Category: Market Updates

18 Mar 2022

AG MARKET UPDATE: MARCH 10 – 17

Corn was pretty flat on the week, but it did not lack volatility. The war in Ukraine and the constant news make for wild swings on unconfirmed reports such as peace talks and Russian demands. The volatility has caused many headaches, but the volume has decreased, showing that many traders are watching from the sideline and not trading volatile rumors that may or may not be true. The next month of weather will be important as some areas of the US are very dry and will need moisture heading into the spring. Corn export sales were above expectations this week, helping the bounce back Thursday.

Via Barchart

Soybeans fell on the week as the news affecting beans is not solely out of Ukraine. South America has had better weather conditions the last couple weeks and forecasted ahead. While the drought conditions did plenty of damage to the crop early on, the improved conditions are good but not great to help out. Bean exports were within expectations this week as beans have traded relatively flat the last couple of weeks.

Via Barchart

Wheat’s volatility continued this week as the war in Ukraine continued. Reports of peace/ceasefire talks have been in the news that seems to move markets whenever a new one is reported, but the volatility will continue until there is a resolution. There will still be massive fallout from this war as Ukraine’s infrastructure will be devastated, and sanctions on Russia will be large. Ukraine’s crop year drastically change, and it will be hard to get a full read on the damage until much later. Rain fell on some of the drier areas in the US that grow wheat, but the market did not seem to care. For now, the news will continue to be Ukraine and Russia.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

The equity markets rallied this week as investors aren’t sure if we bottomed but felt the market had fallen enough to be an excellent area to get back in. The fed decided to raise rates for the first time since 2018 raising it a quarter of a point. They also announced to expect six more raises as the year goes on to fight inflation. The market had already priced this news in, and after a short dip down, markets finished the day after the news higher. China has had a new round of Covid lockdowns, which is something to watch.

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.

14 Mar 2022

Leonard Lumber Report: The Futures Market Is Under Pressure

The futures market was under pressure all week as a seasonal pause had hit the market; however, the push to buy cash has eased. The transportation issue hasn’t eased, but the buying has. That has led to more wood in the secondary’s hand, thus more wood available in the field. That amount isn’t much, and it is high priced. 

The takeaway from last week is only when the push eases, so does cash flow to the middle of the market. Any time a buyer sees two offers available, they close the POs, which is what we are seeing again. This industry is more afraid of buying a car and the market falling than missing a cheap vehicle and paying up. There is a lot of inefficiencies built into the market today. Another is the fear of a margin call. This lack of structure will keep volatility around and the mills in high cotton. 

There are two ways to look at the market today: by counting sticks and needs for tomorrow or taking a closer look at where we are at in the housing cycle. For the bigger players, this quarter is done, the second is close to being finished, and now the focus is on the third quarter and those needs. 

 

Housing report and Early Projections

This week we have the housing report, and the early projections are for 1.7 starts and 1.85 permits. The critical number is always completions, but these are the trendsetters. Ongoing predictions are for the numbers to stay in this area and completions to have only a slight uptick. We can see the builders accepting these prices and guaranteeing the product is key, not price. 

The market experienced it last May with an uptick in forward pricing in the $1,200 range. That turned out not to be a great level to buy, but the push back from it was minor, and they were locking in the product. This year we’d expect the opposite with less forward sales. The industry will play for the break this time around, limiting the downside and extending the next rally. 

 

Let’s Get Technical:

The technical read is negative. There is no easy way to say it. For the first time in months, the market has all signals pointing lower. If there isn’t buying on the break, the downside objective will increase, and it won’t get as low as most expect. 

Another way to look at it is how the market reacts to the news. The added supply has pushed futures lower at a very slow pace turning the momentum indicators only after many down days. On the flip side, any good news spikes the market up.

We’d suspect the algo programmer is adding a selling layer, and the long fund is adding stops. Let’s face it. They are the drivers of our market and thus are the guiding factor for starts and stops. We see in the overall market that the buyer short cash because of jobs. The key to this move is to buy on the way down or are forced to pay up again.

The technical read is short, while the fundamentals are positive—hedge your risk.

 

Open Interest and Commitment of Traders:

https://www.cmegroup.com/daily_bulletin/current/Section23_Lumber_Options.pdf

 

About The Leonard Report

The Leonard Lumber Report is a new column that focuses on the lumber futures market’s highs and lows and everything else in between. Our very own, Brian Leonard, risk analyst, will provide weekly commentary on the industry’s wood product sectors.

 

Before You Go…

A special guest joins us for this episode of The Hedged Edge, who is well known for his many titles, which include Doctor, Editor-in-Chief, Dean, and Chief Academic Officer, just to name a few. Dr. Channa S. Prakash, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at Tuskegee University, has served as faculty since 1989 and is a professor of crop genetics, biotechnology, and genomics. He is also well recognized for mentoring underrepresented minority students.

Tune in as biotech guru Dr. 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. And as a bonus, we find out what sport he would be interested in playing if he went professional.

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.

01 Mar 2022

The Leonard Lumber Report: The Difficulty of Managing Inventories in Today’s Marketplace

This week’s back and forth trading in futures highlighted just how difficult it is to manage inventories in today’s marketplace. The problem is insufficient real-time data to read supply or demand accurately. We saw the industry going from a too much wood attitude on Monday to a now enough by Friday. That type of uncertainty has plagued this industry for years. In the recent past, many took to contracts, which has taken out some of the emotion but has also reduced margins. This buy sides self-prescribed shrinking of margins causes voids in the market. 

The reluctance of other buyers and pure demand also adds to the voids. So, where are we going with this? We can’t keep this beast full in a rising market. 

The marketplace continues to argue about business. 1899 is a big permit number and too large to produce for. We hear all about the actual completion number, labor, windows, yada, yada, yada. The permit number is either business for today, potential business, or soon to be postponed business. Most economists were in the same camp for years that we couldn’t build 1.5 because of labor, and we couldn’t produce 1.5 because of log issues. If the industry can’t complete 1.5 and there isn’t enough wood available for 1.5, why are permits rising to almost 1.9? The simple answer is increasing demand. Covid, the Fed, and the stock market have hyperbole the housing sector. 

The Fed flooded the system with cash that sent the stock market to new highs giving many a large windfall. Throw the urban bail into the mix, and here we are. From here, the question becomes whether these levels are sustainable, and the quick answer is no. The longer answer is that the world has changed, and attitudes towards money have changed, as has investing. It will take years for this industry to get a read on the net result of that change. History has shown that industries learn to be more efficient, but higher prices stay.

Too many or not enough issues are the primary cause of our large swings as it “encourages” the algo’s to push the market. The market experiences temporary slowdowns in purchases which negatively impacts prices in futures. We saw early last week how quickly the market focuses on supply and shuts off. As we look towards better shipping and more Euro wood, I expect the industry to take a large step back. Prices will fall sharply, but with 1.9 permits, it won’t stay down for long.

 

Let’s Get Technical:

There are two views diverging views of the current lumber chart. The non-lumber technicians see a market consolidating to go sharply higher, and it is a pattern of a market cliff dwelling to seasoned lumber technicians. Who is seeing it correctly? The issue today is that lumber has historically been a pure momentum-driven market, and it corrects but rarely will it maintain a flat trading area at a top or bottom. 

We have two weeks of a flat market hit by a shutdown announcement and a Russian invasion. Our first takeaway is that the marketplace is accepting these higher prices levels, and it is a market looking for the middle. That said, as a seasoned lumber technician, I would not be too exposed to a possible cliff in front of us.

 

Weekly Round-Up:

First and foremost, betting on cheaper wood is not a good business strategy. July is sitting close to $1,000, which is $300 under March futures and cash. I am looking for a spring selloff, but the math indicates a continued tight market for months. The entire industry will sell in May and go away after last year will keep inventories very low. As the technical section says, the industry is trying to find some middle ground for pricing but keeps getting caught in the logistics. There is a better cash trade, and the industry is adding a few hedges along the way. The funds are adding a few longs on every spike, but nothing could lead to a trend. 

 

About The Leonard Report

The Leonard Lumber Report is a new column that focuses on the lumber futures market’s highs and lows and everything else in between. Our very own, Brian Leonard, risk analyst, will provide weekly commentary on the industry’s wood product sectors.

 

Before You Go…

A special guest joins us for this episode of The Hedged Edge, who is well known for his many titles, which include Doctor, Editor-in-Chief, Dean, and Chief Academic Officer, just to name a few. Dr. Channa S. Prakash, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at Tuskegee University, has served as faculty since 1989 and is a professor of crop genetics, biotechnology, and genomics. He is also well recognized for mentoring underrepresented minority students.

Tune in as biotech guru Dr. 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. And as a bonus, we find out what sport he would be interested in playing if he went professional.

25 Feb 2022

AG MARKET UPDATE: FEBRUARY 17 – 24

Corn was up a lot this week for similar reasons as wheat, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine pushing commodities higher. The conditions have improved in South America, but the length of trouble still caused large amounts of damage to the crop that we still do not know the depth of. The USDA Ag Outlook Forum came out with 92 million acres for corn, with some acres going to soybeans along with a 181 yield. A 181 yield would be a record crop, but with the supply chain issues, fertilizer prices, and availability of chemicals, many factors could affect yield if farmers can’t get all the inputs. Ukraine and Russia will be the market-moving news for now until we get a better idea of the long-term consequences. The February insurance price for corn is $5.89 ½. Friday’s early selloff will test the bulls for all markets.

Via Barchart

Soybeans gained on the week as the Russia and Ukraine news dominated headlines. Outside of this news, the weather outlook improved for South America that would have been bearish for bean prices if the eastern European turmoil was not going on. The USDA Ag Forum came out with an estimated 88 million acres with a 51.5 bu/acre yield for beans this year in the U.S., which is a bearish number but not surprising at these current price ranges. The November bean price had a more visceral reaction as it fell quickly Thursday off the highs having over a $1 trading range for the day, ultimately falling 36 cents to $14.51 ½. The February insurance price for beans is $14.33 ½.

Via Barchart

After days of large gains earlier in the week, wheat was limit up on Thursday after Russia invaded Ukraine. Ukraine is a major exporter of wheat and other agricultural goods as it is the 5th largest wheat exporter in the world, with Russia being #1. Not only is the world wheat supply threatened, but all trade in the Black Sea area will be affected, potentially only for a short period but disrupted, nonetheless. Russia accounts for more than 18% of the world’s wheat export and is a large oil and natural gas exporter, so any sanctions that hit their export economy could see ripple effects. This is only the beginning of this conflict, and wheat will be along for the whole ride, so you should expect volatility.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

The equity markets continue to get crushed as, along with the struggles since November, we now have a war between Russia and Ukraine. This will make the Fed hesitant to raise interest rates, but as the bond rates have already risen, we are heading that way, whether it is a 25-point or 50-point bump. Tech stocks (NASDAQ) hit a 20% decline since November highs on Thursday before bouncing off the lows. Volatility will remain in the market as Russia remains a threat and China is a large unknown moving forward. Commodity prices have risen even more with oil nearing $100, so the inflationary pressure on the markets will not disappear any time soon.

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.

22 Feb 2022

The Leonard Lumber Report: It’s been an exciting week for futures

It has been an exciting week in futures as it traded each of the five sessions. There was continued volatility, but March closed virtually unchanged from a week ago. That’s progress. We saw that the CME upped the limits, and we’ll also see an article in the WSJ this week referencing the constant limit moves we have. Notoriety is good. At the same time, there has been a slow creep high in total open interest. 

It has been a while since the futures and cash markets were this close. However, we’re not sure the futures market is that close to the cash market after hearing numerous reports of cash trades over $1,400. It looks like the market has paused to take a look. 

Lumber has always been an industry that would buy into an uptrend and hedge into a downtrend, and there wasn’t much pre-positioning. The same is in place today where a switch is flipped, and we all see the panic on the buy-side. Then another switch is flipped, and you can’t find a buyer. This doesn’t take days or weeks but just hours. The massive cost of a carload of lumber is compounding the problem today. Since we don’t buy on the way down or sell up, there is a large void created on every move. 

The last time we sat around $1,200, the momentum indicated a potential for a $400 move in either direction, and it turned out to be down. May is $100 cheaper than March, and July is $100 cheaper than May. The futures market is trying to smooth out the downside, and the upside will organically be smoothed out with time. Coming into Monday, there is a controlled burn to the downside, but the upside could find some running room. 

We all know that any hint of better transportation will cause a sell-off. This week, we saw a little pressure from a BC mill finally shipping a few cars to the U.S. on Sunday, February 20. It just seems a little early to get the ball back.

  

Let’s Get Technical:

The focus here will be on the longer-term chart pattern and its momentum indicators. The most scrutinized area is the last gap left from 1114.90 to 1069.90. (Weekly) a closing of that gap in the March contract would be very negative. It should hold for now and then be an objective after expiration. The market is sitting right on a resistance line at 1264.30. It isn’t a firm point but does come off last year’s high. One positive to note is that the market made a new high on this move taking out the previous high from January. $1,336 is a new weekly high. Finally, if another leg is up, it will take a shot at the weekly gap of 1,514.80 to 1,540.00. The current RSI is at 68%. It hit 94% last year.

The technical read is slightly friendly but primarily neutral. The least resistance is up, as is most of the pain.

 

Weekly Round-Up:

Let’s take a look back at rising open interest. There is a new segment of the industry using derivatives for risk mitigation. Most of it is coming from the buy-side. This has been a slow-moving process but is now starting to bear some fruit. Obviously, our volatility keeps many out or limits their exposure, but they are around. The March contract shows more signing of a squeeze than any long-term relief. That said, this is a bottomless pit. The rollover will be violent this time, with the mills adding to the downside. We are again building a transit inventory mess, but the issues seem to have longer legs this time. It will drag through March expiration, but will it drag through May’s? 

 

Open Interest and Commitment of Traders:

https://www.cmegroup.com/daily_bulletin/current/Section23_Lumber_Options.pdf

 

About The Leonard Report

The Leonard Lumber Report is a new column that focuses on the lumber futures market’s highs and lows and everything else in between. Our very own, Brian Leonard, risk analyst, will provide weekly commentary on the industry’s wood product sectors.

 

Before You Go…

A special guest joins us for this episode of The Hedged Edge, who is well known for his many titles, which include Doctor, Editor-in-Chief, Dean, and Chief Academic Officer, just to name a few. Dr. Channa S. Prakash, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at Tuskegee University, has served as faculty since 1989 and is a professor of crop genetics, biotechnology, and genomics. He is also well recognized for mentoring underrepresented minority students.

Tune in as biotech guru Dr. 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. And as a bonus, we find out what sport he would be interested in playing if he went professional.

 

 

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.

17 Feb 2022

Leonard Lumber Report: This is a Supply-Side Industry

We tend to focus on fires, rail, a wall of wood, etc. Then one day a month, we look at housing starts. Today it is too easy to say that shipping issues are running prices up again. We hear daily from the trade that the company has too high of inventories on one day, and they don’t have enough in less than 24 hours. That is a demand issue. The other feature on the demand side is that the late cars’ fill-ins are not increasing inventories. Follow-through buying keeps the buy-side underbought. We saw this same dynamic last February. The mills have a lot of sold inventory to ship. Will new buying stay at this pace?

We must stay focused on the global economic picture. After yesterday’s booming PPI number, we now have the sense that the inflation push is unsustainable. That doesn’t indicate a pullback in prices but suggests that the trajectory will ease. What that means for housing is that production costs will remain high, and that will keep home prices high and affordability an issue for some time. 

Let’s Get Technical:

There are two markets today, March and the back months. March keeps pace with the cash trade while the back months reluctantly stay above $1000. We have even seen some algo type trading as far out as July as it sets up for the rollover. The key driver remains March, and a close over the last high sets it up for a run, which will drag the back months higher. 

Weekly Round-Up:

Anything bought today has to be hedged. Most refuse to sell a discount to hedge. Today you must look at the sell as a wood product trade, not a pure hedge. Puts are the way to go but are very expensive. Everyone from the local yard to the computer running the options knows we are going down at some point.

Open Interest and Commitment of Traders:
https://www.cmegroup.com/daily_bulletin/current/Section23_Lumber_Options.pdf

About The Leonard Report
The Leonard Lumber Report is a new column that focuses on the lumber futures market’s highs and lows and everything else in between. Our very own, Brian Leonard, risk analyst, will provide weekly commentary on the industry’s wood product sectors.

Before You Go…
A special guest joins us for this episode of The Hedged Edge, who is well known for his many titles, which include Doctor, Editor-in-Chief, Dean, and Chief Academic Officer, just to name a few. Dr. Channa S. Prakash, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at Tuskegee University, has served as faculty since 1989 and is a professor of crop genetics, biotechnology, and genomics. He is also well recognized for mentoring underrepresented minority students.

Tune in as biotech guru Dr. 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. And as a bonus, we find out what sport he would be interested in playing if he went professional.

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.

11 Feb 2022

The Leonard Lumber Report: Better Trading In Futures This Week

There was better trading in futures this week, but March opened the limit and locked. The back months had good volume, and July and Sept never hit the limit. At this point, you can exit your March shorts one way or another. That brings us to the next question: What does “life after limit” look like? If you take out the limit downs and the limit ups, we are sitting in the same area with the same dynamics. There is still good demand. Shipping out of the west is a mess, and trucking throughout North America is getting worse. And finally, we just moved closer to the Q2 buy.

The sell-off was a good indicator of a flow of wood through the system, and the rally right back indicates a continued fear that the flow will slow again. I think the industry is doing an excellent job keeping supplies flowing in. Since December, they have been buying “time” and fearing an upset chain. So today, it isn’t tomorrow’s ship time but rather next month’s ship time, and no one has that answer. 

Any more bad news from the supply side will set the market off again, while any slowing in demand will force another sell-off. Buckle up….

Let’s Get Technical:

Elliot Wave is not voodoo economics, but that was funny. The biggest takeaway is that markets trade in waves, and in percentage terms, the lumber futures waves are easing in the distance. The corrective wave ran into support and a 20% RSI at a higher level this time down, keeping the cycle positive. We are looking for the top end where the market hits real resistance. Historically, the 1st quarter has strong support and weaker resistance areas, which is seasonal and consistent.

Weekly Round-Up:

$1,200 is not a happy medium, and the risk in both directions is substantial. We have never been in a place that could potentially have a $400 push up or $400 down. Time will ease the upside pressure, and the downside will be around for a while. Position accordingly.

Open Interest and Commitment of Traders:
https://www.cmegroup.com/daily_bulletin/current/Section23_Lumber_Options.pdf

About The Leonard Report
The Leonard Lumber Report is a new column that focuses on the lumber futures market’s highs and lows and everything else in between. Our very own, Brian Leonard, risk analyst, will provide weekly commentary on the industry’s wood product sectors.

Before You Go…
A special guest joins us for this episode of The Hedged Edge, who is well known for his many titles, which include Doctor, Editor-in-Chief, Dean, and Chief Academic Officer, just to name a few. Dr. Channa S. Prakash, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at Tuskegee University, has served as faculty since 1989 and is a professor of crop genetics, biotechnology, and genomics. He is also well recognized for mentoring underrepresented minority students.

Tune in as biotech guru Dr. 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. And as a bonus, we find out what sport he would be interested in playing if he went professional.