Matt Bennett’s Mid Week Comments

Good Morning!

I hope you weren’t as unlucky as I was with this week’s rain event. Yes, I’ve been talking about how fortunate we had been of late. We had missed every big rain event for the last month…and our planting was benefiting because of it. Well…my luck ran out! We had 2+ inches on all of our farms on Tuesday night into Wednesday. While the forecast showed we might possibly miss the big rains, it stalled out on us during the overnight hours. We woke up to plenty of water, but in all honesty, it could always be worse. We were super dry when planting, so as long as we don’t get follow-up rain, we might be ok on the majority of our ground. Once the water is off, we’ll hopefully get the forecasted heat to give our corn and beans that haven’t emerged some push. The stuff we planted three weeks ago is up and looking good other than water-logged after the rain. I’m assuming we won’t be back in the field for a week or so…hopefully we don’t start to fall into the pattern of last year as I know many of you have already experienced. Fortunately, the wet weather isn’t all that wide-spread. Please keep us posted on how things are going for you.

The corn and bean markets had a good day on Wednesday. While corn has been testing that $3 long-held support on front-month May futures, it’s held so far. Beans seem to do a little better when the corn market isn’t under serious fire. With talk of continued dryness in Brazil, I’d assume some traders would be cautious about piling on shorts, but I’m not sure that’s been the case just yet. With some indication we could be turning the corner on the economy a bit…with driving reportedly up 10% week on week, outside markets could continue to support as they did on Wednesday. June crude oil settled on Wednesday up $3.01 at $15.35. This was $1.43 off the high and $2.68 off the low. The DOW rallied, settling up 521 points on the day at 24,566. The Dollar completed the support, settling down .29 at 99.64.

Corn – The corn market had a nice day after flirting with breaking the psychological and technical level of $3 for the second day in a row. May corn settled a penny and three-quarters cents lower at $3.04 ½.  This was 4 ¼ cents off both the high and low of the day. The EIA report from the Department of Energy was down once again dropping to multi-year lows. We saw a decrease in corn usage of about two and a half million bushels.  At 53 mb, it’s my belief we’ve printed the low for corn usage as I’m hearing of a few plants that came back on-line this week. On the bright side, ethanol stocks were down from last week by 5%, which is certainly a positive, given how bad things have looked over the last few weeks. This corn market looks weak still, but at the same time, we’re running out of selling power when we hit $3. The amount of buy orders is intense as some look to defend positions while others are likely bottom-picking. It’s tough to figure out just how low we could go if we break $3, but technically, a person could make a case for may corn sliding all the way to $2.65. Given how poorly Dec then March corn performed heading into delivery, a person can’t rule this out. First notice day is today on May corn, so between now and the report on May 12th, it will be interesting to see how we trade. I’m still of the opinion a person needs to keep protection under the market IF they’re going to continue to hold onto old corn.

Soybeans – Soybeans had a nice little day as well. May beans settled 5 ¾ cents higher at $8.31 ¾. The close was 3 ¼ cents off the high and 7 off the low of the day. The bean market certainly has had a tough time dealing with the spillover weakness in corn of late. With somewhat better fundamentals for beans than corn, one would think we could see some strength, but again it’s been like swimming upstream. We’ve finally seen a bit of relief on the currency front as the Brazilian Real has rallied off of all-time lows. IF we can see this recovery continue, it will certainly help US beans look more attractive on the world market. Given spring weather in the US has cooperated for the most part, I’m assuming corn acreage moving to beans won’t be as profound as earlier thought. While weather certainly has gotten a bit wetter this week, IF we see planters rolling again this week and progress continue at a solid pace, my thought is bean acres could grow by just a million to two million acres versus what many thought could be much higher. Given this, I’m going to remain patient on bean sales for now…on my operation anyway, I don’t see any reason to get too aggressive at these price levels.

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Matt Bennett

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