Dan Flynn is the writer of The Corn & Ethanol Report, a daily market letter covering grains, energies, and various global issues that are the driving force and backbone of the commodity markets. Contact Mr. Flynn at (312) 264-4374
We start the first trading session of 2021 with Market Manufacturing PMI Final (DEC) at 8:45 A.M., Construction Spending MoM (NOV) and ISM Manufacturing Index at 9:00 A.M., Export Inspections at 10:00 A.M., 3-Month & 6-Month Bill Auction at 10:30 A.M., Cotton System, Fats & Oils, and Grain Crushing’s at 2:00 P.M. and Total Vehicle Sales at 6:00 P.M.
On the corn Front the U.S. market is riding the wave on exports on the close of business on Thursday of last year. Talk after the close were pointed at tight supplies and Argentina suspending corn exports for the rest of their market year, which is wildly bullish news. La Nina weather is keeping Argentina and south Brazil drier than normal adding more support to this rally. Demand is not on any slowdown pace and expectations are for the Grain Complex to continue to rise this new year and corn prices are expected to remain firm on global demand and shrinking supplies. Let’s not forget about U.S. corn acreage to face competition from U.S. soybean acreage with the successful vaccines will also bolster U.S. ethanol demand. According to the USDA China imports of U.S. corn was estimated in 2019/20 at 7.6 million metric tons and expectations in 2020/21 are estimated at 16.5 million (mt). Though the Chinese purchase of U.S. corn slowed in 2020 amid their domestic harvest, there is a signal demand will resume in 2021. With factors weighing in, China’s hog herd that was hit hard by the Asian Swine Fever which is another fundamental bullish reason that bullish exports for feed will grow rapidly to re-stock the herd and get it growing to domestic demand. We will see corn and soybean products grow on all the demand factors that point to the upside. In the overnight electronic session, the Grain Complex started higher and continue to rally. The march corn is currently trading at 496 ¼ which is 12 ¼ cents higher. The trading range has been 497 ¾ to 486 ½. The 2014 highs of the 519 area are very close and not out of mind or sight. Prices of corn on the Dalian Commodity Exchange in China continues to seek new highs, which starts the year with bullish predictions in the future.
On the ethanol Front what brought this industry to their knees is now resounding of the turnaround benefits the market can and will supply in 2021. With co2 and dry ice in demand and an expected pickup in demand with the vaccinations and distribution this market may possibly achieve a 180-degree turnaround, and as we near summertime driving season, we hope to expect more demand for ethanol blended gasoline. There were no trades posted in the overnight electronic session. The April contract settled at 1.523 and is currently showing 2 bids @ 1.510 and 1 offer @ 1.566 with Open Interest at 44 contracts.
On the Crude Oil Front the market traded higher and the February contract made a high of 4983 before it backed off to below $49 a barrel but still higher on the current session. Help with a weaker U.S dollar is supporting prices and there is talk OPEC is considering keeping production as close as is. There are still members and non-member countries that want to boost production. There will be a meeting of the minds with OPEC+ this week to gather everyone’s agenda to all the participants to keep stabilizing prices while some participates are missing demand revenue in the process. In the overnight electronic session, the February crude oil is currently trading at 4902 which is 50 points higher. The trading range has been 4983 to 4811.
On the Natural Gas Front residents from Snoqualmie, Washington was allowed back in their homes after Pugent Sound Energy capped a gas leak last evening. The first leak was reported at Newton Street near Railroad at 4:30 P.M. when families were told to evacuate. Crews reported it was a small leak and are quickly working to identify where the leak came from. No injuries were reported. Hopefully, it was nothing nefarious as we saw last week when cowardly extremist purposely attacked a business that could eventually have killed a lot of innocent people. This does paint a picture that more pipelines and less railroads are safer to the public and we can avoid catastrophes in populated areas, which proper maintenance and diligent oversight can make an easier solution without the cost of human life and the environment. The market is also looking at the weather modules and reality if they are correct. Any producers want to see a more demand than less. The important thing is how do we get there. In the overnight electronic session, the February natural gas is currently trading at 2.617 which is .078 higher. The trading range has been 2.646 to 2.607.
Have A Great Start to the Trading Day & New Year!