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
The well-chronicled & historic Mid-West flooding took center stage this week – possibly shifting acreage from corn to beans – thus accounting for the lower weekly bean close & higher weekly corn close! However, the “cat-and-mouse” US/China trade talks resume again In Beijing next week & ASF has decimated the China hog herd – sending April Hogs vertical!
FACTORS IMPACTING THE MKT
- EXPORTS – Mon Inspections were 841,00 (800-1000) & Thur sales were a whopping 1,911,901 (600-1,600)
- US/CHINA TRADE TALKS – the “ positive rhetoric tease” continues where US Trade Officials promise gargantuan amounts of grain purchases by China – but the mkt says “show me the money”! This week it was Sec of Ag Sonny Perdue claiming China’s ag purchases from the US would triple under the new agreement – but the mkt ho-humming the statement until a firm deal is in place!
- US/BRAZIL TALKS -took place this week in DC – in an effort to loosen trade restrictions between the two major grain producers
- MASSIVE MIDWEST FLOODING – approaching historic proportions – suggests – at the very least – a switch from beans to corn – and quite possibly- beyond that -delayed plantings & lower yield & production
- A USDA BIGGIE -happens this Friday 3/29 at 11am with the issuance of the Annual Prospective Planting & Quarterly Stocks Report!
- FC STONE – has pegged bean acreage at 87.7 MA (2018 -89.2)
- A BIG FUND SHORT – continues to ‘lay in wait” as a potential mkt upside catalyst – on any good news to come down the pike
- ASIAN SWINE FEVER – has belatedly contributed to the upside explosion that has been April hogs! For the longest time, ASF was talked about as markedly improving Chinese imports of our pork – but it never happened – As the hog mkt continued to ratchet lower! But then suddenly it’s being mentioned quite frequently – as reports surface that China has lost 30% of its hog herd! Another implication for the grains is the increased feed demand generated by China’s massive imports of US Pork!
So despite all the burdensome stocks around, it’s hard to get too negative on the bean complex – given the imminent trade deal, the flooding & the price level!!
For the first time in 5 years, China bought US Corn – 300,000MT announced this morning! THIS SPEAKS VOLUMES! There has been much rhetoric about China’s intent to buy upwards of 5-8 MMT of corn & 3MMT of ethanol! And now it’s starting to happen – even in advance of a signed trade agreement! We take this “good faith purchase” as a very strong indication that a trade deal will get done! And this coupled with troublesome flooding in the corn belt are two bullish factors – either one of which- could catapult corn prices way off their current 10 year lows!
FACTORS IMPACTING THE MKT
- EXPORTS – Mon Inspections were 795,000 (750-950) & Thur sales were a disappointing 371,981 (600-1,00), Fri – 300,000 MT to China for 18-19
- A MINOR TECHNICAL BREAK-OUT – for May corn today as the contract closed on a 3-week high!
- FLOODING – has to benefit corn prices the most – implying less acreage, less yield & less production
- A FIRST LOOK AT THE USDA’S ACREAGE GUESSTIMATE – next Friday at 11am!
- APRIL HOGS EXPLOSION – may be a harbinger for the grains – the ASF epidemic was sitting “on the back burner” as its much-touted bullishness never seemed to come to fruition – UNTIL IT DID – in a belated but major way! Could the grain complex experience the same thing off the on-again/off-again trade talks?
- MORE CHINESE DEMAND -all those hogs China has been importing have to eat- right??
It’s easy to get carried away with too much “bullishness” but to us, 10 year low prices, an imminent trade deal & massive flooding are a promising recipe for higher prices!!
On Tuesday, US & Brazil agreed on 750,000 duty free imports! Plus, Morocco is on pace to significantly increase grain imports after facing its smallest harvest since 2016! And then you throw in possibly fewer Spring Wht Acres due to the flooding – plus a US/China Deal right around the corner – and it all adds up to the second consecutive higher weekly close In the May Wht Contract! And all eyes will be on the Winter wheat crop as it emerges from dormancy after a very harsh winter! Finally “a rising tide floats all boats” so any trade agreement benefiting corn & beans will spillover to the wht!!
Apl Cat’s $10 upswing (120.50-130.50) seems to be running out of steam & losing momentum but extenuating circumstances are propping it up! Those being the frequent winter storms, the massive flooding muddying up the feedlots, the amazing surge in pork prices & near term tightness! But sooner or later, an expected surge in beef production in the 2nd Qtr will “come home to roost”! But for now, Apl Cat is maintaining its impressive gains over the past 3 months!!
The best comment I heard this week was that the hog mkt was overbought but not over-valued due to the immense bullish potential that the Asian Swine Fever has generated! It’s not just China where a reported 30% of the herd has been decimated – but in many other countries where incidences of ASF have been reported! How often do you see a mkt go up 3 times as fast as it went down? Normally, it’s just the reverse! But indeed, in just a month’s time, Apl Hogs have rallied $28 (52-80)! Exacerbating this scenario are frequent winter storms still wreaking havoc with livestock – coupled with the heavy flooding!
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