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
From the looks of the mkt action this week, we can’t stand much more good news! Last week, glowing rhetoric from the trade talks bandied about numbers like 10 MMT more bean sales & 30 billion dollars of ag goods purchases by China! And Thursday, excellent export sales – yet it was all but ignored by the mkt action – we need a real, done DEAL!!
FACTORS IMPACTING THE MKT
- EXPORTS – Mon Inspections were 1,307 (900 – 1,200) and Thur sales Were a whopping 2,196 (500-1,000) – some impressive numbers indeed but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the mkt!!
- A TRADE DEAL – might be in the works sometime this month -but probably later rather than sooner – and the mkt is quite obviously growing weary of the glacial pace of negotiations – and is quite anxious for a “done deal” with concrete details – but we never expected a “quick fix”! However, we feel emphatically a deal will get done- both countries need it economically
- Trump needs to help his “good political friend” THE US FARMER- especially with the 2020 elections right around the corner!
- SOUTH AMERICAN WEATHER- has moved to the “back burner” with Brazil’s bean crop estimated to be as much as 10% under early estimates – but this news has been discounted
- US/NORTH KOREA TALKS – went south and this was initially regarded as a negative- given North Korea’s ties with China – but we don’t think that will be a long-term issue
- PLANTING NEXT – yes, it’s March 1 and the planters will be rolling in 4-6 weeks yet it’s hard to get too excited with subzero temps coming this W/E
- BURDENSOME US & GLOBAL STOCKS – seems to be the albatross hovering over the bean complex – every time it rallies a little!
- UPCOMING USDA REPORTS – a monthly supply/demand report on March 8 and the BIGGIE on Friday Mar 28 – PROSPECTIVE PLANTINGS & QTLT STOCKS!
Well I didn’t see that coming!! Positive trade rhetoric & solid exports resulting in the mkt testing the LOWER END of its trading range (895-945)! But we’re in “uncharted waters” dealing with the vortex that has been a trade war coupled with a gov’t shutdown! So it’s hard to decipher how much the mkt has discounted “potential good news” – however, there’s no denying we’re historically cheap! And therefore, there is “no margin for error” in 2019!
Evidently somebody “has it in” for the Corn Mkt! Most probably the Mkt Gods! I mean exports have been flourishing & there’s talk China will buy 5-8 MMT of corn from US when the “deal is finally inked”! Carry-out stocks are on the tight side & US Corn is clearly the cheapest in the world! Yet, you can easily see the mkt this week challenged 6-month lows – closing 11 ½ cents down for the week! So what gives? We feel pent-up bullishness got impatient with the mkt – lacking any concrete trade details – and decided to exit!
FACTORS IMPACTING THE MKT
- EXPORTS – Mon Inspections were 751,000 (800-1,000) & Thur sales were 1,360 (700-1200) Mon – 279,400 – Mexico, Thur – 133,000 S. Korea, 168,000 Mexico
- 2019 ACREAGE – Corn acres are up 92MA (ly -89) & bean acres are down 85MA (ly-85)
- THE MACRO MKTS – have been a mixed bag – the crude oil has holding a $15 rally off its lows – good for ethanol demand & the DJI is holding just its highs – while the US dollar rallied today to close higher on the week
- FUNDAMENTALS DON’T MATCH THE TECHNICALS – this week for sure as funds exited in a big way – weary of “a lot of talk but no action”! But eventually -we’ve found the mkt ultimately goes to the fundamentals
Needless to say, the mkt action this week was very disappointing but in the final analysis, a “done trade deal” & “robust exports” are very healthy for the mkt! So let’s see what plays out this month!!
The wht mkt has been “a train wreck” sabotaged by falling cash prices in Russia & the Ukraine – coupled with an unrelenting export pace from Russia! Since Mid-December, May Wht has fallen almost $1.00 (545 – 450)! Expected help from its “sister mkts” in the form of a trade resolution has been slow developing! Russia has hinted at slowing its export pace but it hasn’t happened! This week the trade received its first look at crop conditions and they came in at 51% good-to-excellent – an improvement over December. This week-end, an unseasonable March cold snap is descending upon the WW belt threatening winter-kill!!
The bullish juggernaut that is April Cat continues its upside surge – almost unabated! Since mid-Nov, the contract has advanced $12 (118.50-130.50) – initially driven by robust demand but since the onset of our rather brutal winter, also augmented by very frequent winter storms – causing death loss & lower weight gains! Its only obstacle is itself as occasionally it races up to an over-bought condition with an excessive premium to cash! Even more impressive than its “sheer power” is its relentless up in the face of a very weak Hog mkt – which continually scores new lows while cat punches out new highs!!
Mercifully, the “brutal bear mkt” that was April Hogs seems to have finally ended after a $20 plummet (73-53)! The price volatility that has characterized the mkt action in the past two weeks and is often a predictor of a “mkt turn” – looks to be indeed accurate again this time! No new lows in the past 7 trading days- which just happens to coincide with a 7.7% lower slaughter rate, a big short open interest & a promise of more pork exports off a trade resolution – portends a low – possibly corroborated by a higher weekly close! We say IT’S HIGH TIME!!
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