Keep your marketing plan in check
Sometimes marketing feels like a game of chance, especially at this time of year when weather determines yield, and volatility is extreme. It seems there is so little you can control. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
It’s always a good rule of thumb to be light on inventory going into July 4th weekend and to have at least 50% of your new crop pricing locked in either through cash or hedges. Without a weather scare, traders will wait for combines to roll to prove crop expectations are not enough to meet demand.
In June, we saw markets plunge as outlooks of favorable weather and China COVID lockdowns set prices back to pre-Russian war price levels and below 100-day moving average supports in both corn and beans. Wheat led the sell-off triggered by harvest pressure and slow demand.
Traders started to fear world recession, China lockdowns seemed to curtail demand, and prices had hit a point that buyers cried uncle. Funds began to liquidate and reduce their length in the market. Without a national drought, concern allowed prices to fall. Now the market faces a critical timeframe as the growing season enters July. Should weather remain favorable for crop development, it may be difficult to rally prices further.
We need to step back and look at where prices are in relationship to the big picture. If you can cover input costs, you should be making sales at these levels. It may not be $8 or $18, but there is value here that should be protected.
In the June acres report that came out on the 30th, corn acres were reported in line with expectations just under 90 million acres. Soybeans were underestimates of over 90 at 88.3 million acres, and wheat was in line at 47 million acres. The report noted there were still significant acres left to plant in the northern states at the time the survey was taken in early June. USDA officials plan to re-survey those producers where plantings were delayed due to a wet spring and will note any changes in the August Monthly Supply and Demand Report due out the 12th. Stocks numbers reported June 30th also came out in line with expectations with corn at 4.346 billion bushels, beans at 971 billion bushels and wheat at 660 billion bushels.
Markets will look to trade weather which, for now, seems conducive to crop development along with continued concerns for a global recession and softening of demand.
Keep your marketing plan in check and focus on where you want your sales to be at this time of year. If you are behind on sales, add to them or at least have offers out in case the market pops due to a change in the forecast. If you stick to a plan, marketing is less of a crap shoot and more of a business decision.
About the Author: Cathy Ekstrand is a senior market advisor with Total Farm Marketing by Stewart-Peterson. During her 17-year tenure, Ekstrand has offered the type of farm marketing service and advice that are essential to a long-term advisor/client relationship. She combines that advice with a warm, personal, and firm touch to help her clients pull the trigger on decisions that matter to their success. If you have questions, you can reach Ekstrand at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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