Category: Risk Management

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

11 Nov 2021

AG MARKET UPDATE: OCTOBER 28 – NOVEMBER 9 USDA REPORT

Corn was struggling this week heading into the Nov 9th USDA report, where it saw a good bounce after its release before falling back to only finish up slightly higher on the day. The corn numbers that came out of the report were fairly neutral, with a 177 bu/acre yield and 15.062-billion-bushel U.S. production. The yield was slightly raised from 176.5 the month before but was right in line with estimates, so there was no significant reaction on that number. Overall, there were not many surprises for corn as most bullish reactions came from soybeans pulling them higher with them. With ethanol margins very profitable and crude oil staying higher, the demand side will continue to keep basis levels high. As harvest was 84% complete at the start of the week, there is still time for any weather issues to create issues to finish up harvest, but this is always expected, so being this far along is helpful.

Via Barchart

Soybeans had an excellent bounce post USDA report but finished well off the highs of the day. The yield came in at 51.2 bu/acre, down 0.3 from last month, along with lower world-ending stocks. As far as U.S. ending stocks. the USDA pegged it at a manageable 340 million bushels, slightly up from last month —these numbers are not outright bullish. South America’s weather is non-threatening right now; however, with solid world crush margins, there is not much reason for a bearish outlook heading into the winter. With funds currently flat, we may hang around this area trading until new news enters the market.

Via Barchart

There were no surprises in the wheat report,, but it did follow beans higher after a down week leading into the report. US wheat stocks came in at 583 million bushels (pre-report estimates were 581 million) and world-ending stocks of 275.80 million metric tons (pre-report estimates 276.5 MMT). Despite the recent pullback, there is still a bullish sentiment in the market moving forward for the time being.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

The Dow has continued to trend higher this week as it has put together an impressive month despite Tuesday’s pullback. Many markets have led it higher from tech to industrials, with the new infrastructure bill playing a role.

Side note: The crypto markets have also been on a tear the past couple of weeks. It will be interesting to watch heading into the end of the year after an impressive last year and a half.

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!

 

U.S. Drought Monitor

The maps below show the U.S. drought monitor and the comparison to it from a week ago. The outlined areas in black are areas that the drought will have a dominant impact.

Via Barchart.com

29 Oct 2021

AG MARKET UPDATE: OCTOBER 21 – 28

Corn has continued its rally as the bulls seem to have their mojo back following a time where they could have been uneasy. Despite the disappointing export report, corn was able to keep the momentum going Thursday. This week’s weather week will slow down harvest and could cause issues for what is remaining in the field. Higher basis has been seen across most of the country as a lack of available corn continues to put pressure on elevators while ethanol plants are running on great margins and can afford the basis. Going forward it will be interesting to watch how farmers manage the corn they store. Do they hold it until we see much higher prices? Will basis become so favorable it is hard to hold on to it while farmers are making payments for products for next year? These questions do not have any answers right now, and only time will tell, but one thing is for sure, input prices are going up and farmers know how valuable their crop is.

Via Barchart

Soybeans have had a good bounce from their low a couple of weeks ago, even if it is not as an inspiring rally as corn. Like corn, the weather will delay harvest and reduce yields in many areas that were off to a great first half. South American weather is generally good for the next week with Argentina receiving their best rains of the season so far. The weather over the coming weeks/next couple of months will be important to getting them off to a good start. Like corn, it will be interesting to see the number of beans stored vs. sold after harvest. As beans continue to struggle to find a pattern, we hope to see one develop in the coming weeks, hopefully, a good one.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

The Dow had another good week with one big down day followed by a bounce-back on Thursday. As Q3 earnings continue to roll in, it has been a mixed bag with large companies like Amazon and Apple falling post reporting.

Oats

The Oats market has been on a tear the last two months as Canada’s and the upper plains crop had a multitude of issues due to drought conditions. This has created a supply problem on top of already higher grain prices across the board this year.

Podcast

The Hedged Edge is back, and we’re jumping into the thick of the commodity markets with RCM’s own King of Cotton – Ron Lawson. Cotton prices have exploded since the COVID crash, rising more than 236% from the March 2020 lows. While prices have backed off from the October 8th high, cotton is one of the purest supply + demand-driven markets around the world and has caught fire along with the global inflation bug currently running rampant across many commodity markets.

 

U.S. Drought Monitor

The maps below show the U.S. drought monitor and the comparison to it from a week ago. The outlined areas in black are areas that the drought will have a dominant impact.

Via Barchart.com

22 Oct 2021

AG MARKET UPDATE: OCTOBER 12 – 21

Corn has seen a good rally since the lows that came after the report. Due to the world energy values falling, corn is still well above where it was last week, despite the pullback on Thursday. Rain in the eastern corn belt that was expected to slow harvest coming up has turned a little drier but still present. The rains this week will further deteriorate the already poor-quality plants. The yields were coming in better than expected in some areas the first half of harvest, but we should expect them to be lower in the second half.. NOAA on Thursday released its outlook for a warmer winter in the U.S., which hit energy prices and could see them trend lower, which would not help corn, among other things. It is vital this time of year to start paying attention to South American weather, and right now, Argentina is off to a dry start.  Ethanol production continues to grow as margins remain above $1 per bushel, pushing plants to produce at top capacity. This week’s output was the 3rd largest ever and will be an important supporting factor for corn going forward.

Via Barchart

Soybeans have had a good rally since the report, like corn even with the pullback at the end of this week. World bean oil and veg oil markets saw a rally this week that helped pull soybeans up along with many of the same factors as corn. Weekly exports this week were 2x that of last week and the highest in 13 months, with China being the main buyer. According to the most recent USDA report, if we can get consistent demand from China moving forward, that should help soybeans despite the crop being bigger than initially thought. The chart is tough to look at, but the market did close above the 20 day moving average at one point this week. It will not get back to that level to end the week, but the double high of $12.49 ½ this week makes it look like that $12.50 range may be hard to break through unless we get more bullish news. All eyes will move to the 2022 contracts next week as we begin to look at options for stored beans.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

The Dow had another good week as we have seen a good October for the equities market. After a tough September, this is good to see money back in the markets as questions around tapering, inflation and other Fed issues remain. Supply chain woes continue to plague many industries and will probably only worsen with the coming holiday season.

Podcast

In this week’s podcast Simon Quilty, from Melbourne, Australia, and Jeff Malec join Jeff Eizenberg to discuss global meat markets. We get an overview of the global meat market: beef, poultry, and pork, the main players and their main concerns, including labor and shipping shortages being a critical problem. Simon talks about how he goes about hedging the various contracts providing risk management for the current disruption for in-demand meat products.

For additional information, read our blog “Weigh More Than You Wanted To Know About Meat” here: https://www.rcmalternatives.com/2021/10/weigh-more-than-you-wanted-to-know-about-meat-with-agritrends-simon-quilty/

U.S. Drought Monitor

The maps below show the U.S. drought monitor and the comparison to it from a week ago. The outlined areas in black are areas that the drought will have a dominant impact.

Via Barchart.com

28 Sep 2021

Ag View Solutions – Here’s what you need to know about the Outlook for the first week of October

Jody Lawrence, RCM Ag Services’ head of research, joined Shay Foulk on his podcast “The Ag View Pitch” for this week’s market outlook. Jody hits on some major points, including harvest, basis, the upcoming USDA stocks report, and storage decisions that need to be made.

Jody makes the point of discussing what the cash market has been telling us vs. what the futures market and USDA are. Basis has been historically strong while the USDA has not had drastically tight balance sheets showing us some disconnect. Should we expect this week’s report to lower ending stocks as the cash market would hint at?

A harvest update from what Jody and Shay are hearing from their people, both agree that there were many unknown/under-reported issues early in the year that we may be seeing played out combined with the dry and hot finish.

The basis discussion starts with ethanol and how the plants are affecting many different commodities. Currently, margins for ethanol allow them to have a better basis, which forces elevators to do the same to remain competitive.

Should you store soybeans or corn this year? Jody and Shay dive into the margins and spread in the futures markets and basic considerations. No matter what you decide, allowing yourself the opportunity to still participate in the market via futures and options will allow you to not miss out on upside possibilities.

Jody has some final thoughts on the oats market that he leaves us with and what it could mean for the corn and grain markets in countries with major oats markets.

17 Sep 2021

AG MARKET UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 2 – 16

Corn was struggling heading into the USDA report last week but has seen a good 30+ cent bounce from the sub $5.00 lows. The USDA raised their expected yield for corn to 176.3 bu/acre and added 600,000 acres. They also raised the ending stocks with higher yield for what some would consider a bearish report, but the reaction was neutral to bullish following it. As harvest gets going, yield estimates cover a wide range, but it appears that a mid 170s is more and more likely. With no significant weather concerns in the coming weeks, harvest should get off to a fast start. As strong as prices currently are, it is always essential to have a marketing strategy to avoid missing out on other opportunities. As you debate how much to store in the bins or go ahead and sell, make sure it is what makes the most sense for your farm. If you want to sell now to get the cash, consider what can be done on paper to not miss out in case of higher prices in the future. As harvest gets rolling expect yield updates to change as well while the markets keep an eye on them.

Via Barchart

Soybeans have had a similar reaction the past couple of weeks as corn. The USDA slightly raised their bean yield to 50.6 bu/acre from 50 and lowered harvested acres by 300,000. China continues to show up in the export report which is both needed and welcome to see after this summer’s lack.. As the ports in New Orleans and the other grain terminals along the Mississippi River reopen following the hurricane, export disruption worry has slowed. Harvest (like corn) should get off to a great start in the coming weeks, and it is crucial to have your marketing plan ready and execute it. Keep an eye on yield reports as they come out in the weeks ahead and the cash market as it will help give an idea of how much people are willing to sell now or store.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

The Dow has struggled so far in September like the other indexes. This is not uncommon to see this time of the year but does give investors heartburn when you see back-to-back weeks of struggles.

Wheat

The insurance price was set for the red wheat varieties yesterday at $7.16 and $7.08, a multi-year high.  High prices cure high prices so expect corn to lose acres in the Wheat Belt as the guarantees will motivate additional wheat acres.

Podcast

Check out our recent podcast where we’ve brought on one of our real-life firefighters from RCM Ag – Jody Lawrence, along with Tim Andriesen from the CME Group to provide us with some inside baseball knowledge of the current state of agriculture markets. They discuss the real-world application of short-dated options to fight the recent blaze of volatility surrounding agriculture markets potentially. https://rcmagservices.com/the-hedged-edge/

 

US Drought Monitor

The maps below show the US drought monitor and the comparison to it from a week ago. The dryness will allow harvest to start on time.

 

Via Barchart.com

 

 

03 Sep 2021

AG MARKET UPDATE: AUGUST 26 – SEPTEMBER 2

Corn was hit hard this week as we continue to experience the fallout from Ida hitting the export business along with a favorable weather forecast ahead. Exports were better than expected this week coming in at 43 million bushels, which was the highest export total for corn since mid-May. The fallout from Ida will, more than likely, be seen playing out in the cash market.  That said, the longer supply chains are tied up, the bigger effect it will have on the uncertainty of the futures market. As we have mentioned before, South America’s crop is smaller than initially anticipated. With a smaller crop there will be some demand shift to the US corn crop; however, that is yet to show up in the export reports thus far. The big question is if/when that will change and show up in the US export reports. The September 10th USDA report next week will either fuel this bear run of the last month or calm the seas. An interesting note – The September USDA report the last 3 years has had the corn yield below the final yield which will be something to look for if they adjust yield.

Via Barchart

Soybeans have had the same fate as corn the last few weeks as the bears have had the momentum. The issues in New Orleans are playing a major role in this week’s fall just like they did for corn. Brazil is getting some of that business despite a premium being paid just because traders know they can get beans on a ship and send it. The good weather in the weeks ahead could still help the soybean crop despite maybe being a little too late for most corn. As seasonal temperatures set in and no freeze expected any time soon the weather is bearish for prices while good for the crop.

Via Barchart


Dow Jones

The Dow gained on the week as investors continue to feel out the market but not ditching it completely for other options. The rally from last Friday helped pull the market up on the week as the rest of the trading has been muted with no major moving days.

Ida

The port of New Orleans and the other infrastructure in the state of Louisiana and along the Mississippi River will take weeks to address and fix. This will/has caused major problems already for many residents in the areas effected along with the shipping.

Podcast

Check out our recent podcast where we’ve brought on one of our real-life firefighters from RCM Ag – Jody Lawrence along with Tim Andriesen from the CME Group to provide us with some inside baseball knowledge of the current state of the agriculture markets and to discuss the real-world application of the use of short-dated options to potentially fight the current blaze of volatility surrounding agriculture markets.

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

 

US Drought Monitor

The maps below show there was a little change over the week with weekend rains in some areas that needed it and some drying in Indiana.

Via Barchart.com

27 Aug 2021

AG MARKET UPDATE: AUGUST 19-26

Corn was unchanged on the week as slow news, a lack of major export announcements, and no major rain events crossed the area’s most in need. Additionally, most of the corn belt has seen above average temperatures this week keeping a bid under the market. The late season heat and hot nights are taking their toll on the crop but hopefully the heat will end soon according to some forecasts. This time of year, markets begin to look at multiple yield reports coming in from various independent groups – i.e the Pro Farmer Tour (results HERE). At first glance many in the industry feel the tour results are a bit high, but only time will tell.  Any big surprise exports or continued weather problems will be the bulls news while rain and yield reports will be the bears.

Via Barchart

Soybeans made small gains on the week as the same news moved beans that moved corn. China continues to be a buyer going on 2 weeks now which is supportive after their long silence. The market is reacting to these purchases as if they were expected and normal purchases. Regular and consistent purchases will need to continue for the market to remain supportive.  Any abrupt could see another slide heading into harvest before we have a better idea on yield. The rains that some think will help corn will also help beans as we head into September.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones

The Dow gained on the week as what seemed to be investor weariness last week turned into buying opportunities. The events in Afghanistan weighed on the market Thursday with uncertainty about the US foreign relations going forward.  As of this morning, Friday 8/27/2021, the S&P and Nasdaq are making fresh all-time highs following the latest comments from the Federal Reserve where NO NEW policy changes were announced and supportive monetary measures will remain in place.

Afghanistan

The suicide bombing by an ISIS-K member Thursday in Kabul, that claimed the lives of dozens of Afghan citizens, along with a dozen US Service members, while injuring countless others, shook the world. The swiftness of the fall of Afghanistan’s army and government to the Taliban has put the US at the center of one of the biggest international situations in recent memory. Going forward the countries around Afghanistan will be important to keep an eye on for exporters to the middle east.

Podcast

Check out our recent podcast where we’ve brought on one of our real-life firefighters from RCM Ag – Jody Lawrence along with Tim Andriesen from the CME Group to provide us with some inside baseball knowledge of the current state of the agriculture markets and to discuss the real-world application of the use of short-dated options to potentially fight the current blaze of volatility surrounding agriculture markets.

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

US Drought Monitor

The maps below show there was not much change over the week despite weekend rains in some areas that needed it and some drying in Indiana.

Via Barchart.com

27 Jul 2021

Managing Today’s Market Risks through Short Dated Options with CME Group

It is no secret that commodity markets have been on fire over the past 12 months.   On today’s podcast we’ve brought on one of our real-life firefighters from RCM Ag – Jody Lawrence along with Tim Andriesen from the CME Group to provide us with some inside baseball knowledge of the current state of the agriculture markets and to discuss the real world application of the use of short dated options to potentially fight the current blaze of volatility surrounding agriculture markets.

As the director of Research for RCM Jody is no stranger to the podcast.  Tim, is the Managing Director of Agriculture products for the CME Group and is responsible for management of the company’s global agriculture commodities business – including grain, oilseed, livestock and dairy risk management products.

 

Find the full episode links for The Hedged Edge below:

04 Dec 2020

Risk Management, Research Writing, and International Protein with Simon Quilty

International meat trade (including Kangaroo!), years of writing and thousands of subscribers, risk management consulting and more – today’s guest really is a jack of all (ag) trades. Simon Quilty, global meat trader and analyst with Global Agritrends is on today’s podcast to take a deeper dive into his risk management background (with tips for operations of all sizes), the background on how he became one of the world’s leading researchers on international protein markets, and more crazy stories that fit his entertaining personality.

Follow along with Simon at the Global Agritrends website.

From the episode: Man punches a kangaroo in the face to rescue his dog

Chapters:

00:00-01:13 = Intro

01:13-11:53 = World Traveler, Lobbyist / From trading the physical to exploring China’s economy

11:54-36:36 = Potential for Ag Markets / China’s 2 speed economy & Hog pressure concerns

36:37-43:10 = Favorites

 

Find the full episodes here:

And last but not least, don’t forget to subscribe to The Hedged Edge on your preferred platform, and follow us on TwitterLinkedIn, and Facebook.

What-It-Takes-To-Feed-The-W

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.