Bob Utterback has more than 26 years of experience and offers producers a disciplined approach to marketing.
Early February Market Outlook
Feb 04, 2014
The market is entering a period when winter lows should develop but too early for any price fireworks. Time is quickly approaching when China will be decisively switching from U.S. soybeans to South American soybeans. While much of this weakness is anticipated in the recent flat price decline in lead-month, there is the potential to see a little more weakness into February. You should not be surprised to see a lot of professional bull spreading of the old crop vs new crop. The November 2014 soybean contract has a lot riding on spring weather. If it’s great for corn planting, that will help to firm beans. However, it it’s cold and wet and corn plantings are delayed, it only adds to the potential misery and what an 81 million acre bean crop could potentially create this fall.
Producers who have sold corn futures as a hedge and are seeing large hedge profits, it’s time to start protection. My suggestion would be to roll the short hedges into a limited risk vertical put strategy. If a considerable amount of cash inventory has been sold now is the time to start implementing a low cost weather defense strategy. Remember, I’m not saying it’s time to get bullish, just time to start insulating profits and providing flexibility to react to the potential of a cold wet spring and hot dry summer.
For soybeans, the risk is real for the 2014 production and as producer you are going to be forced to make some difficult decisions. I would rather have a floor on 100% of beans at current prices and know I will at least break even, then position for a weather event ‘IF" it occurs.
The wheat market bounced today on deteriorating crop conditions but the problem is global fundamentals are not very supportive of any major bounce in wheat exports. In fact if the dollar were to break out to the upside, it would have very negative consequences for the wheat complex. Overall, I’m not really bearish to wheat; I just see limited reason for a rally. If something does not happen by early March I fear the bearish seasonal could potentially push July 2014 wheat below $5.
We will continue Part Two of our marketing plan on Wednesday.
If anyone feels they need to put structure into their risk management decision-making and would like to discuss marketing strategies, call Bob or Laura (1-800-832-1488). We will also try to answer questions in upcoming blogs and we welcome emails to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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