William Moore's market views are centered around his many relationships with Agricultural producers. His weekly newsletter, AGMASTER, provides a blend of fundamental & technical information used to make prudent hedging decisions. Contact Mr. Moore at (312) 264-4337
We witnessed the KNEE-JERK reaction to a “trade war” last Wed & it wasn’t pretty – as May Beans, at their nadir, were down 60 cents! However, just 3 days later, the Mkt is 10 cent higher than the PRE-TRADE-WAR close! It benefited from a friendly Trump Tweet & tells us, that an “actual trade war” is unlikely!
FACTORS IMPACTING THE MKT
- EXPORTS – Mon Inspections were 373,000 MT (500-760) – Thur sales were 1,491 MMT (600-900)
09 April – 232,000 Unk
06 327,000 Unk
04 129,000 China
- TRADE WAR ? – to be sure there has been plenty of “saber rattling” over the likelihood of a trade war between US & China – first the US mentions a tariff – then China responds with a retaliatory tariff-But nothing has been implemented yet – and we truly believe nothing will be – as negotiation will prevail. We need China & they need us – and Trump needs THE FARM BELT that helped him get elected
- APRIL 10 USDA REPORT – the gov’t will update US & World carry-out and South American production
EST US STOCKS – 570 MAR – 555 LY – 302
WORLD 92.9 94.9 96.9
BRAZIL BEANS 115.6 113 114
ARG BEANS 42.3 47 57
- WINTER IN APRIL – temps have been running 15-20 degrees below normal soil temp needs to be 50-plus – it’s not even close –this may portend planting delays
- LESS ACRES THAN 2017 – by roughly 1 million acres – this was the bullish surprise the USDA delivered in their 3-29 pltg intentions report the “good news” is starting to add up – a drought-ravaged Argentine Bean crop & 1 million less US Bean acres are going in the ground! And the “bad news” in the form of a “potential trade war” has not been able to hurt the mkt. These factors coupled with a potential “LA NINA” induced dryness for our planting & growing season – have us leaning up!
One day last week speaks to corn’s resilience! The first “tariff talk” hit the Mkt Wed – sending it 16 lower! But by yesterday, the mkt had completely recovered!! Corn’s strong supply/demand fundamentals – stellar exports & 2 million less US acres – led the rally but it was also led by the perception that a trade war won’t happen!
FACTORS IMPACTING THE MKT
- EXPORTS – Mon Inspections were excellent at 1,937,000 MMT (1,150-1,350)
A 12 year high – Thur sales were 909,000 MT (1,000-1,300)
06 April 100,000 Egypt
21 Mar 138,000 S Korea
20 110,000 Peru
19 115,000 Unk
19 206,000 Japan
- APRIL USDA SUPPLY & DEMAND – will update carry-out & S/A
Est – US Stocks 2192 Mar 2127 Ly 2293
World 197.0 1992 231.9
Brazil Corn 99.2 94.5 98.5
Arg Corn 33.5 36.0 41.0
- SPRING PLANTING – will not happen anytime soon with soil temps still in the 30’s! What Spring? Here in Chicago, temps are running 20 degrees below normal. Still, it’s probably too early to call for Pltg delays – considering the “producer work ethic” & modern technology it’s hard to argue with corn’s bullish supply/demand fundamentals – Robust exports, 2 million less US acres, drought-reduced S/A production & still a 10 year low price! We haven’t even factored in the possibility of dry weather during the critical maturation period.
As you’d expect in the grain complex, changing weather patterns have buffeted the May Wht contract – first as rain in the WW belt forced an 80 cent break (520-440) in March –then frigid temps of late ignited a 50 cent rally!
- Also significant was wht’s inability to break down amidst all the “tariff talks” last week as well, last Wed, May Bean were down 60 & May Corn 18, but May Wht held steady
May wht acts “sold out” based on its recent display of bullish divergence. Good-to-excellent crop ratings are abysmal at 30% – we’ll see how the mkt reacts to the report
Production-heavy fundamentals have driven June Cat down over $20 (119-97) since Mid-Feb but now it looks like ENOUGH IS ENOUGH – as “trade war jitters” may have forced a bearish climax in June Cat!
- The slaughter the past 3 weeks has been at or below last years pace
- June Cat was at a big discount to cash & very oversold prior to the tariff news
- Unseasonably cold weather has stifled demand of late
With the 20% drop in June Cat Futures, seasonal demand kicking in & trade tension easing, June Cat’s spike down last Wed was most probably a seasonal low!
Very similar to the cattle mkt, a threatened 25% tariff on imported pork – forced a sweeping upside key reversal in June Hogs – as they put in a “spike low” of Wed 4/4 & then closed higher. And a few days later, the contract “followed thru” with an additional $4.00 rally (73-77)! This confirmed a seasonal low at 70.25 on 4/4. Apparently, the $15 break (86-71) from early January was more than enough to attract some seasonal demand & the tariff news was just bearish enough to reverse the oversold mkt!
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