You are here
Corn price range projection $2.75-$3.75
For The Week: for the week of November 17, December corn futures value
decreased 11%, January soybean futures value decreased 6.3% and December
CBOT SRWW value decreased 10 percent.
For The Month: thus far for the month of November, December corn futures
value down 16%, January soybean futures value down 10% and December CBOT
SRWW value down 7%.
Most Recently: the most recent time when Dec corn futures traded as low as
they did on Friday was the week of Oct 12, 2007, Jan soybeans, the week of
Oct 17, 2008 and Dec wheat, the week of June 1, 2007.
Corn Commentary: The combination of less than inspiring weekly export
sales, active Midwest corn harvest, declining Gulf export basis, wetter
forecast for dry Argentina, strong US dollar, plummeting crude oil futures
and weak DJIA for the majority of the grain trade session on Friday, forced
Add to this combination potential beneficial rains for number two world
corn exporter Argentina, a key commercial/financial player buying large
levels of $3 March corn puts and a plethora of media reports regarding an
ailing ethanol sector and global recession only added salt to the wound.
China's plan to buy 5 million tonnes of its domestic production of 156
million tonnes to support prices is failing. China announced it plans to
now buy a total of 10 million tonnes of corn as cash prices continue to
slide (see China soybean comments below). IF China corn purchase program is
failing to perform as its soybean buying plan, containerized imports of
corn is a possibility.
Bearish to corn is poor export performance and the weakness in crude
oil and reformulated gas which is taking the wind out of the ethanol
At the close on Friday, the DJIA made a major positive recovery to
close above 8,000 (President-elect Barack Obama has picked New York Federal
Reserve President Timothy Geithner as his new Treasury Secretary), Jan
crude oil closing $1 higher and US dollar weaker.
On the day it is estimated funds sold a stout 10,000 contracts of
USDA released its weekly export sales results Thursday morning for
week ending Nov 13 of 17.1 million bushels against pre release estimates of
15.7 - 19.7 million bushels. In order to keep a positive weekly pace on
corn sales to reach a target of 1.9 billion bu for the 2008/09 marketing
year, minimum weekly sales need to be 29.20 mil bu.
As tangible hard asset gold is gaining buying interest to protect the
weaker global economy. It is interest to note, gold typically has been a
precursor to the hard asset of corn.
Corn Price Projections: based on $60/barrel crude oil, Allendale's price
range projection for corn is $3.40-$4.40. Based on $40/barrel crude oil,
Allendale's price range projection for corn is $2.75-$3.75.
Corn Technical Commentary: Dec corn futures recent double bottom of 3602
was breeched on Friday adding technically related sell pressures. Based on
weekly charts, support is 3350 and then 3080.
Vital Technical Indicator: the next projected major turn day is forecasted
for December 10.
Trade Idea(s): Stand Aside
Option Strategy(s): (11/13) Bought 1 380 call @ 34. Risk to 21. Obj 60
Soybean Commentary: in an effort to support China soybean farmers, the
gov't bought 1.5 million tonnes of soybeans last month at a price per bu of
$14.67. The plan is failing as the present price is $13.83/bu vs last weeks
price of $14.27/bu. China's gov't has announced it will likely buy another
1.5 million tonnes from 2008's total production of 16.8 million tonnes at
the same price of $14.67/bu. The bullish news for soybean export demand is
the present price for imported soybeans for the month of November for China
Big change in the for dry Argentina, the overwhelming consensus by
private weather forecasters is a much wetter forecast for Argentina,
beginning next week. Soybean plantings have recently stalled because of dry
Weekly export sales of US soybeans (34% of total demand) are viewed as
bullish (see Export Demand page). 2008/09 soybean exports are now running
12% higher year on year. Of the 29.1 million bushels of soybeans exported
for the week ending Nov 13, China accounting for 59% of the purchases.
Soybean demand is strong despite the stronger dollar but soybeans to
remain sensitive to crude oil's action. On a positive note it is estimated
funds bought 1,000 contracts of soybean oil on Friday which could lead to a
better soybean opening for Sunday evening's electronic trade.
Soybean Price Projections: based on $60/barrel crude oil, Allendale's price
range projection for soybean is $8.00-$11.00. Based on $40/barrel crude
oil, Allendale's price range projection for soybean is $6.50-$9.50.
Soybean Technical Commentary: Jan soybean futures need to close above 8972
in order to turn downward momentum to up.
Vital Technical Indicator: the next projected major turn day in store for
soybeans is November 24, soybean meal Dec 11 and Dec 1 for soybean oil.
Trade Idea(s): there are no new futures only trade recommendations.
Option Strategy(s): (11/24) Buy 1 870 call @ 24. Risk to 12. Obj 40
Wheat Commentary: sweeping changes within the EU-27 as it appears the bloc
will do away with its set aside program completely, reduced subsides for
medium size farms more than large scale farms and promote freer trade to
get in line with the WTO. European Union consumers are complaining of some
of the highest food prices in the world with the present annual European
Union budget of $125 billion feeding 40% to the agriculture sector.
Interesting to note Russia wants to hold a Global grain summit June of
2009 to tackle the world food shortage problem.
Russia has resurfaced as an export competitor. Russia sold 100 K
tonnes of wheat to Syria (immediately has relaunched a tender for 200 K
tonnes) and sold Egypt 50 K tonnes.
Argentina estimates 2008 wheat production at 10.1 million tonnes vs 16
million tonnes in 2007. USDA estimates 2008 Argentine wheat production at
11 million tonnes vs its previous month estimate of 12 million tonnes.
Sources within Australia suggest claims of wheat quality concerns are
surfacing for Australia are confirmed. Bullish for milling wheat, bearish
to corn as its potential competition as feedwheat.
Weekly export sales of wheat of 16.6 million bushels were bullish
compared to pre release estimates. Based on the most recent four weeks of
activity, Allendale's research suggest USDA is on target with its 2008/09
total export target of 1 billion bushels.
Wheat Technical Commentary: technical support is 4964 vs Dec CBOT wheat
futures and resistance of 5260.
Vital Technical Indicator: the next schedule projected major turn day in
store for wheat is December 12.
Trade Idea(s): Dec CBOT Wheat:(11/24) Sell 1 5260. Risk 5420. Obj 4840
Dec KCBT Wheat:(11/24) Sell 1 5630. Risk 5790. Obj 5120
Dec Minn Wheat:(11/24) Sell 1 6220. Risk 6380. Obj 5580.
Lean Hog Commentary: This week was a turning point for pork. Futures were
straight down for almost four months in a row. posted an impressive rally.
Cash hog prices may push lower for a few days but once a full kill
week shows up we should confirm a bottom is in.
This week's hog kill was 17% larger than last year. Keep in mind the
Thanksgiving week is off by one week compared to last year. Comparing this
week to the week before Thanksgiving last year the slaughter rate is .3%
lower. This would make it the third week in a row of below last year level
slaughters. We can thank lower Canadian imports for this. We are not yet
hitting the lower US based supplies coming up ahead.
We are shifting to a supportive outlook (especially for those early
2009 contracts. We believe the drop in pork production set to happen will
offset any drop in pork exports. That is different from USDA's guess.
Lean Hog Technical Commentary: The short term trend is now steady to
higher. We are also looking at a possible Head and Shoulders bottom now
which would suggest higher prices.
Vital Technical Indicator: Next projected major turn day for lean hogs is
Trade Idea(s): Stand aside.
Option Strategy(s): Sell 1 February 63 put at $2.35, risk to $3.20, obj 0.
Sold 1 December $72 call at $2.20. Settlement is cabinet (essentially 0).
Cold Storage: We already knew October pork production was a record. That
would imply the push of extra stocks into warehouses would be larger than
usual. Instead of the normal 15 million lb increase in pork stocks for that
month they only increased 6 million lbs. Demand in October (exports) was
likely better than expected. The pork belly number was a little higher than
expected but still implied a smaller than usual increase too. Restaurants
are featuring more bacon in an effort to prop up the bill as customer
Cattle on Feed Summary
Placements: We knew the number of placements into feedlots in October would
be sharply lower and that is exactly what USDA confirmed. USDA counted
10.5% fewer placements which is a little lower than expected. Keep in mind
last year during winter backgrounders did not have access to winter wheat
pastures so placements were abnormally large. This year there are a few
more pastures available. Also, feedlots were losing a lot of money on
outgoing cattle and had no good idea of what a fat cattle price would be in
2009. Placements have declined in seven of the past eight months. We are
set for lower slaughter levels through February at least. We would expect
lower placements for another month or two.
Marketings: Keep in mind with lower placements for many months we are now
seeing lower slaughter ready numbers. USDA counted 3.3% fewer outflows in
October than last year which was actually more than the trade expected. We
have fewer cattle available for packing plants and this confirms it. In our
opinion feedlots are not backing any numbers up. In fact they may be
drawing ahead a little.
Cattle on Feed: With sharply lower placements and only moderately lower
marketings the number of cattle in feedlots went from 5% smaller on October
1 to 6.8% smaller on November 1. There should be no question supplies are
tight and will remain tight for some time.
Live Cattle: Though the Mad Cow rumor was disproved today the trade still
has no intention of giving back this week's tremendous price losses.
Beef demand has fallen but has not dropped anywhere close to what
futures are implying.
With the sharp drop in live cattle prices this week and neutral tone
to wholesale beef packer margins went from red to black. Normally that
would mean they go after cash cattle next week. Feedlots however, are so
decimated, packers may not have to bid up next week to buy in size.
The Dow rebounded today but still closed lower for the week. The live
cattle futures trade believes the bad economy will total any thoughts of
beef demand, regardless of how tight feedlots supplies get in the coming
For hedgers we will hold those February puts for now. For speculators
we will stand aside.
Live Cattle Technical Commentary: The long term trend is down. New lows
were put in just yesterday.
Allendale is registered with the CFTC and NFA and is a member of the NIBA.
The bottom line is we are a regulated firm which can be extremely important
Questions About Allendale's Annual Outlook conference?: please access
For The Week: for the week of November 17, December corn futures value decreased 11%, January soybean futures value decreased 6.3% and December CBOT SRWW value decreased 10 percent.