Crops in the Midwest this year faced significant hurdles, and perhaps the biggest one that could have impact may yet to be in front of the market. This could be devastating not only to buyers of commodities, but those who have forward sold and whose crops could be behind schedule due to late planting.
The stock market has taken a historic plunge after reaching a high of 12,749 on September futures July 22. The market plunged to below 11,300 by August 5. Initially, nervousness came over concerns of the government's inability to solve a debt ceiling crises. A bill was passed on August 1, which the president signed. Yet, the market continued its downward plunge. The stock market could be viewed as a collective vote of economic confidence. It may also be suggesting it does not like the climate in Washington.
In both the corn and bean markets, there have been debates whether less-than-ideal conditions so far this growing season will keep supporting prices. That could be the case. In fact, prices could even rally from here. However, from a historical perspective, what goes up, comes down. History would suggest there is plenty of downside risk, but realistically it is limited this year.
The corn crop has been very resilient, especially the last 20 years of fighting bouts of drought, late planting and flooding. Yet, corn has been a relatively reliable crop.
Improved genetics, tillage practices and good farmers have helped to produce near or record crops on a continual basis. However, in 2011, we're beginning to wonder if this is a year that, no matter how good conditions may be from this point forward, the odds of high yield across the nation just are not high.
For those who buy feed, be on the alert. It's mid July and there is a warm and dry forecast for most of the Midwest. The South continues to broil in hot temperatures as a major drought continues with little or no relief in sight. The vast majority of the corn crop is in good or excellent shape, though there is still one-third that is on the fringe. The weather the next two to four weeks could make the difference between a 163 or 143-bushel yield, or less. If dry weather from the South permeates north, prices could skyrocket.
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is proposing that the daily corn limits move from 30 to 40 cents. After discussion with customers and representatives of trade groups it was decided that a 40 cent per bushel change may best suit the industry. We're not sure we agree with the premise that 40 cents is best suited for farmers.
After peaking at new contract highs last week, the market has been under pressure this week on a potential shift in momentum.
December corn breached the $7.00 mark, peaking on June 9 at $7.22-3/4. As of this writing, corn is trading near $6.50, under the key support areas. What has changed?
There is a potential shift in momentum as the market digests new news and looks ahead at what could be relatively benign weather for the majority of the corn growing belt.