The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
Kevin Van Trump has over 20 years of experience in the grain and livestock industry.
Soy traders are continuing to add premium to old-crop bull spreads (MAY13 vs. JUL13 closed at just over $0.34 cents yesterday). The concern is that Brazil still has 60-70 boats sitting and waiting on supplies. With wait times still running in excess of 30-45 days there is some renewed talk that "switchbacks" to more timely and reliable US exporters might be in the cards. Check out this video from the BBC News Network released yesterday "Congestion holds up export of record soybean crop from Brazil").
One kicker that continues to keep a lid on prices and possible a lid on increasing demand in China is the further spreading of the "bird flu" virus. We are now approaching 40 reported cases and double digit deaths being caused from the virus being spread by poultry. The concern is that the new virus "H7N9" is severe enough in most humans, that it could easily become transmissible, and ultimately turn into a deadly influenza pandemic. Up to this point the virus hasn't demonstrated the ability to be transmitted between humans, so an actual "pandemic" may be a bit of a stretch. However, as you can imagine, just the thought of the word "pandemic" is causing serious stress in China. Remember, they are still several months away from developing a vaccine. Unfortunately this is causing consumers to take extreme precautions, in return poultry and pork demand has plummeted.
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