Thursday AM Comments 020620

Good Morning!

I hope you’re having better weather around your place that what we’re seeing here in central Illinois.  It’s either snowing or raining on Wednesday into Thursday…and we certainly don’t need the moisture.  With every tile in the area running pretty solid, they’re going to have to keep it up 24/7 over the next few weeks if the forecasts prove correct I’ve seen.  My team at AgMarket had a meeting this week where Drew Lerner from World Weather came and talked to us.  He feels pretty certain we’ll see another wet spring, although he’s hopeful it won’t be as bad as 2019.  The problem in his opinion is his forecast leans towards a drier pattern for the summer timeframe.  Granted it’s tough to forecast tomorrow’s weather at times, but he feels like longer-term forecasts are getting better all the time. Here’s to hoping this spring is way better than the spring of 2019.

The corn and bean markets were on both sides of unchanged on Tuesday night into Wednesday as traders didn’t seem terribly excited about taking a strong stance on either side of the market.  With Coronavirus spreading but mortality rates dipping, many are expecting CV to plateau. The stock market obviously feels this is the case as we closed back over 29k on Wednesday.  Other outside markets were mixed, as the Dollar index was strong on the day while crude oil also closed higher.  March crude oil was up $1.56 at $51.17.  The close was 71 cents off the high and $1.70 off the low.

Corn – The corn market couldn’t gain any traction, even as the market tried to move higher on the overnight session.  The day session quickly turned south and stayed in the red the rest of the day as March corn settled a penny and a half at $3.80 ¾.  This was 2 ½ cents off the high and a penny and a quarter off the low.  The EIA report from the Department of Energy showed corn usage for ethanol sharply higher from a week ago at just over 108 million bushels. This was an increase of close to 5 million bushels on the week.  While there remains fear China will try to backpedal on the Phase I agreement based on CV, it appears there’s some bargain hunting after the recent drop in corn prices.  It’s hard to tell what funds may do moving forward as I don’t see a super bullish story developing just yet.  IF and when the USDA shows disappearance on corn where I’d think it should be, we could get a rally…otherwise it could be tough to see any large-scale rally.  With that, I’m not bearish by any means, especially with regards to cash prices.  However, it’s tough to get too bullish new corn, although I’d think some level of a rally could and should unfold during the price-insurance setting month of February.

Soybeans – Soybeans were trading in the black for much of the overnight and day session but couldn’t hold onto much of the gains when it was all said and done.  On the close, March beans settled a half-penny higher at $8.80.  The close was 8 cents off the high and 2 off the low.  The bean market seems like it’s trying to claw back out of the cellar.  With a beating delivered to beans of late, bargain hunters seem to be out and about this week.  While I can’t get super bullish, a rebound seems likely as we move through February.  While South American beans are set to come online before long, the shortage of beans available to sell isn’t near as robust as one might think.  Have your plan in place to get your old beans moved as well as some risk managed with regards to new beans…IF you have profit you can potentially lock in.

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Matt Bennett

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