Category: U.S. Dollar

05 Apr 2021

March 2021 Quarterly Stocks and Planting Intentions Report: The Hedged Edge

The USDA came out with a bullish report???!!!! It’s fair to say that many in the industry (us included) were left speechless. We know that 2020 was a crazy ride for commodities, but it looks like we may be in for an even WILDER ride on the opposite end for 2021. To discuss this bullish report, we’re joined by our two favorite RCM Ag Services Cotton and Grain experts, Jody Lawrence and Ron Lawson, to discuss how this recent report is bound to affect the markets/insurance premiums/loan opportunities and much more in the coming months.

Find the full episode links for The Derivative below:


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08 Jan 2021

Harvest Market Updates: January 2-8

Corn continues its run up and briefly traded over $5 this week. Corn and beans charts look very similar as you can see below as corn has followed beans. What I mean is bean news moves the markets more so than corn right now as exports for both to China (and others) have been steady for a while now with some surprises from time to time. China announced this week their intention to plant more corn acres this year and expand ethanol production, but with Chinese corn still at around $10 it will be hard for them to make any major waves quickly. With South American weather continuing to be dry in the big picture this should keep SA from producing a huge crop. Old crop corn prices are strong but new crop Dec ’21 continues to lag and will ultimately depend on the South American crop and planted acres before we see any big movement. Keep an eye on the Jan USDA report that comes out the 12th for any change in news.

Via Barchart

Soybeans have had a great last couple months as they continue to run up and get over $13.50. As South America continues their dry outlook into the summer in the southern hemisphere. Argentina has a really good chance for wide sweeping rain next week but returns to dry after that. As South American weather still looks to be problem it will continue to be supportive of beans. With good exports again this week and weather issues in SA the underlying fundamentals remain supportive. Brazil has now started importing soybeans from the US as well as China and will continue to do so until harvest. With this runup we still see down days and even sizeable downward movements, this usually will stem from profit taking until we see fundamentals change. With soybean prices where they are this will lead to farmers switching over some acres which will be an important talking point heading into the spring. We continue the view of selling all of your ’20 crop and not paying for storage to take advantage of these prices. If you do not want to miss out on any further movement higher we suggest at looking at re-ownership on board if it fits your risk level.

Via Barchart

Cotton has seen a nice bump higher as we have gotten into the 80s for several trading days. Cotton may benefit the most from the weaker dollar more so than grains. US cotton is still cheaper than cotton in China (even with cost of delivery) so this should keep the US product competitive and sought after. With the outlook of 2021 moving out of the pandemic with vaccines, demand will rise for all textiles but cotton mills will ramp back up in India and China the most. March cotton chart is below.

Via Barchart

Dow Jones
The Dow has gained over the last few weeks as investors have gotten a better look as to what the next 4 year will look like as both Georgia senate seats went to the Democrats. Many experts think that moderate Dems will be the most important over the next 4 years as they will not vote completely on party lines and prevent any drastic changes. However, it will be important to keep an eye on the markets as we get closer to the Biden administration taking over as investors look to avoid new taxes.

US Dollar
The dollar has continued to stay low and may head lower. This is supportive of US commodities in the world market and would help exports in the big picture.


04 Dec 2020


Corn was unchanged over the last 2 weeks as it has been range bound between $4.20 and $4.40 as you can see in the chart below. This is the first stretch like this since corn began its climb up, as there hasn’t been any new news to really propel it. China continues to be the main buyer as we have come to expect, but with no surprise sales or weeks above expectations that hasn’t been enough to break through. The break followed by a bounce is good to see as markets remain bullish, but needed a correction along with the end of the December contracts in the last couple of weeks. Chinese demand of corn will continue to be the bullish news as we look for that to continue.



As you can see from the chart below beans have had a couple decent size swings in the last two weeks despite only being down 10 cents over that time. In that span we have seen January soybeans touch $12.00 and dip to $11.43 before the recent bounce back. The good news is it appears that Chinese buying should help keep some support under soybeans as they will look to be aggressive buyers when price falls (like the recent 50 cent dip then bounce back). South America will get some rain across Brazil this week, but the La Nina pattern looks to bring hot and dry weather in the coming months during an important stretch. After the fall at the start of the week it is nice to see a bounce back to current levels showing there is still bullish support. With funds continuing to be near record long, when they decide to take profit we may see dips similar to this week. We continue to hold the same strategy of not storing beans into the new year and take advantage of strong prices while if you believe markets are going higher to look at ownership on the board.



Dow Jones
The Dow has traded over 30,000 several times over the last 2 weeks, but has failed to hold onto that number for a longer run up. Positive vaccine news and the possibility of vaccinations starting this month were the main driver to get it to this point. Stimulus talks have resumed as well, with some sectors getting boosts from investors expecting targeted stimulus to certain sectors (airlines as an example).

US Dollar
The USD has continued its fall over the last couple of weeks. The 3-year chart below shows where the USD is relative to the past few years and shows that we are at levels not seen since early 2018. A weaker USD helps US commodities and makes them more competitive on the world market.



Phase 1 Trade Deal
Just a quick note: Joe Biden said he will not immediately cancel the Phase 1 trade deal with China or take steps to remove tariffs currently in place.


24 Jul 2020

Ag Markets Update: July 18 – 24

Corn held relatively steady this week after falling the past few weeks due to the June crop report. Exports have stayed consistent, but the lack of any weather problems is keeping corn in the range it is in. The cooler forecast with enough rain to support the crop is going to prevent upward price movement with the possibility of a 178 (trend line) yield still in play. China is the main buyer of U.S. Corn right now as major rains that are threatening the Three Gorges Dam area and throughout the Hubei Province have wiped out much of the non-U.S. crop.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced China’s largest ever corn purchase from the U.S. on July 14, totaling 1.762 million metric tons for delivery in 2020-21, and U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Ryan LeGrand tells Agri-Pulse that it’s more proof that demand is on the rise.

“We’ve always believed the demand is there,” LeGrand said. “They have been suffering from African swine fever, but they’re ringing the bell on these corn purchases.” (Ag Week)

Continued Chinese buying would be some good bullish news to balance out the bearish good weather news.

Soybeans gained on the week to reach the $9.00 mark again. China made several large purchases of U.S. soybeans this week despite the continued rising political tensions. The same destructive rains in the Hubei province that are wiping out corn will continue to have China buying U.S. ag products to make up for their potentially huge loses. The crop condition report this week was uneventful and as we approach the important stage for soybeans they look to be in good shape with the forecast being friendly as well. Beans have seemed to have had support at the 20 and 50 DMAs recently, so that should help moving forward even with the positive forecast.

A West Texas drought has been supportive for prices, but the lack of demand is the ultimate issue as prices can only move so high. If a healthy amount of rain moves into West Texas, look for prices to fall as a good yield and no buyers would present another problem. A weakening U.S. dollar may also provide some help as a lower U.S. Dollar means U.S. cotton is more affordable to other countries. In Other News see more info about the weakening U.S. Dollar.


U.S. Dollar
The Dollar has fallen 9.1% and made new 9 ½ month lows in today’s trade. With record U.S. debt and another stimulus package on the way, the Dollar has devalued endlessly by continuously running printing presses in DC. This is generally good for commodities as it indicates raw material inflation is on the horizon and that U.S. prices become more competitive as other currencies rally against the Dollar. Even though mildly helpful for the Ag industry, it’s not enough to fix the current oversupply problem.