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Soybeans top recent price range

Ray Grabanski 12/06/2012 @ 8:43am President, Progressive Ag www.progressiveag.com

Soybeans have rallied to the top of the recent price range at $14.90 in overnight trade, reaching the Pro Ag objective for this recent recovery and a place to get more aggressive in making soybean sales for speculators and hedgers. Soybeans have also gained on corn, making them a more attractive sale since we've now rallied back above the 1.90 soybean/corn price ratio. So soybeans once again are a more attractive sale choice.

South American (SAM) weather has continued a bit adverse, with wet weather continuing in the central Argentine area and a bit dry in northeastern and north-central Brazil. These areas and a typical rally into the weather-critical time frame of the end of the year is pushing soybeans to the upper end of the recent price range, also a decent selling point for soybean producers. This is resistance area on charts, and it might take more than just a meager weather scare in SAM to push through this level.  

As long as the next 14-day forecast is correct, soybeans may struggle to break through this resistance area, as the next seven days bring more rain to dry areas in Brazil, and drier weather into Argentina (especially central Argentina, which has suffered planting delays and too-soggy conditions for about two weeks). The 14-day forecast is even more favorable, pushing the wet weather out of areas that don't need it and into areas that do. That should help to temper the recent rally, with soybeans having pushed over $1 higher from recent lows.  

Pro Ag recommended lifting all soybean hedges when we dropped down to near the $14 area, but now producers can get more aggressive selling soybeans again - especially now that they've gained on corn. Reselling 2012 soybeans at $14.90 and pushing short sales for specs a little more to the short side at this resistance area is probably a prudent response to this rally.  

On a positive note, the winter is beginning for winter wheat producers, with winter wheat moving into dormancy in many areas in relatively bad shape. This has supported wheat prices this fall, and kept the market on the upside recently. However, lethargic wheat export sales have hounded this market, and left wheat prices in a range where we have not been able to break either above or below the recent range. We are in dire need of more precip in this vulnerable Western U.S.; the next week will bring the first week of above-normal precip for many Northern and Central winter 
wheat producers including Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota producers. However, above-normal rainfall is only about .1 inch to .25" of rain. But at least the pattern seems to be changing, allowing a little precip into the area. Where it comes in the form of snow cover, that will help keep conditions from deteriorating further.  

Look for a bit of pressure on prices the coming two weeks if the weather in SAM continues to improve. This will keep pressure on the grains, especially soybeans: They've recovered a good share of recent losses (over $1 in the past few weeks), and that is likely to present some resistance at the $14.90-$15 price level. These are good areas to make catch-up sales, and even to add some outright speculative short positions in the market.

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