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$8 corn? Not quite yet

Agriculture.com Staff 06/16/2008 @ 12:08pm

In the electronic trading session on the night of Father's Day, the $8 threshold was surpassed. Then, the following morning, the March '09 futures contract opened around $8.00. Are these signs that the daily trading range for the nearby contracts will soon see an 8 in front of them?

While it's certainly within the realm of possibility, this week's weather forecast is the big reason why $8 corn may not be an inevitability just yet.

"Right now, the forecast for this week is mostly dry. We have had a lot of flooding, but most of that has been factored into the market already," says Grainanalyst.com floor trader and market analyst Vic Lespinasse. "To make it go higher from here [in the short term], we need some additional new weather problems. Right now, we've rallied enough, but that's not to say we won't rally further if the weather turns bad again."

Moving further into this summer, Lespinasse adds that, with the critical points in the growing season for both corn and soybeans still ahead, the crops could rebound from the disastrous weather, from tornadoes to flooding, that's hit many farmers in the Midwest this spring.

"If the weather's favorable from here on out, the critical times for corn are still ahead of us -- July for corn and August for beans," he says. "The jury is still out. It may not be a bumper crop, but still could be a good one.

"I think we've gone high enough for the time-being," Lespinasse adds.

Is there a point when you tell yourself "I HAVE TO sell right now" in the corn trade? The $8 price threshold is one of those "must sell" levels to some, but to other farmers, traditional sell triggers like these don't apply in today's upward-trending markets.

"The answer is sell only what you 'need' to sell, not what you 'want' to sell," writes Agriculture Online Marketing Talk member Faust100F. "Sell what you need to meet expenses, or knock down high interest debt. But why sell because that is what you have always done?"

Other farmers say experience has taught them that it's too easy to fall into the trap of waiting on the top come in and ending up selling for a lower price during the market's downward slide. Covering operating costs and making sure things stay in the black on the balance sheet should trump the pursuit of a particular price point, says Marketing Talk member rrustydawg.

"The reality is that anyone who sold their corn or soybeans from any of the last umpteen years did so at a price lower than today's prices. Were they wrong? Of course not! They were doing exactly what they were supposed to do: Grow a crop and sell a crop," the northeastern Oklahoma farmer writes. "So is $8 corn enough? It will definitely be enough for me to sell at least half of my corn straight out of the truck at harvest if the market prices are still there.

"Will I lose out on higher prices for those loads? Probably. Will I sell those loads for my highest profit per acre in my farming career? 100% yes! For me, that's good enough."

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