their own and not market wide. The bounce was nice to see from an investors point of view as a correction seemed to be done, but guidance from many companies has not been as growth friendly looking forward as the last year. Volatility may stick around for a while so do not expect the markets to recover as quickly as they fell.

Via Barchart

Crude Oil

Crude hit $90 this week for the first time since 2014, while Natural Gas also rose to over $5.500 before dipping back below $5 this week. Crude continues its move higher as OPEC+ does not plan to expand production while consumption remains strong. This is a classic higher demand without more supply price raise over the last two months, and many analysts see $100+/barrel as a possibility this spring. Higher fuel prices will affect farmers’ bottom lines as fuel expenses and shipping for other chemicals and fertilizers will be much higher this year on top of higher input costs. (5-year chart below for reference)

Via Barchart

Feb USDA Report

The February WASDE report will be released next Wednesday, February 9. This will be the primary driver of the week after weekend weather has its say in the market on Monday. This is not usually a major market mover, but it never hurts to be well-positioned and ready before a report.

Podcast

Tune in as biotech guru Dr. Channa S. Prakash discusses everything from Alabama football, genetics as one of the most extensive agricultural advancements, the most significant risk factors to feeding the world over the next 30-50 years, plus everything in between.

Why producing crop plants with a much gentler footprint on the natural resources will help feed the growing population. How 75% of the world’s patents in agriculture gene editing are coming from China. Understanding that trying to impose restrictions on our ability to grow food can be a considerable risk to agriculture. Listen to hear about these topics and more!

 

Via Barchart.com

 

 

03 Dec 2021

AG MARKET UPDATE: NOVEMBER 18 – DECEMBER 2

Volatility was the name of the game this week as every market experienced it from, grains to equities. Corn partook in the excitement, as you can see from the chart below. Important to note is following the small rally in the past couple of days to get back to the levels we saw before Thanksgiving. Wheat was a big winner Thursday and pulled corn with it on the intensifying issues with Russia and Ukraine. If wheat rallies, expect it to pull corn with it even on limited corn news. The La Nina pattern continues to form in South America as southern Brazil remains dry, and forecasts have that continuing. Another non-corn-specific factor to keep an eye on will be energy prices, as ethanol production will depend on how the omicron variant will/could affect US travel into the winter and holiday season.

Via Barchart

Soybeans, like corn, saw a bounce the last couple of days to get back to close to the range we were in pre-Thanksgiving. The bounce has brought us back in the range we were trading for most of October, which seems like a good place for the market to hang around when there is a lack of news. Exports continued but were on the lower end of expectations this week, while soybean meal and oil were as expected. If beans could close this week over the 20-day moving average, that would be supportive for bulls who are looking for good news. As harvest is wrapped up, all eyes turn to South American weather and their crops this year.

Via Barchart

Crude oil has sank following the Thanksgiving holiday as concern over the new Omicron variant, and its impact on demand hit the market. While these concerns are valid as much is still unknown, the largest problem that seems immediate to demand will be air travel and international travel causing, less jet fuel demand. As of right now, it does not appear to be worrying many Americans, but as more cases are found, we will see how it will affect demand. OPEC+ countries also announced they might cut output if demand falls due to the virus, leading prices back higher.

Natural Gas prices have also faltered this week as a warmer U.S. winter is expected to occur, requiring less NG for heating. Diesel prices have also fallen a lot this week following the Omicron variant news and presents farmers with an opportunity to hedge their fuel needs for next year.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

The Dow experienced a lot of volatility this week as news of the Omicron variant in the U.S. and more places worldwide spooked some investors. The reports are that it only has caused mild symptoms, which is good, but the reaction was not of fear of the virus itself but how the governments will respond with potential lockdowns and travel bans soon. On Thursday, the strong bounce-back shows that investors are still eager to get in the market, so any large pullbacks will be met with buying if it is seen as a jerk reaction, but any longer lasting weakness could be seen as a correction. The down-trend of the last week has made some investors worried and moved some to the sidelines while we see what happens. Powell will stay as head of the Fed and said they might start tapering and raising interest rates sooner rather than later as inflation does not appear to be transitory.

Via Barchart

Podcast

For the past year, commodity prices have perpetually soared and continue to trend higher. We’re diving into the fertilizer forecast with a unique guest, Billy Dale Strader, a branch manager for Helena Agri-Enterprises in Russellville, KY., who is truly at the epicenter of the rising fertilizer prices.

Billy Dale planted his agriculture roots on his family-owned farm and has managed regional seed and chemical sales at Helena for the past decade. In this week’s pod, we tackle the big question for farmers and ultimately end-users — is the impact of higher-priced inputs, like seeds, chemicals, and fertilizer, on the supply and demand for the major U.S. crops? Listen or watch to find out!

 

 

Via Barchart.com

04 Jun 2021

AG MARKET UPDATE: MAY 28 – JUNE 4

Volatility continued this week as the market suffered small loses week over week. Corn planting was seen at being 95% planted this week with the first crop condition rating of the year at 76% g/e. Early yield estimates from Barchart.com have national US corn yield at 173.2 BPA for a total yield of 14.4 billion bushels. This implies 90.5 million acres planted with a 92% harvest rate. These numbers would lead to shrinking US ending stocks for 21/22 – NOTE these are just estimates and it is very early in the process.

This weeks volatility was a classic example of a news driven market. One day weather was the main price mover and another outside forces such as metals and the USD pulled markets down across the board. Old crop corn export sales this week were strong coming in at 531.1 tmt and new crop sales were 439.5 tmt. Both of which are solid numbers where old crop sales were better than expected while new crop were within expectation.

Via Barchart

Contrary to Corn, Soybeans made gains on the week. Planting was seen as being 84% completed at the onset with no crop conditions being reported just yet. World veg oil prices rallied during the week pulling beans up with it while corn struggled. With US exports to China lagging in recent weeks, the bullish stance on beans continues to be robust.  Should buying resume, any and all purchases will help the export numbers and further be supportive for the market. This week’s exports were within expectations for both old crop and new crop with new crop leading the way with 180.3 tmt.

Via Barchart

Crude oil continued its gains of recent weeks reaching the highest price in 2 ½ years. The demand for gas continues to grow as lockdowns ease and summer travel, both by cars and air, begins to ramp up. OPEC announced they will up production again in July.  While a bearish on the surface it would seem additional increases will be needed to slow this bull.  Optimism about Europe’s reopening along with the continuation of good news in the US on covid vaccines and reopening of states has been the main driver. US crude oil inventories were also lower this week than the 5 year seasonal average showing the demand is there.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

The Dow gained on the week as it strung together several days of small gains with only small pullbacks. The craziness of the reddit trade returned this week with $AMC, $GME and $BB having wild bouts of volatility. Other indexes finished lower for the week as Nasdaq struggled on Thursday.

JBS

JBS was the victim of a recent cyber attack that caused them to have to shut down many plants. All were up and running by the end of the week but between this and the Colonial hack we may begin seeing more of these targeted attacks effect US consumers.

Lumber

Check out our recent post about the lumber market and what all has been going on. Lumber has leveled off here recently but it is still well ahead of where it was before the run up.

Podcast

Check out our recent podcast with Dr. Greg Willoughby: We’re talking with Greg in the new episode about being a “plant doctor”, weather patterns, GMO & organic produce, crop history, technical advances, level 201 education on agronomy, the agronomy equation, Helena Agri, soil biology, American v European agriculture, Greg’s early background in livestock, and the advancement of native plants to modern produce.

https://rcmagservices.com/the-hedged-edge/

US Drought Monitor

The map below shows this week’s drought conditions across the US. Parts of southern Kansas and northwest Oklahoma got relief this week while parts of North and South Dakota may receive much needed rain in the next week.

PRICES

Via Barchart.com

 

08 Oct 2020

AG MARKET UPDATE: OCTOBER 3 – 9

Corn followed beans higher this week as exports continued and Brazil’s weather is still questionable as their season starts. Corn harvest in the US is 26% complete as favorable weather looks to allow for harvest to continue across the country. As Chinese buying continued following holiday, markets are keeping an eye on their purchases as the Chinese government changed laws in what can be fed to hog herds as they continue to recover from ASF. By not allowing for swill (food waste and garbage) to be fed to hogs anymore the demand for corn and meal for feed looks to increase, but it is hard to tell how much swill feed will need to be replaced. Ethanol demand has remained lower than normal as the pandemic continues, but with lower demand has also lowered production. The lower production has lead to tightening in stocks to their lowest level in 8 years. If/when ethanol demand rebounds, look for a boost in corn purchases for ethanol use to replenish stocks and meet demand. Keep an eye on the USDA yield estimates on Friday.


Via Barchart

 


Soybeans kept the rally going this week on weather concerns in South America and exports continued in large amounts. South America remains in a dry pattern that could turn into a drought if they do not get the much needed and forecasted rain in the next couple of weeks to get the beans in the field in some major growing areas. Harvest continued across the US this week as harvest is seen 36% complete as favorable weather across much of the US has allowed farmers to get off to a great start. As China came back from holiday the buying continued as feed demand in China has started to pick up despite herd sizes only being about 65% of what they were before ASF. Fund buying has also continued this week as funds now are long 1.4 billion bushels (about 10% of the expected world production in 20/21) of beans. Prices will once again be paying attention to the USDA report on Friday but do not expect anything like the last report. As you go through harvest we suggest not storing any beans as the market is currently inverted (Nov prices being better than anything in ’21) showing the market wants your beans now. Not seeing a carry in the market makes it hard to hold the beans when selling the physical and getting long futures if you believe the markets are going higher is an option.

 

Via Barchart

 


Funds continued to get long wheat this week, with some profit taking on Thursday, helping fuel the rally that other grains have seen. Weather problems in other areas of the world are helping markets move as parts of Russia remain dry and the Black Sea area has been dry but is forecasted to get much needed rain this week. Argentina like Brazil has been dry but looks to continue their dry pattern unlike Brazil. Stocks are expected to be lower in the report on Friday from the September report.


Via Barchart

 


Cotton prices rallied this week as Hurricane Delta heads toward the Mississippi Delta. The fact that there is still plenty of time for another storm before harvest after Delta worries farmers that one storm may be fine but another would present major issues. Cotton has seen a steady rise in prices since the lows back in April. Exports were good this week as there were little cancellations and strong sales to Vietnam.


Via Barchart

 

Crude Oil
Crude saw a boost this week as Hurricane Delta has shut down production in many parts of the Gulf of Mexico. This is typical of prices whenever a hurricane is in the gulf as reactions to what may happen is usually worse than the outcome.

Dow Jones
The Dow continues its bounce back despite back and forth tweets from Trump and Pelosi regarding a new relief bill and what it should look like. Big tech stays in the news as Amazon and Facebook are continuously being looked at for anti-trust violations by a bipartisan group, not much is expected to come from this but worth noting.

World Weather
Brazil has been dry causing some delays in planting but some rain this week and cooler temperatures are in the forecast so markets will keep an eye on any changes there. Hurricane Delta barrels toward the US as farmers in the south look to try and get their crops out ahead of any rain that could cause damage, especially to cotton in the Delta.

 

Via Barchart.com

29 May 2020

AG MARKETS UPDATE: MAY 23-29

Planting is almost complete across the country as the final reported number was 88% planted this week. The weather outlook into early June is promising for many areas that were delayed in planting to still be able to get their crop in the ground in early June with the exception of parts of North Dakota that will be hard to catch up. With little news in the markets this month, trade has been pretty stagnant. July corn did trade at $3.30 in the July contract for the first time in over a month on Thursday before falling back to $3.27 ½ at the close. If July corn could close above $3.30 for the month of May it would be a very welcome sight after a month of very limited trading range.

(Barchart.com)

 

Soybean planting was estimated to be 65% complete this week, still well ahead of the average for this time of year. Like corn, the weather for the next week is promising for planting progress across most of the country. Purchases from China gave beans a boost early in the week but no follow up purchases have kept the news slow and prices steady. Any purchases from China, as has been the trend, would be helpful to prices along with an easing in political tensions. ASF news has been quiet as Covid-19 has been the big news story, but as China continues to replenish its hog populations that should help purchases in the future. November beans have been trading between $8.30 and $8.55 for most of the last month with $8.50 the current landing spot. While the bulls have been hopeful of size-able Chinese purchases, the reality has been small purchases with much of their purchases coming from Brazil.

(Barchart.com)

Crude Oil prices have had a great rally despite early worries that we would have another bottleneck problem like we did with the May crude contracts for July. As people around the country are going back to their daily lives, in some capacity they are driving again. The rest of this year should see increasing travel by car as people will look to drive to vacations rather than hoping on a plane. See the chart below to see the impressive rebound for the month of May.

(Barchart.com)

DOW Jones
The Dow Jones has continued its surge up as May will post another large gain despite record unemployment numbers. As states have begun reopening, traders are seeing this as promising for the markets as people will hopefully be returning to work. People continue to work from home in many major cities, or have the option to work from home, and will probably continue doing this as the summer goes on until the public feels safe to return to close to normal.

CFAP Relief Package
Enrollment for the CFAP Relief Package began this week on the 26th. If you have not already, reach out to your local FSA office to begin this process to make sure you do not miss out on any opportunity. The CFAP had scheduled payment of 32 cents per bushel from the original CARES Act and a CCC payment of 35 cents per bushel on the lower of 50% of last year’s production or 50% of your unpriced corn on January 15th. That works out to potentially receiving 67 cents on half of last year’s corn crop. The soybeans payment works the same with payments of 45 cents and 50 cents for a potential payment of 95 cents per bushel on 50% of last year’s bean crop. The math is not clear nor why January 15th was chosen, but those are the guidelines. Livestock is also covered in the payment and information on that from the USDA website can be found here. For more information on how to sign up for the CFAP Relief Package, check out this video.

15 May 2020

AG MARKETS UPDATE: MAY 8-15

Corn planting in 2020 continued its strong pace last week as the crop is estimated to be at little less than 70% planted. This is well ahead of last year’s pace and with favorable weather outlooks for the rest of May, the crop should be 100% planted by June.

USDA Report
The May USDA Report came out on Tuesday and it’s safe to say it came of little surprise to most – the ‘19/20 US Corn Stocks were a little lower, while ‘19/20 World Corn Stocks were a bit higher.

The main adjustment was made in the Ethanol Corn numbers in ‘19/20 where they cut 100 million bushels. With Ethanol production averaging 17% lower than last year’s number through August, another 100 million bushels would need to be cut to meet lower demand. Even with the country opening back up, there are still uncertainties on demands as more people are interested in a car ride over jumping into a plane. Ultimately, this report just confirmed what everyone already knew: the world is drowning in corn. With a great start to planting and estimates of a trend line yield of 176+, this problem looks to continue for corn as the year goes on.

U.S. Soybean planting, like corn, continued its streak. As mentioned last week, China is well behind pace to meet the amount of ag goods purchased from the U.S. from Phase 1 of the trade agreement meaning U.S. bean prices are at the mercy of Chinese consumption. As political tensions continue to hover over the markets, prices will be dependent on U.S. and China political and/or export news. With the May USDA report being neutral to bearish, it has turned into a waiting game in the bean market as they continue to wait for buyers.

In the meats sector there is currently a disconnect between futures and cash prices; futures price is roughly $15-20 under the current cash price showing an immediate need for beef. The market is showing the packer margins are phenomenal and because of that, the packers are trying to throw the ranchers a bone by offering over the futures price, but not anywhere near the margin difference they are making. In essence, the packers are buying for relatively cheap and selling for a lot more than they usually would as supplies are tight. This is part of the reason the Trump administration is looking into the meat industry, as several large players are foreign-owned. China will not be buying any cattle from Australia due to their criticism over their handling of COVID-19, so some of that demand may be filled from the U.S. but seeing as we are struggling on our end with production, that would put another strain on the market.

Cotton looks to be experiencing a short squeeze this week on July futures. The Midsouth is behind on planting due to cool weather over the past couple of weeks; soil temps need to be above 65 degrees for planting and the mid-south has had several nights in the low 40s in May.

Cool temperatures are a little surprising this time of year, but I think we’ll get through that fairly unscathed. It’s warming up pretty fast, so it shouldn’t hurt us too badly. Dan Fromme (AgFax)

Cotton needs manufacturing around the world to ramp up as countries begin to drive demand. The USDA report this week was neutral-to-bearish and cotton has managed to hold on to most of its gains making short speculators nervous. They’ll be keeping a close eye on Thursday exports as there’s only one month remaining in the July futures contract. Buying from China, like with any other commodity right now, would be a welcome sight.

Relief Package
The House is expected to vote on another round of financial stimulus equaling out to $3 trillion. In this bill, $16.5 billion may be earmarked for direct farm payments and help for the ethanol and biofuel industry. It may also direct the USDA to reimburse any livestock producer that had to euthanize animals due to closed processing facilities (more on that here).

08 May 2020

Ag Markets Update: May 1-7

Corn planting continued at a great pace around the country in the last week as weather has stayed favorable in some of the largest corn growing states. Weather looks good into the end of May for planting in most areas which would be bearish for the market. The next USDA report comes out on May 12th which will give some more insight into the supply and demand for the rest of the year. If you’re looking for any positive corn news in the short term, keep an eye out for updates on ethanol production, crude oil demand, and unexpected weather issues.

 


U.S. Soybean markets are keeping their eyes on Brazil and China as the U.S. continues to battle it out against Brazil for Chinese Soybean purchases. With increased political tensions, record Brazilian exports, and lagging demand, it’s looking like China will struggle to meet the Phase 1 agreement. Soybean planting continued over the week and is off to a great start at 23% planted and with a good weather outlook for the week should continue.

 

Crude oil storage & oversupply continues to make the market unstable; to help offset that risk, FCM’s have begun to add precautionary measures to reduce and eliminate speculative risk to customers in the front month by restricting to high net worth investors. June crude oil has rallied 269% since its low on April 21 at $6.50, while December crude has rallied 20.4% since its low on April 22nd. This shows that the major risk for prices is in the short run while further off markets have stayed calm. In addition the largest oil ETF, USO had a reverse stock split 1:8 and has diversified the funds exposure out across the curve. USO represents roughly 6% of the oil market with open interest of over 2 million as of May 7.


(eia)

 

The government is looking at intervening in the meat packing industry as struggles continue. Foreign interests in both ends of the process has the U.S. government looking to make sure we have control of the process and it is fair. The biggest focus in the meats industry is the plant closures and disruptions in the supply line from COVID-19.

Some U.S. meatpacking plants shut down because so many people were out sick they couldn’t function, or were ordered to close so public health investigators could make sure the workplace was safe…. The meat industry must balance consumer demand with worker safety, when historically the industry’s concern — from the design of plants to employee protocols — prioritizes mass production.” – Green Bay Gazette

 

Relief Package
The House will be debating a bill to add another $38 billion to the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), brining available funds to $68 billion. The USDA allocate this money to fund MFP3, direct commodity purchases, and other programs like WHIP+. Both sides are arguing about oversight of the distribution of the funds, but the bill is expected to pass later this spring.

DOW
After a historic rebound in the month of April, the Dow seemed to come back to earth to start May as we saw a 680-point drop last week. There is a lot of uncertainty about a possible second wave of shutdowns as the country begins to open back up, along with concerns about how China will respond to U.S. politicians calling for accountability in their transparency, or lack thereof, in the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis.

Via Barchart.com