Monday, November 7, 2011

Marketing Thoughts ahead of USDA report - Closing Comments

Markets closed about how they opened; mixed and choppy with a lack of direction as consolidation continues.

When all was said and done corn closed down 1-3 cents, Beans where down 18-20 cents, KC wheat was up 4-7 cents, MPLS wheat was off 8 cents, CBOT wheat was up 2, equities closed firmer with the DOW up 85 points, the US dollar near unchanged and crude up a little over a dollar a barrel.

Price action today was rather choppy with a lack of solid direction; about the same as the past month.  Did you know that corn since Oct 12th corn has only traded a 43 cent range and since the 1st of the month only about a 29 cent range with every day trading inside the previous days range.  Now that is consolidation at its finest especially when you consider that corn traded 45 cent range on Oct 11th the day before the last USDA report.  Now whether or not that information means much if anything is yet to be decided.  Could we move limit tomorrow much like we did before the last USDA report?  Sure.  Could it be down?  Sure it could.  Could it be up?  Sure it could.  Could we continue the sideway’s pattern and have another inside day until the report comes out?  Without a doubt that is possible as are many of the above and many other scenario’s.  The market really isn’t tell us.

To me the consolidation is telling us that we will eventually move out of the choppy sideway’s trading range; but it doesn’t exactly have to happen today nor as soon I or anyone else thinks.  Heading into the report there are many camps out there; some feel that the producer is too long and hasn’t sold enough plus they think yield is a little higher then what the last USDA report was at.  Others think demand is strong which I would have to agree the margins for many of the users of corn are having a good run, plus they think that yields are light; too much dry down on the row crops. 

So there you have it; I don’t know what is going to happen on the next USDA report; but I think I do know that proper risk management should always be used.  Does that mean one should sell some ahead of the report?  Maybe; that depends on where you are at in terms of marketing, cash flows, and future known “have to” move or sell for X reason, along with 100’s of other factors to consider.  So to me what proper risk management means ahead of a USDA report is am I comfortable if we move limit up, trade sideways, or limit down; and for more then 1 session in a row.  Now one probably should ever be 100 % comfortable with a limit move one direction or another but after you take away your personal bias do you still have “balance” in what you have left to market or “balance” in what you have already sold?

If you don’t have balance or comfort heading into the report there are plenty of options and moves that should help one out.  Maybe as simple as buying short term puts for protection or calls to help defend sales so to speak.  If you need help with a marketing plan or using futures and options in a risk management portfolio please give us a call.  Don’t forget we are a Country Hedging Branch plus we offer a variety of contracts such as Min Price, and MIN-MAX contracts the help you in your marketing plans.

Also I want to remind everyone that we are offering Free Delayed Price on both winter wheat and spring wheat.  Free of charge until July 15th.  What a deal……right?  Well yes and know; keep in mind one of the main reasons for end users to offer delayed price is they feel prices will be cheaper in the future.  Now in the case of elevators it would typically mean basis risk.  This is one of the reasons we have been heavy on promoting basis contracts lately as we feel basis is at levels where it makes sense to consider locking it in via some sort of contract for at least a small percentage of your bushels left to market.

Also don’t forget our weekly MWC Marketing Hour Round Table.  This Wed in Onida at 3:30.

Please give us a call if there is anything we can do for you.

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