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Soybeans rally $4 since last December

Agriculture.com Staff 06/04/2009 @ 9:00am

Corn, soybeans and wheat all closed higher Friday. The collapsing dollar is helping to lift commodity prices. New money has been pouring into our markets in anticipation of a weaker dollar and rising inflation down the road. This was the main driver of our markets this week. How long this trend continues is anyone’s guess, so I will not pretend to know how much money will enter our markets or for how long.

CORN

Corn closed 7-cents higher on the day, 7-cents higher on the week and 36-cents higher on the month. This is the highest weekly close since last October. Corn has been in a large, sideways range since last October and is now at the top of that range. Corn has been torn in two directions. Weak demand and large farmer ownership has been weighing on corn rallies and a wet spring, weak dollar and strong outside markets have all supported corn on breaks. With most of the corn now planted, there should continue to be corn for sale above the market. If the new buying slows down, we could see a nice setback in corn as we head into June. Soon, the corn will be knee-high and people will be talking about “how good the crop looks”…just like every other year. By mid to late June however, the market will start looking towards the June 30th report to see how/if acres have changed since the Planting Intentions report. The possibility of losing corn acres should keep corn supported on any large breaks until then. Although demand is currently taking a back seat, eventually it will matter. Hog prices made new lows today and cattle are hovering right above their lows. This is causing further herd liquidation in the hog market. The cattle industry has not seen the liquidation yet, but that could happen soon. Margins continue to fall deeper and deeper into the red. The chicken producer has been liquidating for a year and the dairy industry is in ruins. So, if the corn market runs up to $5 or higher on production fears and/or new buying, a producer should take advantage. A sharp run-up from here would likely cause the cattle industry to start liquidating the herd size. So even though I understand why we could see corn prices rally over $5 this summer, I do not see how we can keep prices there unless something changes. Once we liquidate animal numbers, it takes time to build them back up.

SOYBEANS

Soybeans closed 5-cents higher on the day, 18-cents higher on the week and $1.29 higher on the month! Soybeans have now rallied $4/bushel since last December! Relentless Chinese buying, a bad Argentine crop, strong commodities markets and a sharp reduction in U.S. acres all led to the rally. June will be a very important month for the soybean market. China has been supporting their domestic prices by stockpiling nearly 7 million tons. This has caused the Chinese crusher to import cheaper soybeans. Because Argentina harvested a crop that was 35% less than originally thought and the farmer refused to sell soybeans due to high export taxes, Brazil and the U.S. had to make up the difference. Week after week of strong sales to China, left the soybean market no other choice but to ration demand. The soybean market inverted sharply and remains inverted in all contracts through November of 2010. With the Planting Intentions report showing a sharp drop in total acres, a tightening ’08-09 carryover caused many to raise demand forecasts and lower the carryout for the ’09-10 crop year. So now what? The Chinese have said that they will buy up to 7 million tons of domestic soybeans through June 1. June 1st is on Monday. Now that the Chinese crop is planted, does the government release some reserves to help the domestic hog and chicken producer and/or roll some of their purchases to new crop to take advantage of the $1.25 discount? Most of the large Chinese purchases have been for new crop lately, so we will have to see what happens this month.  

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