Category: Weekly Prices

14 Jun 2024

AG MARKET UPDATE: MAY 31 – JUNE 14

Corn’s small 18 cent rally off recent lows for new crop corn has been very welcome after 6 down days in a 7-day period to end May and start June. This week’s USDA Report was a non-event with the USDA making no changes to South Americas production from last month despite the trade expecting production well below the USDA’s estimate of 175 mmt (171.82 estimated). CONAB released their estimates on Thursday, increasing their estimates for Brazil’s corn crop but still 310 million bushels below what the USDA is saying. The heat over the next couple of weeks is not expected to be a major problem but if this level of heat with a lack of rain goes into July the markets would take notice and begin to worry a bit.

Via Barchart

Beans are lower over the last 2 weeks with them settling into a flat trade this week. The USDA report was uneventful despite the USDA cutting another 1 mmt from Brazil’s bean crop. US exports were revised lower and ending stocks rose as the slow pace of exports continued. With no major surprises and no major weather/production issues yet there is not much bullish news outside of CONAB’s Brazil production estimate which is 207 million bushels below this week’s USDA update.

Via Barchart

Equity Markets

The S&P 500 and NASQDAQ continue to move higher setting new all-time highs as several large tech companies beat on earnings. The AI movement is continuing its dominance, but some other areas are starting to find strength as funds are forced to reposition.

Via Barchart

Other News

  • The cotton market continues lower as there is nothing bullish in the news cycle for it other than the potential for up to 25 named hurricanes this year.
  • Wheat’s roller coaster ride continues with potential for lower Black Sea production still a possibility after the $1.50+ rally follows by a $1 fall with 10 down days in a row.

Drought Monitor

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 [email protected].

 

10 Jun 2024

LEONARD LUMBER REPORT: THE GREAT LONG LIQUIDATION

Recap:

The great long liquidation. Between Monday and Tuesday, it looked as if the industry longs blew out. That was after a previous week of light liquidation. This blowout pushed July’s futures to a low of 484, which is at par with the cash market. That was a structural change to the market dynamics and should be noted for the future. By Thursday, July was back to a $30 premium and showing some confidence. So, in the short run, we are considering trading par too cheap at a $30 premium normal, and a $50 premium as a gift.

We are entering the summer months with some tough headwinds. We were told “rates higher for longer” 18 months ago. They were right. Any rate relief in housing isn’t coming soon. The other is the sharper-than-expected drop in multifamily projects in the regions that have led the way. Some are as high as 40%. As a trader, this is a lot to digest, but it looks like the market has already started.

RDFTV is a farmer’s channel. On Friday, they interviewed a SYP tree farm owner. He said SYP farmers never lose money. He must not have gotten the memo on the falloff of the multi-sector.

The cash market looks to have three zones of value today. The first is the current zone of $335 to $450. The market has spent a lot of time down here as it digests the less demand and good supply scenario we are in. The next is $451 to $500. And the last is $501 to $600 or shall we say the happy days are here again zone. It has bounced back and forth between zones 1 and 2 since the end of covid. It is not getting any help from the fundamentals to change that.

Technical:

The value areas and technical points are becoming a better road map than in the past. The two featured points today are the 200-day moving average at 562.50 and the value area at 440.00. That correlates well with the cash zone. The support area is the low of 484.00, and resistance is the value area of 520.00. A break of either could cause a nice little run.

Daily Bulletin:

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

The Commitment of Traders:

https://www.cftc.gov/dea/futures/other_lf.htm

About the Leonard Report:

The Leonard Lumber Report is a 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.

 

Brian Leonard

[email protected]

312-761-2636

04 Jun 2024

LEONARD LUMBER REPORT: Last week’s trade was in line with expectations

Recap:

Last week’s trade was in line with expectations. The computer pushed the market to new lows. Coming into this week, I would expect the computer to put pressure on the longs to blow them out. It doesn’t take a computer to know that the spec longs are in much higher and now getting margin calls. If you put a fundamental face on the market, the lack of any interest out there allows this sell-off. The fact that we buy the deals today adds pressure in a slowing market.

Yes, the housing market is slowing. The data is confusing, but the economy is acting as a weight around this industry. We need to keep employment at this level to keep the buyers around. A jump in the unemployment rate will cause us to lose the market, which keeps us most guarded.

There are two takeaways. The first is how much SYP weighs on the market when things are slow. The other is the stats on how well the basis traders have done. The market has a downward bias.

Technical:

It wasn’t too long-ago that the RSI was at 6%. Today, at 23%, it seems high. The futures market is building a case for less business this year. Most are already trading that way. At some point the lack of inventory will bring in the buying and we will be off again.

A bit of advice to the producers. Sell all you can when the futures price starts with a 6.

Daily Bulletin:

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

The Commitment of Traders:

https://www.cftc.gov/dea/futures/other_lf.htm

About the Leonard Report:

The Leonard Lumber Report is a 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.

 

Brian Leonard

[email protected]

312-761-2636

03 Jun 2024

AG MARKET UPDATE: MAY 10 – 31

Corn had a rough week as planting is nearly wrapped up and the expectation of high initial US crop ratings put pressure on the market. The forecast for June turned slightly wetter but will not have any material impact on planting finishing up. The Black Sea yields continue to be pressured due to their weather with no immediate relief apparent. The USDA Crop Production report on June 12 will be watched closely as we get updates for the US including acreage, area harvested, and yield. The market will be looking for any good news before then to help support a weakening market.

Via Barchart

Beans fell on the week as planting advances despite some slowdowns in some areas due to weather. Currently only 3% of soybean production comes from areas experiencing drought. Rio Grande do Sul is turning warmer and drier after weeks of issues with flooding. Morgan Stanley estimates 5 million tonnes of soybeans were lost to the flooding in the region. Beans, like corn, have no bullish weather to help the market as it looks like normal planting progress should be made and no major weather issues in the forecast.

Via Barchart

Equity Markets

The equity markets have had a rough go lately with all major indexes falling well off recent highs. Several earnings misses and growing belief that “higher for longer” could last through the summer has people raising questions about the market.

Via Barchart

Other News

  • The Black Sea weather forecast has improved for next week as rain has been added to the forecast.
  • Wheat has seen a strong rally since mid-April seeing a $1.50+ rally at one point with possible production issues in the Black Sea even with the small pullback to end the week.

Drought Monitor

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 [email protected].

 

28 May 2024

LEONARD LUMBER REPORT: HEADWINDS, BROWN SHOOTS, INTEREST RATES

Recap:

Headwinds, brown shoots, interest rates—whatever data we look at is not good. The question is whether we have to start worrying about the housing market. We were looking for more but didn’t get it. What we have is the same market we have had for 17 months now. It has pockets of positives followed by a long bleed. That has been the lumber market for over 40 years now. It is tradable and profitable when one adapts to the trade mode. So what does that look like?

Buying into a falling market has always been a challenge for most. For a few years, you could buy into strength and make money. That is no longer the case. There isn’t enough time between cycles. What this indicates is a flat demand curve. What has finally hit the market is the higher rate uncertainty. For a year, the builders worked around the higher rates. That worked for the aggressive buy side. We now have returned to the “average Joe” buyer. This was expected but came early. The builders are reacting by pulling back. This knee-jerk reaction will take time to work itself out, but for now, it adds pressure.

This is an environment where you need to dust off that 10-year-old playbook. How do you take advantage of a flat market that offers a pop every so often? Today, the industry is offside, being long futures when there is a $40 or more basis opportunity available. Lower prices will rebalance that.

The fear of a strike, fires, or another shutdown has kept the marketplace off balance. At the end of the day the wood continues to show up.

Technical:

The trading range is very narrow. The focus today is on the outer bands. On the upside, the 38% retrace sits at 556.90, and the 200-day moving average sits at 564.98. This market can gain momentum with a move over the 200 day. On the downside, 511.00 is the key support point, followed by 497.00 and 486.00. This area has been support for months. There isn’t a technical point that would increase the downside momentum. Breaking back into the 400’s would indicate an economic turn in housing. The funds seem to be leaning towards a slowdown and could help it lower. That conversation is not for today.

For today, 540 is too high and 520 is too low. Enjoy.

Daily Bulletin:

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

The Commitment of Traders:

https://www.cftc.gov/dea/futures/other_lf.htm

About the Leonard Report:

The Leonard Lumber Report is a 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.

 

Brian Leonard

[email protected]

312-761-2636

20 May 2024

LEONARD LUMBER REPORT: IT WAS A TOUGH WEEK FOR CASH AND FUTURES

Recap:

It was a tough week for cash and futures as the quiet market pushed prices lower. Before we sound the alarm, the market is $22 off its high and $18 off the low. After 20 sessions, the market sits in the middle. At this time of year, the market tends to put in a seasonal low. This battle with a $35 range is mildly friendly. This marketplace is not heading for the exits. The industry and speculators are firmly committed to the long side, while the funds are firmly committed to the short side. If you are long waiting for the funds to react, it will be a long 30 days. Last year, we saw the same dynamics of less traffic, falling builders’ sentiment, and less construction than projected. What happened was a grind higher market. I want to make a call for the same, but this year, we are just now confirming more negatives and fewer positives. More brown shoots don’t necessarily equal sharply lower prices. It will just be a continued drag on this market. I would be mildly friendly to the market if it weren’t for the fact that the industry is long-future and cash-playing Texas Holdem with a Texas hedge. Those long cash should be selling the pops in futures.

Technical:

The tech read hasn’t been effective this year due to the tight range between swings. Today, there is a mildly friendly candlestick. The market is building a new value area about $20 higher than last year at this time. I’m looking for a lower RSI up here to confirm.

Daily Bulletin:

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

The Commitment of Traders:

https://www.cftc.gov/dea/futures/other_lf.htm

About the Leonard Report:

The Leonard Lumber Report is a 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.

 

Brian Leonard

[email protected]

312-761-2636

13 May 2024

AG MARKET UPDATE: APRIL 19 – MAY 10

Corn has seen a strong rally over the last couple of weeks as planting is slightly delayed in parts of the US and funds seem to have changed their tone a bit. Last week’s USDA Report did not have any earth-shattering news but did provide some good news for the markets. US corn stocks were lower than estimates heading into the report along with world stocks for both 23/24 and 24/25. The production outlook for this year, 181 bu/ac, continues to show how the advances in agronomic practices and seed genetics continue to grow. All of these carryout and stocks numbers are based on those production estimates so if we begin to see weather issues or problems at the end of planting, we could continue to see revisions to the downside, and vice versa with great weather and conditions.

Via Barchart

Beans had a rough week after a strong start to May. The USDA Report leaned bearish as the South American production continues to expand for the upcoming year. The USDA is slowly trimming Brazil’s bean crop but is still above CONAB’s estimates by a bout 300 million bushels. The recent flooding in southern Brazil will force their hand to lower their expectations but the CONAB estimates on losses will be closely watched. Another promising development in the report was the expectation of record imports and usage in China. While much of this is expected to be met by Brazil and issues with their production will still need to be met.

Via Barchart

Equity Markets

The equity markets have rebounded over the last couple weeks with earnings season going on. The feeling on Fed rate cuts keeps pushing them back with one not expected until the fall and at least one fed chair thinking we may not get one this year as inflation remains sticky. Rates will remain data dependent but the feeling of higher for longer continues to seem more likely.

Via Barchart

Cotton

  • Cotton has fallen well off the February and March highs as the lack of demand in the global market mixed with funds exiting their long positions has beaten down the market.

Via Barchart

Wheat

  • Wheat’s recent rallies are welcome after struggling to find much positive movement in the market to start the year. Frost damage to Russia’s wheat crop and a dry pattern in the Black Sea has been the recent mover as the USDA Report had some mixed numbers. Smaller than expected US stocks, 24/25 world stocks and total production with higher than expected world wheat stocks for 23/24.

Other News

  • Conflict continues between Israel and Palestine as a ceasefire has been negotiated on many sides, but nothing has been agreed to yet.
  • Major flooding across southern Brazil has killed thousands of livestock and will have an impact on their crop but the extent of which is not known yet

Drought Monitor

Here is the current drought monitor as we head toward planting with subsoil moisture a focus.

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 [email protected].

 

06 May 2024

LEONARD LUMBER REPORT: MIXED REVIEWS

Recap:

Mixed reviews. That is the industry’s opinion of this market. What we saw in futures last week was slightly more positive than mixed. Futures are showing signs of a turn. The market closed slightly higher for the second week as print continued down. It also works higher on low volume. That indicates a muted computer trade down here. The fundamentals are the focus. The funds are short but didn’t add much for the week. This lack of momentum puts them on the sidelines. So, with all the blah in the market, I would expect more of the same this week, but that’s not lumber. One side will try to push the market. Today, it is more likely that the longs will do the pushing, but never count the funds out. The cash market is getting better, albeit from some very low levels. That creep should support futures. There are still eight long sessions until May expires, so volatility could be an influence.

Technical:

The tech picture is still no help. We see better momentum signs and a slightly higher trend but no confirmation of direction.

There are two key focal points. The first is the upside objective of 556.60, which is the 38% retracement of the move. A close over it may cause the short funds to start exiting. That push sends it to the 200-day moving average at 566.80, setting off another round of short-covering. All of a sudden, the futures market is at $600.

The other point is the low at 511.00. Here, the opposite happens, and the computers kick into sell mode. Futures fall to $480, and the cash market shuts off.

Your risk model should lean towards higher prices and hope it happens. For two years now, the market has never signaled an end to the basis opportunity. It still hasn’t.

 

Daily Bulletin:

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

The Commitment of Traders:

https://www.cftc.gov/dea/futures/other_lf.htm

About the Leonard Report:

The Leonard Lumber Report is a 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.

 

Brian Leonard

[email protected]

312-761-2636

29 Apr 2024

LEONARD LUMBER REPORT: IT WAS A BETTER WEEK FOR TRADING

Recap:

It was a better week for trading. The market seemed to drift into a bottoming formation, followed by a couple of good spike-up days and a new low for the move. We can call it a bottoming action, supportive, new low, or dead cat bounce. I heard all of them. What it did was cause the trade to be bullish one day and bearish the next. While the trade was highly volatile, the net for the week was only a $8 gain. What was different last week was that, for the first time, we had a few green shoots appear. From wholesalers covering shorts to mills holding prices, there was a better tone. We head into next week with a much more positive attitude.

While attitudes are better, most are very cautious. Prices have fallen far more than expected. Taking the cash market back into the $3’s should not have happened with all the shutdowns etc. The trade is now searching for the reason. Is there a more significant issue lurking out there? It’s hard to pin it on the market going too high, so it needed to go lower theory. I saw fear in the faces of some traders. They couldn’t sell a stick. We can’t blame the algo for that.

The industry is exiting shorts and getting long. Seeing them in a good flow instead of a battle is nice. This last trade report had short funds almost doubling their position while the long funds continued to exit. This report cuts off on Tuesday. I bet it shows the long fund numbers reversed and going higher on the next report. The trade at the end of the week had a fund tone to it.

Technical:

It’s harder to pull any green shoots out of the tech read, except it closed higher on Friday. This indicates that the battle down here isn’t over. The problem for the shorts is that the new volatility rallied futures $15 in a few trades. Your position can be upside down in a few minutes, not sessions. To summarize, the tech read calls for an ABC correction up, not a V bottom. The jury is still out.

 

Daily Bulletin:

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

The Commitment of Traders:

https://www.cftc.gov/dea/futures/other_lf.htm

About the Leonard Report:

The Leonard Lumber Report is a 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.

 

Brian Leonard

[email protected]

312-761-2636

22 Apr 2024

AG MARKET UPDATE: APRIL 8 – 19

Corn continued its slow bleed lower over the last couple weeks with no major bullish news to turn this market around. US weather may slow planting down to end April a bit but not enough for markets to begin to worry anytime soon. Argentina’s rain will continue to slow harvest as the discrepancy between the USDA and South American reporting services remains a mystery. The bounce to end the week was due to escalation of the Israel and Hamas/Iran fighting in the middle east.  According to Reuters the US EPA is expected to announce plans to temporarily waive restrictions on higher-ethanol gasoline blends this summer. This market is at the mercy of funds and weather which currently aren’t helping prices higher.

Via Barchart

Beans continued lower as they lost another 20+ cents this week even with the big up day on Friday. Beans need any good news they can get as you can see from the chart below it has been a rough few months. Soybean oil has also had a rough go lately as bullish news is lacking in the soybean complex. The size of the bean harvest with the USDA and CONAB numbers still far apart will be the biggest factor moving forward as we need all the information we can get. We did get close to the technical support which is good to see a bounce there.

Via Barchart

Equity Markets

The equity markets continued their recent struggles as tech and AI stocks have given back some recent gains. Pullbacks are healthy for markets, especially after the run we have had to start the last few months being so concentrated, but sticky inflation and war escalation provides some problems to monitor as earnings are set to ramp up next week.

Via Barchart

Other News

  • Israel retaliated against Iran overnight continuing the escalation of tensions and war in the middle east.
  • The USD keeps moving higher as the June USD Index went over 106 earlier this week.
  • Cotton has struggled of late as a lack of demand on the global scale and no weather issues yet in the US pulled it back from recent highs.

Via Barchart

Drought Monitor

Here is the current drought monitor as we head toward planting with subsoil moisture a focus.

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 [email protected].