Category: Grain

21 Feb 2022

Funding Food To Feed The World

How Financial Institutions and Insurance Companies Play an Essential Role in Feeding the World

The cost of farming has grown over the years, which means financial institutions are amping up their reviewal process for loans and increasing insurance deductibles for protection to reduce their loss risk. What does this mean to supporting food production for the world? Well, as part of our “What It Takes To Feed The World” series, we are diving into critical agriculture sectors and bringing awareness to their roles in the food production cycle.

Financial institutions and insurance companies are the starting point in the process and are essential in providing the necessary funds to farmers on through to commercial entities. For farmers, they help finance EVERYTHING from the seed and chemical to hedge lines for farmers to help manage their price risk and everything in between. For commercial and end user entities, financing includes loans to build and maintain infrastructure and logistics to short term bridge loans to buy directly from farmers on to their own hedge lines of credit to support carrying of positions both pre and post harvest.

What financial and insurance options are available to the agriculture industry, and how are they beneficial to farmers, commercials, and end users? We’ll discuss the answers to these questions and more below.

 

Farmer Direct Loans

Farm direct loans are loans that the government makes available via the Farm Service Agency, while banks provide similar farmer direct loans. In 2021 the FSA reported loan obligations of $6.67 billion. Meanwhile, in 2020, U.S. farm banks loaned $98.6 billion. The American Bankers Association defines farm banks as banks whose ratio of domestic farm loans to total domestic loans is greater than or equal to the industry average. These amounts show just how much money is needed to produce the U.S. crop each year before farmers even harvest and sell the crop. These loans range from rent payments to fertilizer costs to machinery. But farm banks aren’t just offering loans to the agriculture sector. In 2020 total bank lending reached $174 billion in farm and ranch loans (including the $98.6 billion). These banks play a significant role with billions in small farm loans and even microloans. Small farm loans are less than $500,000, and microloans are less than $100,000. These two categories alone totaled over $55 billion in 2020.

 

Hedge Margin Lines

Banks also help finance hedge margin lines to help farmers manage their price risk. By financing the hedge lines, banks allow farmers to place hedge positions in a brokerage account, protecting against adverse price movements that could lessen the value of their crop. When banks loan out money, they expect to be paid back; hedge credit lines are a tool banks use to help support the farmer being able to do so.  If your bank is NOT willing to extend a hedge line – please give us call!

By financing hedge margin lines, banks support the farmer and themselves. With loans comes default risk and hedging is one tool to help mitigate the price risk that ultimately will be how the farmer pays back the loan.

 

Banks and the Rest of the Sector

There’s no question that banks are involved in the food production supply chain. When you think about it, commercials, end-users, and other units that touch grain utilize bank loans to enhance their businesses. Like feed yards and elevators, end-users use banks to improve their infrastructure by adding more storage or drying systems, using short-term loans to purchase grain and make other improvements to their business. These improvements ultimately improve the efficiency of the entire system and potentially lead to  reduced costs of the final product, which helps the end consumer, people. Just like improvements to city and towns infrastructure are necessary, through the support of bank financing, these improvements are necessary to the health of the agriculture industry’s infrastructure.

Farming is not getting any cheaper, and more capital is required to produce excellent crops year after year. Banks’ loaning capacities play a major role already, but if we are going to keep up with growing demand in a growing world, their role will be even more critical going forward.

 

Crop Insurance

Crop insurance brings continuity to the industry year-over-year as the ups and downs of weather and prices can cost farmers millions of dollars if unprotected. There are two types of insurance for major field crops: yield-based, which pays an indemnity (covers losses) for low yields, and revenue that ensures a level of crop income based on yields and prices.

Insurance offerings and prices vary on where you are located and your land, but like other forms of insurance in your life, it is better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. While the listed above are the main types of insurance, others can be purchased, like drought insurance for pastureland and hail insurance if your crop gets damaged by an ice storm. These are more specific to your geographic location but play an essential role.

Like banks, insurance companies help with the continuity of the agriculture sector. These companies along with government subsidy programs, provide the opportunity to continue farming when disaster strikes and threatens the financial stability of a farm.

 

How RCM Ag Services Partners Financial Institutions & Insurance Companies

For our Farmer Direct customers, RCM Ag Services partners with banks and insurance companies to provide our mutual customers daily expert market knowledge and advice. We are firm believers that the long term health and growth of our local farming communities requires a team approach that starts with the farmers and their banking and insurance teams.

For our commercial and end user customers, we are focused on evaluating profit margins and the cost of capital for managing the current and futures market risks.  Our Ag Services team is working directly with lenders, 3rd party credit suppliers, as well as USDA government programs to support the long-term financial health of the commercial business sector.

Along with market knowledge, our brokerage services allow us to establish hedge accounts that banks can fund with a credit line, as discussed above. Our brokers have over 150 years of combined experience in the market that helps them provide hedge advice that is customized to each operation, not cookie-cutter advice. Take advantage of these benefits and call one of our knowledgeable ag specialists today at 888-875-2110 or email agsupport@rcmam.com

 

18 Feb 2022

AG MARKET UPDATE: FEBRUARY 10 – 17

Corn made small gains on the week as grains did well across the board. The forecast for South America can’t seem to make up its mind switching back and forth on rain amounts. Argentina has consistently had rain in the forecasts, but what parts of the country and the amount has been inconsistent. Exports were better this week than last, but nothing crazy; potential conflict in Ukraine and further issues with the South American crop could see those numbers pick up soon. The markets are not open for President Day on Monday the 21st, so there is more time to develop around the world. Based on the Dec ’22 futures for corn after today, the February insurance price is $5.84 ¾.

Via Barchart

Soybeans were up slightly on the week but have been relatively flat (relative to other weeks) the last two weeks, as you can see in the chart below. The continued weather issues in South America and the Russia v Ukraine possible invasion have been the movers for beans just like corn and wheat. Bean exports this week were the best of the group, with a flash old crop sale being announced on Thursday. We have seen private estimates continue to roll in for production in South America and what to expect this year in the US. The USDA Ag Outlook Forum will start next Wednesday, and we should find out what they are expecting for the year ahead and how the US will affect balance sheets. The insurance price for beans is $14.22 ½.

Via Barchart

Wheat has been on a roller coaster the last two months with the ups and downs and uncertainties around Russia and Ukraine. A Russia invasion would be bullish for wheat as countries would shy away from trade with Russia, and Ukraine would stop exports as they try to keep Russia at bay. The Black Sea is a major world trade region. This conflict could lead to potential stoppages, shortages, or even a possible blockade in the region that would cripple a major trade corridor. Keep an eye on this developing story as it could have potential long-term consequences as the US has also threatened Russia with sanctions (they don’t seem to be fazed at all by Washington’s threats).

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

This week, the equity markets fell as confusion and concerns of post-Olympic wars between a few countries inch closer. Russia was reported to have changed their mind on invading Ukraine, only for that news to switch to them adding troops at the border. China invading Taiwan post-Olympics is also a possibility as that has seemed to be forgotten as the Russia news took over the market. Earnings season has been mixed with losers and winners in all sectors as inflation has begun to show up more in guidance for the year ahead.

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.

11 Feb 2022

AG MARKETING UPDATE: FEBRUARY 3 – 10

The numbers came in above trade estimates but were lower than the previous months’ report. The USDA kept the U.S. ending stocks at 1.540 billion bushels and lowered the world ending stocks to 302.22 million tonnes while reducing Brazil’s yield. Following the report, it came off the highs for the day before roaring back up to end the day. Thursday’s trade was interesting as halfway through trading, the markets did a 180-degree turn and fell lower on the day after being sharply higher across the board for a large intraday range. This was brought on by producers selling and speculative positions taking profits. The large intraday volatility has not been as present in the market as this summer, but Thursday’s trade is a sign that volatility should be expected at these price levels. The USDA’s numbers for Brazil and Argentina are still above what private analysts and CONAB are reporting. The market seems to be on the analysts’ side when it comes to the struggles in South America. The weather outlook remains the same for the trouble areas as it will be hot and dry in the same areas and wet in the same.

Via Barchart

Soybeans continued their run higher despite Thursday’s pullback. The most significant change in the report came to soybeans as the USDA lowered Argentina’s production by 1.5 million tonnes and Brazil’s 5 million. As much of a correction that the USDA made, some analysts still feel these are too high, and their crop will continue to get smaller. With the continued hot and dry weather in Argentina and southern Brazil mixed with the wet harvest in northern Brazil, mother nature is not doing South America’s crops any favors. CONAB released their estimates on Thursday and were well below the USDA numbers, so it’s safe to listen to their numbers and analysts over the USDA right now, it would appear. The two-year chart is below so that you can see the journey of how we got to this point with the great run since early November. Thursday produced the same wild volatility as corn, which saw a 67 ½ cent range while falling off the highs.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

The equity markets have been quieter lately, with small gains on the week, but the uncertainty of what lies ahead remains. The inflation number came in at 7.5% year over year, the highest increase since February 1982. With inflation sticking around and treasury yields jumping, the 10-year treasury topped 2% for the first time since August 2019; it is understandable why the markets have the jitters. Will the market hang out where it is, retest the lows, or try to continue to claw back its losses from January? The market can’t figure it out, so I won’t try to predict for you.

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 Feb 2022

WHAT IT TAKES TO FEED THE WORLD

As of 2022, there are 7.9 billion people in the world, which is anticipated to hit 10 billion by 2050

Did you know that by 2050, the world is expected to feed almost 2 billion more people than we do today? As the global population continuously rises, a significant amount of food will need to be produced over the next 30 years.

But before you get to overwhelmed with that thought, it’s imperative to know that the need for more production creates opportunities. In fact, in 2020 alone, 19.7 million jobs were related to the agriculture and food sectors. We cover these areas in this What It Takes To Feed the World infographic. So, let’s take a closer look into how each of these categories work together to help pave the way to feeding 25% more of the population over the next couple of years. Here’s everything you’ll need to know:

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS / INSURANCE

Due to inflation (we cover farm inflation here) and superior advancements in farming technology (seed, equipment, etc.), the cost of doing business is extraordinary.

As a result, banks and other financial institutions have become the pillar of the agriculture community. From financing farmers, purchase of seeds and chemicals to providing insurance to protect the farmers on through to commercial lending and trade finance programs; without banks, agriculture, as we know it today, does not exist. As a standalone example, consider that in the U.S. alone, during 2020, farm bank’ lending was $98.6 billion despite the global economic slowdown. As the demand to produce continues to grow, there is minimal question that the need for capital will grow along with it.

Source: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation & American Bankers Association Analysis

 

SEED / CHEMICAL:

Before the farmers can get to work, they need seeds and, subsequently, fertilizers (watch our fertilizer forecast here) to reach the full potential of every acre of land. From the genetics to the production to the distribution companies, one could argue that continued innovation of this industry is vital to the future of agriculture.

In 2020, the commercial seed market alone reached an estimated $44.9 billion in annual revenue. With the global pressure on to produce, the world can no longer afford to have underperforming years of production, placing even more pressure on this sub-sector of agriculture to continue to develop treatments on both the organic and GMO sides (watch The Future of Feeding the World Podcast here).

Source: IHS Markit – @2021 IHS Markit

EQUIPMENT

With the growing demand for food-producing land due to the world’s growing population, advances in technology have seamlessly made the farming process more efficient, profitable, and undoubtfully safer. Modern farms and agriculture equipment have significantly evolved by incorporating sophisticated technologies like sensors and GPS to driverless equipment with new autonomous machinery.

These enhancements to heavy equipment are essential to farmers, allowing them to no longer apply certain things uniformly, like fertilizing or watering the field. But instead, farmers can use minimal effort to target specific areas of their fields. Let’s look at some of these added benefits due to technology:

  • Farmers have higher crop productivity.
  • There is a reduction in the overuse of water, fertilizer, and pesticides.
  • The price of food production is at a lower rate due to less manual labor.
  • Improves the safety of farmworkers and machine operators due by incorporating the use of drones and various software. Check out this podcast with Dr. Steve Irwin on technical platforms here.
  • Groundwater and rivers are experiencing less runoff of chemicals.

Undoubtedly, innovation of this business sector will continue to evolve and play a major role in the necessary production increases ahead.

GRAIN PRODUCERS

One hundred fifty years ago, work was hard for grain producers, but the job was simple – till the land, plant the seed and let mother nature do her job. As time passed and our global population grew and the demand for our arable land has grown exponentially; all of which, leads to the grain producers of today having the most important job in the world.

The work of the few is to feed the many. Since the post-WWII era, the number of farms has steadily been reducing, placing even greater pressure on those in production areas to continue managing their operations, focusing on profit margins, and working the inherently volatile world of commodity prices.

Imagine a 5,000-acre farm producing trendline yield corn of 180 bushels per acre. Quick raw math based on today’s price per bushel of $6.00 puts gross revenue at 5.4 Million dollars. Noting the rapidly rising costs of inputs (seed and chemical), labor and energy prices, a return to August 2020 prices of $3 would be a massive hit and likely take down such an operation.

All of this is to say that today’s job requires greater collaboration with others in the business than ever before (see section below on intermediaries and risk management).

 

INTERMEDIARIES/RISK MANAGEMENT

Commodity markets are highly unique in that both end-users and physical producers of a product can proactively buy and sell their input and or production in an open market before being produced via a forward contract or hedge.

To hedge is to manage risk and, in most cases, lock in or protect the profits margins. As discussed above, grain production is a highly volatile business, just like the purchase side (see end-users and commercials below).

Through intermediaries and risk management experts, farmers and end-users gain timely market information, access to markets, and ultimately execute the majority of their forward pricing. Whether through the use of futures, options, swaps, or even physical contracts developing and coordinating a risk management plan is essential to the long-term health of our global commodity infrastructure.

The CME Group is the world-leading commodity exchange, and their global branding says it best – “CME Group, where the world comes to manage risk.”

RCM Ag Services also falls into this category. We provide full-service risk management and advisory solutions to our local area producers and commercial agriculture operations around the globe.

TRANSPORTATION/LOGISTICS

COVID introduced unexpected stresses on global food systems, creating many immediate and rapid challenges to secure food availability. If a worldwide pandemic taught us anything, we know that supply chain management and transportation play a vital role within the agriculture industry. Agriculture logistics ensure that items like food, machinery, and livestock from all over the world are transported with a continuous, optimal flow from the manufacturers and suppliers to the producers and ultimately delivered to consumers.

Some of the most imperative agriculture supply chain and logistics management activities include production, acquisition, storage, handling, transportation, and distribution. Effective logistics is critical for guaranteeing customer satisfaction and meeting demands on time with high-quality products. In addition, logistics should also meet specific standards and operational objectives for efficiency in agriculture policies like:

  • Protection of the environment
  • Sustainable distribution practices
  • Food safety and security
  • Animal welfare (for transporting livestock)

With the growing population largely expected in developing countries, most of which have poor infrastructure, we can expect the need for massive investments into transportation and logistics operations in the years ahead (this is NOT a stock tip!).

 

COMMERCIAL AND END USERS

The penultimate step of the process is grain reaching a commercial elevator before going on to the end-user to be converted to a final product. Some producers deliver straight to the end-user in areas where that is an option.

Traditionally, commercial elevators accept farmers’ grain and then ship it to the end-user, either by rail, barge, or other means.

With the continued upward trends of production, it is no surprise, that grain storage capacity has consistently grown.  In fact, it is on pace with increases in crop production over the last 20 years and by all accounts is likely to continue to grow.

Source: Farmdocdaily

Along with the enormous capacity, commercials and end users also carry a tremendous amount of of price / volatility risk requiring a proactive and disciplined risk management approach to maximize the margins of their operation and keep the system moving forward.

In 2018, $139.6 billion worth of American agricultural products were exported worldwide, with elevators playing a significant role in that process. The commercials and end-users are essential for getting the product from the farm into your home on the table.

 

FEEDING THE WORLD IN THE FUTURE

Bringing awareness to how the agriculture industry is vital to feeding the rapidly growing world is pivotal as we continue to face unprecedented challenges in global food security. However, there is a silver lining. We already know what must be done; it is figuring out how to do it that could be problematic. The world must unite and understand that each of these areas highlighted in the infographic is very complex, employs millions of people worldwide, and is vital to the growth of the agriculture industry as well as producing the necessary food for the future.

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 us today to speak with an ag specialist at 888-875-2110!

28 Jan 2022

AG MARKET UPDATE: JANUARY 20 – 27

Corn continued its rally this week as grain bulls and inflation continue to drive it higher. The yield losses in South America continue to have news around it as the reality of significant losses begins to set in. Too much rain and heat or not enough rain and heat have been driving the issues, with very few areas having excellent growing conditions. With the Chinese New Year coming up, China will disappear from the export reports for a little bit, but once they come back, the market will have a better idea of where Brazil and Argentina sit. If the rumored losses come to fruition, we could see China increase its purchases. Corn has continued its rise while wheat struggles to make up its mind with confusion around the Russia and Ukraine situation. Any escalation there will result in more bullish factors in the market. Despite some volatility, energy prices continued their rise, with crude oil hitting a new high this week. Ethanol plants will continue to produce even with higher corn prices as long as their margins remain strong despite resulting in less fuel consumption. Many energy companies think we could see $100+ Crude in the next few months.

Via Barchart

Soybeans continued to move this week on similar news as corn with South America’s issues and continued world veg oil strength. With strong veg oil prices pulling beans along with it as long as that lasts, we can expect some support under beans with any lower moves. Like corn, if private estimates of losses to the South American crop become a reality, we should continue this run higher. If China comes back from Chinese New Year and starts picking up bean purchases, mixed with world veg oil prices could see this rally continue. Acreage estimates for 2022 have been coming out, with Informa pegging the US bean crop at 87.8 million acres. This is slightly higher than the 87.2 million acres from 2021, but we have a long way to go before we get to that point.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

Equities had quite the week with large intraday trading ranges as the market does not seem to make up its mind. This week, the Fed’s decision to leave interest rates as-is means we should expect a raise from the March meeting. The Fed also said they would adjust asset purchases moving forward. The tensions between Ukraine, Russia, and NATO remain a large question mark, but it appears Putin may not do anything until after the Olympics. This will be important to keep an eye on for equities and commodity prices.

Via Barchart

Cotton

The cotton market has held in this $1.20 range for the last ten trading days. World demand is there, and this bull market could have room to run if inflation sticks around with other supply chain bottlenecks. We could continue to see this strength last into the spring when planting starts until we get a better idea of what the U.S. cotton crop will look like this year. With rising consumer demand, the cost of production and transportation in the next few months could see volatility.

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

 

 

21 Jan 2022

AG MARKET UPDATE: JANUARY 13 – 20

Corn rallied this week with beans with news of trouble in South America continuing and rumors of purchases from China. As we have mentioned before, China buying all ag products is welcome news as they are well behind the Phase 1 targets. The Russia and Ukraine tension, should it boil over, will have major implications for the commodities market as Ukraine’s exports will all but cease. The news of Brazil stopping bean sales is worrisome as there could be more bean and corn yield lost than thought. Energy prices continue their run higher as ethanol demand does not seem to be slowing down. With corn still below recent highs, unlike soybeans, it would appear there is still room for upward movement, but the trade into the weekend, where anything can happen as we know, will be important.

Via Barchart        Soybeans rallied this week as soy oil and meal also rallied. The noise around the problems with South America’s crop got a little louder this week with StoneX reporting that Brazil soybeans have gone to “no offer” due to farmers refusing to sell new-crop supplies in the current environment, with drought losses in the south worse than first believed. South American weather remains mixed as southern Brazil and northern Argentina remain hot and dry while southern Argentina received rain over the last couple of weeks. In early February, all areas are expected to revert back to hot and dry in the forecast. These troubles make it sound like the USDA was off on their South America estimates in last week’s report. This is a situation to monitor as any stoppage of sales from Brazil and Argentina would mean purchases from the U.S.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

Equities have had a bad week as tech has led the way lower. These rounds of selloffs will offer opportunities to buy back in at some point but as always, timing the market is not an easy job. The market was so hot last year pullbacks are expected, but it is hard to stomach when it falls this much this fast. We are still above the levels we were right after Thanksgiving, but the volatility of the last couple of months looks to still be hanging around.

Via Barchart

Podcast

The 2021 U.S. grain crop has the potential to be one of the largest on record. Where did all the yield come from, what areas were the hardest hit, and why on God’s green earth are grain prices still so high?

Today, we are joined by several RCM Ag Services grain markets experts from around the country to catch up on a post-harvest update and share an outlook for production and marketing in each of their respective regions for the remainder of the 2021 marketing season and the upcoming 22 crops.

 

Via Barchart.com

14 Jan 2022

AG MARKET UPDATE: JANUARY 6 – 13

The USDA report was met with a mixed reaction on Wednesday as markets traded both higher and lower immediately following the report. Thursday brought on large selling though, as rain in the dryer parts of South America took the headlines after the USDA Report ultimately did not provide any major changes. The USDA did not change the U.S. yield for corn as it stayed at 177 BPA while raising total crop size to 15.115 billion bushels and 1.540 billion bushels for ending stocks. World stocks were lowered along with smaller yield numbers expected in South America. The rain will do little to alleviate the stress on the crop as more will be needed before we feel better about less yield loss. Several private estimates   believe the Brazil and Argentinian losses are larger than the USDA updated. However, there is still plenty of time before the crop comes out of the ground to rebound.

Via Barchart

Soybeans fell on the week for the same reasons as corn. The USDA Report was slightly more bearish for beans as they raised the U.S. yield 0.2 BPA to 51.4. They slightly increased total production and raised U.S. ending stocks by 10 million bushels to 350 million. A good amount was cut from World-ending stocks due to the issues in South America, but the market had already priced that in, if not more so than was reported. Exports were within expectations, so no surprises there. One wild card still out there is that China is $16 billion behind their Phase 1 trade agreement commitments. Obviously, not all of this is soybeans, but they are far off their soybean numbers. It is unlikely the Biden administration will press them to get to their commitments, but if South America’s troubles are worse than expected, they have to go buy them from somewhere.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

The Dow fell slightly on the week but bounced back off its lows from Monday. The markets are looking for direction following 4 days of loses straight. With repositioning for the year ahead and profit taking after a historic year the volatility could be around for a while.

Wheat

Wheat has taken it on the chin the last couple of weeks as you can see in the chart below. Wheat sold off following the other markets after the report. The drought in the winter wheat belt is concerning and if it does not improve, we should see prices move higher in the next month or two. The drought is not a big problem right now, but if it continues into February, it would be concerning. This week saw the lowest close in KC Wheat since October.

Via Barchart

Podcast

The 2021 U.S. grain crop has the potential to be one of the largest on record. Where did all the yield come from, what areas were the hardest hit, and why on God’s green earth are grain prices still so high?

Today, we are joined by several RCM Ag Services grain markets experts from around the country to catch up on a post-harvest update and share an outlook for production and marketing in each of their respective regions for the remainder of the 2021 marketing season and the upcoming 22 crops.

 

 

Via Barchart.com

07 Jan 2022

AG MARKET UPDATE: DECEMBER 29 – JANUARY 6

Happy New Year! Volatility has been the main storyline in the first week of 2022. There was enough surprise rainfall in the dry areas of South America to spook the markets right before the New Year before a slight bounce. This week’s ethanol production numbers were slightly below last week. Compared to the previous year, monthly ethanol production is running 9% over last year, but ethanol stocks are 8.3% below last year. Ethanol margins are still profitable as gas has rallied since Thanksgiving. The dryness and heat in Southern Brazil and Argentina remain in the forecast while northern Brazil continues to get too much rain. For reference, this time of the year in Argentina is the equivalent to June. If the forecasts prove true in the next couple of weeks, they will continue to stress the crop. Exports this week were nothing to write home about as the USDA described them as the “Marketing year low.” If South America’s crops continue to struggle, we could see an increase in exports, but the opposite could be true if the weather improves.

Via Barchart

Soybeans have experienced the same volatility as corn but remain at its highs, as seen in the chart below. The story is the same as corn being driven by weather problems in South America. Barchart estimated Brazilian soybean production at 137 million tonnes, with Argentina production at 45 million tonnes. The last USDA projection had 144 million tonnes in Brazil and 49.5 million tonnes in Argentina, showing that the private sector believes the crop has gotten worse and is trending in the wrong direction. The chart below is interesting because you can see the top at $14 this week and back in July. That will be an important number to close above to keep the momentum going.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

The Dow has had quite a volatile week following a week of the Santa Claus rally. The Fed may increase the rate at which they raise rates which worries some investors, but at this point with the Fed, many investors are waiting until they see the plan. As a new year starts, especially following the impressive year that was 2021, many investors try to predict the story for the year ahead. If we have learned to expect anything while Covid is in the markets, we can’t predict much for the year ahead.

Via Barchart

January USDA Report

The January USDA Report is Tuesday and should be a market mover. All eyes will be on the report as everyone positions themselves ahead. If the volatility of late shows up, it could be a big market mover.

Podcast

The 2021 U.S. grain crop has the potential to be one of the largest on record. Where did all the yield come from, what areas were the hardest hit, and why on God’s green earth are grain prices still so high?

Today, we are joined by several RCM Ag Services grain markets experts from around the country to catch up on a post-harvest update and share an outlook for production and marketing in each of their respective regions for the remainder of the 2021 marketing season and the upcoming 22 crops.

 

Via Barchart.com

30 Dec 2021

AG MARKET UPDATE: DECEMBER 22 – 29

Corn continued its rally until it faced some selling on Tuesday. The dip on Tuesday should be expected when a market starts running this hot and people like to take their profits. The South American weather has not changed and remains hot and dry in southern Brazil and Argentina. Northern Brazil may have the opposite problem as they are expected to see heavy rains that could lead to flooding delaying the start of harvest in the region. The weekly ethanol grind was good again this week as we are 17 mbu above the weekly pace needed to meet the USDA’s corn used for ethanol projection. As Americans continue to travel despite the new wave of Omicron, we can expect an increase in corn use in the January USDA update. The air has not been let out of the market, despite what “the sky is falling” people said after Tuesday’s dip, as there is still a lot that can happen in the coming weeks and months.

Via Barchart

Soybeans saw a big boost the first trading day after Christmas as the weekend weather did nothing the alleviate the concerns for South America’s production. Beans saw the same profit-taking on Tuesday but are still seeing its best levels since August. The same factors affecting corn in South America have the same effect on soybeans. With inflation looking to continue into 2022, we could see higher values in many commodities along with grains. Rising world vegetable oil prices have helped beans during their run along with wide crush margins. As we said last week, corn and beans seem to be on the same boat for now unless something significant happens. Any unexpected rain to help the crop would probably result in a panic selloff as usual.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

The Dow had a good week as we have seen a good rally around Christmas and into the New Year’s holiday. The Omicron variant continues to rip through the U.S. and the world as events are canceled, and restrictions are placed back. With the rate of this new wave spreading, it will be interesting to see how long the rules stay if the virus runs its course faster than usual. The CDC changing the quarantine requirement from 10 to 5 days is also welcome news to the market as it appears we may be getting closer to fewer restrictions across the board and workers getting back quicker. At the close on Wednesday, the Dow is up over 19% for the year (wow!).

Podcast

The 2021 U.S. grain crop has the potential to be one of the largest on record. Where did all the yield come from, what areas were the hardest hit, and why on God’s green earth are grain prices still so high?

Today, we are joined by several RCM Ag Services grain markets experts from around the country to catch up on a post-harvest update and share an outlook for production and marketing in each of their respective regions for the remainder of the 2021 marketing season and the upcoming 22 crops.

 

 

Via Barchart.com