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October 2013 Archive for The Ted Spread

RSS By: Ted Seifried, AgWeb.com

Ted is the Chief Market Strategist and Vice President in charge of the Zaner Ag Hedge Group and specializes in agricultural hedging employing various strategies using futures, futures spreads, outright options and option combinations. He believes it is paramount to be able to use different strategies to adapt to market conditions. Ted works with large to mid size grain and livestock producers and end users in North, Central and South America.

Grains Eye South American Weather

Oct 29, 2013

TRADING COMMODITY FUTURES AND OPTIONS INVOLVES SUBSTANTIAL RISK OF LOSS AND IS NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL INVESTORS. YOU SHOULD CAREFULLY CONSIDER WHETHER TRADING IS SUITABLE FOR YOU IN LIGHT OF YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, KNOWLEDGE AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES.        

South American weather has sort of flown under the radar of many traders amid the US harvest, but it has been and will be a big influence for the grains markets.  The mid-October strength in soybeans has been largely tied to strong export sales, but another bullish feature has been dryness in Argentina.   Now, as Argentina braces for what may be the most important rain event of the year grains markets have taken notice.  

For the most part Brazil has enjoyed favorable weather conditions to start the growing season thus far.  Argentina however is in need of rain.  Central and northwestern areas from La Pampa to San Luis are in need of moisture to recharge sub soil and aid in planting and germination.  There is a rain event in the forecast for the dry areas of Argentina that has been showing up since late last week.  As the time frame approaches confidence has grown and rain amounts expected have grown as well.  This has eased some concern that the Argentinean crop might be off to a poor start but this rain even is essential to keep fears from growing again.  

CME Options On Futures: The Basics: http://www.zaner.com/offers/?page=9&ap=tseifrie

The current forecast for Argentina calls for widespread rains over most of the growing area now through Friday with amounts in the 1 to 3 inch range with up to 5 inches locally.  Some models even have localized amounts of 7 inches or more.  This would go a long way to easing dryness concerns if the advertised totals materialize.  

The market will be watching this rain event closely.  When forecasts call for so much rain it is easy for the actual event to produce less then expected.  This could cause concern to grow and markets to price in weather premium.  The other interesting piece of South America's forecast is Brazil.  Longer term forecasts for Brazil seem to be flip flopping over expectations for week.  Some forecasts have heavy rain activity while others are dry.  If Brazil would miss out on rains next week concern may start to build for the southern growing areas.  

As we transition form US harvest to South American growing season South American weather will be a big driver for grains markets.  If dryness issues persist in Argentina or develop in Brazil grains markets may need to price in a weather premium and at some point may need to work to ration global demand.  However if South American weather progresses favorably grain prices may need to push lower in order to absorb a big South American crop.  So stay tuned.  

Sign up for our Morning Ag Comments: http://www.zaner.com/offers/?page=17

Feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email if you would like to talk about your marketing plan, the markets, weather, or just to visit.     

December Corn Daily chart:

January Soybeans Daily chart:

December Wheat Daily chart:

All this means that speculators should be looking for opportunities and producers need to look to lock up some prices. Give me a call for some ideas. In particular, producers looking to hedge all or a portion of their production may be rather interested in some of the options / options-futures strategies that I am currently using.

In my mind there has to be a balance. Neither technical nor fundamental analysis alone is enough to be consistent. Please give me a call for a trade recommendation, and we can put together a trade strategy tailored to your needs. Be safe!

Ted Seifried (312) 277-0113 or tseifried@zaner.com

Additional charts, studies, and more of my commentary can be found at: http://markethead.com/2.0/free_trial.asp?ap=tseifrie

 

Futures, options and forex trading is speculative in nature and involves substantial risk of loss.  This commentary should be conveyed as a solicitation for entry into derivitives transactions.  All known news and events have already been factored into the price of the underlying commodities discussed.  The limited risk characteristic of options refers to long options only; and refers to the amount of the loss, which is defined as premium paid on the option(s) plus commissions.

FOR CUSTOMERS TRADING OPTIONS, THESE FUTURES CHARTS ARE PRESENTED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THEY ARE INTENDED TO SHOW HOW INVESTING IN OPTIONS CAN DEPEND ON THE UNDERLYING FUTURES PRICES; SPECIFICALLY, WHETHER OR NOT AN OPTION PURCHASER IS BUYING AN IN-THE-MONEY, AT-THE-MONEY, OR OUT-OF-THE-MONEY OPTION. FURTHERMORE, THE PURCHASER WILL BE ABLE TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT TO EXERCISE HIS RIGHT ON AN OPTION DEPENDING ON HOW THE OPTION'S STRIKE PRICE COMPARES TO THE UNDERLYING FUTURE'S PRICE. THE FUTURES CHARTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO IMPLY THAT OPTION PRICES MOVE IN TANDEM WITH FUTURES PRICES. IN FACT, OPTION PRICES MAY ONLY MOVE A FRACTION OF THE PRICE MOVE IN THE UNDERLYING FUTURES. IN SOME CASES, THE OPTION MAY NOT MOVE AT ALL OR EVEN MOVE IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION.

A Closer Look at Grain Exports

Oct 24, 2013

TRADING COMMODITY FUTURES AND OPTIONS INVOLVES SUBSTANTIAL RISK OF LOSS AND IS NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL INVESTORS. YOU SHOULD CAREFULLY CONSIDER WHETHER TRADING IS SUITABLE FOR YOU IN LIGHT OF YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, KNOWLEDGE AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES.        

Recent strength in grains has been tied to strong export sales numbers.  Wheat and Soybeans in particular have been pulled up off of lows in recent weeks largely due to strong export demand.  But, as we look into the numbers we see that there is a bit of a difference between what is going on in the wheat compared to corn and soybeans.  

Export sales numbers are up across the board in the grains.  Record high prices last year served well to ration export demand in corn and wheat while soybeans still saw a strong pace of sales.  A good amount of the soybeans sales however got pushed back into the current marketing year due to high prices.  This highlights a very important point - export sales are not the same as export shipments.  

Export sales are a commitment from another country to buy US grain during a certain marketing year.  As we saw last year in the soybeans, sales do not always equate to shipments however.  Many times countries will play the export sales game (we are looking directly at you China).  You see, countries will make a purchase to be shipped at a later date with the idea that they have a price locked in case prices go up.  However, if prices go down many times countries will cancel or defer shipments.  So, as the system goes countries can hedge their needs and cancel the hedge if prices get better for them.  This hardly seems fair, but it seems we employ little recourse to dissuade the largest buyers of US grain to do such things.  

CME Options On Futures: The Basics: http://www.zaner.com/offers/?page=9&ap=tseifrie

So, it seems logical that in the absence of a current USDA balance sheet other countries could be locking in prices in case the next USDA balance sheet, due out November 8th, is bullish and prices go higher.  And, the timing is right, typically prices hit lows during harvest and it is also typical to see a flurry of export sales this time of year.  It certainly also seems possible however that if the USDA report is bearish and prices go down there will be a lot of canceled sales or at least a lot of sales left on the books that will not get filled and eventually get pushed into the next marketing year or beyond.  Really, the deal is not done until the grain leaves the port.  Here is where the difference between export sales and export shipments becomes so important.  

For wheat, export sales are up sharply from last year.  Currently total export commitments for wheat are at 704.8 million bushels compared to 490.9 million at this time last year.  This is well over a 20% increase from year over year.  Buying is linked to a poor South American crop and other issues with world production.  Brazil is the world's 3rd largest wheat importer and usually fills the majority of its needs from neighboring countries, particularly Argentina.  With many South American acres shifting to high priced row crops and with production issues Brazil is being forced to look elsewhere to fill their needs and the US is a good place to start.  If you look at the breakdown of sales vs shipments you will see that of the 704.8 million bushels of wheat sold for the current marketing year 505.2 million bushels have been shipped.  This means that sales are being made and shipments quickly follow.  This is how a strong export market is supposed to look, and it means that there is a real need for the grain that was sold.  

If we look at the same numbers for corn and soybeans we see a bit of a different picture, especially in soybeans.  For corn sales are also sharply higher then this time last year as would be expected with lower prices and bigger supplies.  Currently we have sold 629 million bushels of corn compared to 410 million bushels this time last year.  However, of the 629 million bushels of corn sold so far this marketing year shipments have only totaled 91.9 million bushels.  This leaves the vast majority of this years sales still unshipped, 537.1 million to be exact.  To me this seems like countries are buying corn in case the price goes up, but waiting to see if prices go down and if they do sales will get deferred or canceled.  

If we look at the soybeans we see very impressive export sales numbers, 1.01 Billion (with a b) bushels of soybeans have been sold for this marketing year compared to 880 million at this time last year.  Now, some of this is bushels that we actually sold for last year but got switched into this year but these are very strong export sales numbers none the less.  In fact, current sales of 1.01 billion bushels are not far off the USDA target for the entire year of 1.37 billion bushels according to the September USDA report, and we have a lot of marketing year left.  But, if we look at the sales numbers compared to the shipments numbers we see something interesting if not shocking.  Of the 1.01 billion bushels of soybeans sold for the current marketing year, only 66.8 million bushels have actually been shipped leaving 943.1 million bushles open.  This is lower then the 118.7 million bushels that had been shipped by this time last year even though this years sales are sharply higher.  

Sign up for our Morning Ag Comments: http://www.zaner.com/offers/?page=17

Now, some of this can be explained for the row crops by saying that harvest is well behind the normal pace this year.  And, for corn at 39% harvested as of last week this could be part of the answer.  But with soybeans 63% harvested at the end of last week this does not seem to be the case.  It really seems that global buyers are making purchases of US soybeans in case prices go up.  It seems it is a hedge against the next USDA report and South America's growing season.  If the USDA report shows better then expected production and pushes prices lower we would expect to see some soybean sales canceled of pushed back.  If South America has a decent crop we could see a lot more sales either switched to South America or deferred or just canceled all together.  It seems that countries are hedging their needs which is producing big sales numbers and getting the market excited, but it may be too early to celebrate as we have seen many times with these guys that the deal is not done until the grain is shipped.  

Feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email if you would like to talk about your marketing plan, the markets, weather, or just to visit.   

December Corn Daily chart:

November Soybeans Daily chart:

December Wheat Daily chart:

All this means that speculators should be looking for opportunities and producers need to look to lock up some prices. Give me a call for some ideas. In particular, producers looking to hedge all or a portion of their production may be rather interested in some of the options / options-futures strategies that I am currently using.

In my mind there has to be a balance. Neither technical nor fundamental analysis alone is enough to be consistent. Please give me a call for a trade recommendation, and we can put together a trade strategy tailored to your needs. Be safe!

Ted Seifried (312) 277-0113 or tseifried@zaner.com

Additional charts, studies, and more of my commentary can be found at: http://markethead.com/2.0/free_trial.asp?ap=tseifrie

Futures, options and forex trading is speculative in nature and involves substantial risk of loss.  This commentary should be conveyed as a solicitation for entry into derivitives transactions.  All known news and events have already been factored into the price of the underlying commodities discussed.  The limited risk characteristic of options refers to long options only; and refers to the amount of the loss, which is defined as premium paid on the option(s) plus commissions.

FOR CUSTOMERS TRADING OPTIONS, THESE FUTURES CHARTS ARE PRESENTED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THEY ARE INTENDED TO SHOW HOW INVESTING IN OPTIONS CAN DEPEND ON THE UNDERLYING FUTURES PRICES; SPECIFICALLY, WHETHER OR NOT AN OPTION PURCHASER IS BUYING AN IN-THE-MONEY, AT-THE-MONEY, OR OUT-OF-THE-MONEY OPTION. FURTHERMORE, THE PURCHASER WILL BE ABLE TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT TO EXERCISE HIS RIGHT ON AN OPTION DEPENDING ON HOW THE OPTION'S STRIKE PRICE COMPARES TO THE UNDERLYING FUTURE'S PRICE. THE FUTURES CHARTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO IMPLY THAT OPTION PRICES MOVE IN TANDEM WITH FUTURES PRICES. IN FACT, OPTION PRICES MAY ONLY MOVE A FRACTION OF THE PRICE MOVE IN THE UNDERLYING FUTURES. IN SOME CASES, THE OPTION MAY NOT MOVE AT ALL OR EVEN MOVE IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION.

Is Harvest Progress Bullish or Bearish for Corn and Soybeans?

Oct 22, 2013

TRADING COMMODITY FUTURES AND OPTIONS INVOLVES SUBSTANTIAL RISK OF LOSS AND IS NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL INVESTORS. YOU SHOULD CAREFULLY CONSIDER WHETHER TRADING IS SUITABLE FOR YOU IN LIGHT OF YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, KNOWLEDGE AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES.        

Obviously the jump in crop conditions for both corn and soybeans is a bit bearish, but with the USDA being closed for over a month the market had expected and somewhat factored in improving crop conditions.  The big question was harvest progress, so with corn 39% harvested and soybeans 63% harvested is this bullish or bearish for the market going forward?  

Many years we would expect to put in harvest lows when harvest progress has reached 50-70%.  This year corn is well behind at 39%, but soybean harvest is right where we might expect lows to be put in with harvest 63% complete.  However, this has been a strange year, in so many ways, but the latest irregularity was having the USDA shut down for the last month or so.  This has had a big effect on grains markets, but none more so then the soybean market.  Not only was the market deprived of harvest progress and crop condition figures but we have not seen a USDA balance sheet in over a month and a half.  

The last USDA balance sheet that we saw in September showed fairly tight ending stocks for soybeans at 150 million bushels.  Now, this was not as tight as last year's drought effected ending stocks, but tight enough that prices should stay high enough to keep demand in check.  But, a lot has happened in the last month and a half.  Conditions have improved quite a bit, as we saw yesterday, and the last Quarterly Grains Stocks report that we saw just before the USDA shut down showed higher then expected stocks suggesting bigger beginning stocks and maybe even slower then expected demand.  So it would seem that the production number should be going up, beginning stock should be a little larger and all of this could be hinting toward a higher ending stocks number.  If this is the case it could allow for lower prices.  We will not get an answer to this very important question until November 8th, and if this report does show higher then expected ending stocks new low could certainly still be possible.  

CME Options On Futures: The Basics: http://www.zaner.com/offers/?page=9&ap=tseifrie

Corn is still well below average harvest pace at 39%.  This would suggest that harvest lows are still on the way as the market still needs to absorb more harvest pressure.  Weather delays in the first weeks of harvest caused a bump in basis because little of the corn crop had made its way to the market place, but at this point basis has flattened and there is more corn coming in every day.  We have started to hear reports of elevators getting full and turning customers away for now.  It seems we have a big corn crop on our hands, the question is how big.  It could be the case this year that corn prices continue to drop beyond the 50-70% harvest completed as unstored bushels look for a home.  

With the big corn crop soybeans are going to have to compete for storage space.  At the moment futures are not giving much incentive to store soybeans, so even though the soybean harvest is past 63% more soybeans could also be hitting the cash market going forward as guys look to store corn at these low prices hoping for higher prices to sell down the line.  So, in many years harvest lows get put in when crops are 50-70% harvested.  This may not be the case this year as a big corn crop is going to take a lot of storage space and we could be in for a shock from the USDA when we see their first balance sheet in 2 months on November 8th.  

Sign up for our Morning Ag Comments: http://www.zaner.com/offers/?page=17

Feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email if you would like to talk about your marketing plan, the markets, weather, or just to visit.   

December Corn Daily chart:

November Soybeans Daily chart:

December Wheat Daily chart:

All this means that speculators should be looking for opportunities and producers need to look to lock up some prices. Give me a call for some ideas. In particular, producers looking to hedge all or a portion of their production may be rather interested in some of the options / options-futures strategies that I am currently using.

In my mind there has to be a balance. Neither technical nor fundamental analysis alone is enough to be consistent. Please give me a call for a trade recommendation, and we can put together a trade strategy tailored to your needs. Be safe!

Ted Seifried (312) 277-0113 or tseifried@zaner.com

Additional charts, studies, and more of my commentary can be found at: http://markethead.com/2.0/free_trial.asp?ap=tseifrie

Futures, options and forex trading is speculative in nature and involves substantial risk of loss.  This commentary should be conveyed as a solicitation for entry into derivitives transactions.  All known news and events have already been factored into the price of the underlying commodities discussed.  The limited risk characteristic of options refers to long options only; and refers to the amount of the loss, which is defined as premium paid on the option(s) plus commissions.

FOR CUSTOMERS TRADING OPTIONS, THESE FUTURES CHARTS ARE PRESENTED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THEY ARE INTENDED TO SHOW HOW INVESTING IN OPTIONS CAN DEPEND ON THE UNDERLYING FUTURES PRICES; SPECIFICALLY, WHETHER OR NOT AN OPTION PURCHASER IS BUYING AN IN-THE-MONEY, AT-THE-MONEY, OR OUT-OF-THE-MONEY OPTION. FURTHERMORE, THE PURCHASER WILL BE ABLE TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT TO EXERCISE HIS RIGHT ON AN OPTION DEPENDING ON HOW THE OPTION'S STRIKE PRICE COMPARES TO THE UNDERLYING FUTURE'S PRICE. THE FUTURES CHARTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO IMPLY THAT OPTION PRICES MOVE IN TANDEM WITH FUTURES PRICES. IN FACT, OPTION PRICES MAY ONLY MOVE A FRACTION OF THE PRICE MOVE IN THE UNDERLYING FUTURES. IN SOME CASES, THE OPTION MAY NOT MOVE AT ALL OR EVEN MOVE IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION.

Are Corn and Soybeans Carving out Harvest Lows?

Oct 17, 2013

 

TRADING COMMODITY FUTURES AND OPTIONS INVOLVES SUBSTANTIAL RISK OF LOSS AND IS NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL INVESTORS. YOU SHOULD CAREFULLY CONSIDER WHETHER TRADING IS SUITABLE FOR YOU IN LIGHT OF YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, KNOWLEDGE AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES.        

The bounce off of lows in corn and soybeans has been mostly linked to harvest delays and possible export sales.  Are markets carving out harvest lows?  Or is this a chance to sell?  

Wet weather in the last week has caused harvest delays in many areas.  Without updated harvest data from the USDA  it is difficult to tell how far along the corn and soybean harvest is.  We should get an update on Monday, but it seems unlikely that harvest progress has reached 50% in soybeans or even 40% in corn.  Much of the recent strength in corn and beans has been driven by cash markets.  This is happening because the market wants more cash grain to become available.  Remember, we are coming off a drought year that saw tight balance sheets and the market is counting on fresh supplies being available - now.  So the market is adding incentive to bring cash corn and beans to the market, it doesn't care about rain delays, it wants what it wants and it uses higher prices to get it.  

CME Options On Futures: The Basics: http://www.zaner.com/offers/?page=9&ap=tseifrie

End users seem to be getting a little impatient as well.  While the USDA was away we really could not tell for sure who was buying what or how much.  We did see a good amount of grain leave ports, and a good amount of that was headed to China.  What we do not know for sure right now is how much of that was new business, or how much had been on the books for some time.  Without knowing the natural reaction is - its all new business!  But that is probably not the case.  We will hopefully get a better idea with tomorrows USDA export sales report.  

We will however still have to wait until November 8th to get an updated balance sheet from the USDA as they announced today that they would cancel the October USDA WASDE.  This is a long time to wait for fresh estimates and a bad time of the year for the markets to be "flying blind", but the good news is that the extra time should give the USDA time to get into fields and hopefully give the market some accurate figures.  

It seems likely that this recent bounce off of lows in corn and soybeans could be short lived.  As weather gets better and the harvest picks up again it is certainly possible to see new harvest lows.  It seems likely that harvest is well below 50% complete for both corn and soybeans and if that is the case there should be quite a bit more harvest pressure to absorb.  The big question is what ending stocks will look like, especially for soybeans, but we will still have to wait for answers.  At least know we know how long we will have to wait.  

In the mean time this recent bounce could be an opportunity to sell for producers who have unsold or unhedged grain, at least for bushels that were intended to be sold in the short term.  

Sign up for our Morning Ag Comments: http://www.zaner.com/offers/?page=17

Feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email if you would like to talk about your marketing plan, the markets, weather, or just to visit.   

December Corn Daily chart:

November Soybeans Daily chart:

December Wheat Daily chart:

All this means that speculators should be looking for opportunities and producers need to look to lock up some prices. Give me a call for some ideas. In particular, producers looking to hedge all or a portion of their production may be rather interested in some of the options / options-futures strategies that I am currently using.

In my mind there has to be a balance. Neither technical nor fundamental analysis alone is enough to be consistent. Please give me a call for a trade recommendation, and we can put together a trade strategy tailored to your needs. Be safe!

Ted Seifried (312) 277-0113 or tseifried@zaner.com

Additional charts, studies, and more of my commentary can be found at: http://markethead.com/2.0/free_trial.asp?ap=tseifrie

Futures, options and forex trading is speculative in nature and involves substantial risk of loss.  This commentary should be conveyed as a solicitation for entry into derivitives transactions.  All known news and events have already been factored into the price of the underlying commodities discussed.  The limited risk characteristic of options refers to long options only; and refers to the amount of the loss, which is defined as premium paid on the option(s) plus commissions.

FOR CUSTOMERS TRADING OPTIONS, THESE FUTURES CHARTS ARE PRESENTED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THEY ARE INTENDED TO SHOW HOW INVESTING IN OPTIONS CAN DEPEND ON THE UNDERLYING FUTURES PRICES; SPECIFICALLY, WHETHER OR NOT AN OPTION PURCHASER IS BUYING AN IN-THE-MONEY, AT-THE-MONEY, OR OUT-OF-THE-MONEY OPTION. FURTHERMORE, THE PURCHASER WILL BE ABLE TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT TO EXERCISE HIS RIGHT ON AN OPTION DEPENDING ON HOW THE OPTION'S STRIKE PRICE COMPARES TO THE UNDERLYING FUTURE'S PRICE. THE FUTURES CHARTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO IMPLY THAT OPTION PRICES MOVE IN TANDEM WITH FUTURES PRICES. IN FACT, OPTION PRICES MAY ONLY MOVE A FRACTION OF THE PRICE MOVE IN THE UNDERLYING FUTURES. IN SOME CASES, THE OPTION MAY NOT MOVE AT ALL OR EVEN MOVE IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION.

The Bounce off Lows in Corn could Offer Insight for Months to come

Oct 15, 2013

TRADING COMMODITY FUTURES AND OPTIONS INVOLVES SUBSTANTIAL RISK OF LOSS AND IS NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL INVESTORS. YOU SHOULD CAREFULLY CONSIDER WHETHER TRADING IS SUITABLE FOR YOU IN LIGHT OF YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, KNOWLEDGE AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES.        

In the last two days corn has managed a twelve cent bounce off of lows while wheat and soybeans have had little interest in participating in any strength.  The strength in corn seems to be mostly weather related as wet weather delays harvest.  It is unclear how far along corn harvest is, but it seems unlikely that harvest is more then 50% complete.  

Wet weather in the northern growing areas, specifically the Dakotas, Iowa and Minnesota have driven harvest to a stand still.  Most of the areas that have been effected by this have gotten a good start on soybean harvest but have yet to really get started on corn.  The harvest delays are causing basis to strengthen in some areas as grain delivery has been slower then expected.  It seems likely that this is just a weather bounce off of lows and that corn will make new lows as the harvest picks up again and more grain becomes available.  However, this little two day rally could off a bit of insight into how a strong basis could help rally corn prices if producers hold tight after the initial harvest pressure.  

CME Options On Futures: The Basics: http://www.zaner.com/offers/?page=9&ap=tseifrie

Soybeans had better then expected export inspections and a slightly better then expected NOPA crush.  Even so, price action in soybeans was weak.  The NOPA crush number was higher then expected at 108.6 million bu, but sharply lower then last October at 119.7 and August at 110.5.  Harvest pressure continues to weigh on soybean prices despite the delays in the north.  The markets are giving very little incentive to store soybeans this year so harvest pressure could continue to be a factor for soybeans for a few weeks.  The soybeans really need to see a USDA report.  The market is assuming that better then expected yields, bigger beginning stocks and lower crush numbers will lead to bigger ending stocks but the question is by how much.  The increase in ending stocks may not be as big as the market seems to be expecting, but who knows when we will see the next USDA report.  

Wheat also had weaker price action today.  Export inspections fell well short of expectations and saw a significant down tick from last week.  There are still some bullish fundamentals around the wheat market, but it seems that global buyers have settled down after the 50-60 cent rally off of lows.  Technically the December Chicago wheat has had a tough go at breaking $7.00 and could be setting up for a pull back.  

Sign up for our Morning Ag Comments: http://www.zaner.com/offers/?page=17

Feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email if you would like to talk about your marketing plan, the markets, weather, or just to visit.   

December Corn Daily chart:

November Soybeans Daily chart:

December Wheat Daily chart:

All this means that speculators should be looking for opportunities and producers need to look to lock up some prices. Give me a call for some ideas. In particular, producers looking to hedge all or a portion of their production may be rather interested in some of the options / options-futures strategies that I am currently using.

In my mind there has to be a balance. Neither technical nor fundamental analysis alone is enough to be consistent. Please give me a call for a trade recommendation, and we can put together a trade strategy tailored to your needs. Be safe!

Ted Seifried (312) 277-0113 or tseifried@zaner.com

Additional charts, studies, and more of my commentary can be found at: http://markethead.com/2.0/free_trial.asp?ap=tseifrie

Futures, options and forex trading is speculative in nature and involves substantial risk of loss.  This commentary should be conveyed as a solicitation for entry into derivitives transactions.  All known news and events have already been factored into the price of the underlying commodities discussed.  The limited risk characteristic of options refers to long options only; and refers to the amount of the loss, which is defined as premium paid on the option(s) plus commissions.

FOR CUSTOMERS TRADING OPTIONS, THESE FUTURES CHARTS ARE PRESENTED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THEY ARE INTENDED TO SHOW HOW INVESTING IN OPTIONS CAN DEPEND ON THE UNDERLYING FUTURES PRICES; SPECIFICALLY, WHETHER OR NOT AN OPTION PURCHASER IS BUYING AN IN-THE-MONEY, AT-THE-MONEY, OR OUT-OF-THE-MONEY OPTION. FURTHERMORE, THE PURCHASER WILL BE ABLE TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT TO EXERCISE HIS RIGHT ON AN OPTION DEPENDING ON HOW THE OPTION'S STRIKE PRICE COMPARES TO THE UNDERLYING FUTURE'S PRICE. THE FUTURES CHARTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO IMPLY THAT OPTION PRICES MOVE IN TANDEM WITH FUTURES PRICES. IN FACT, OPTION PRICES MAY ONLY MOVE A FRACTION OF THE PRICE MOVE IN THE UNDERLYING FUTURES. IN SOME CASES, THE OPTION MAY NOT MOVE AT ALL OR EVEN MOVE IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION.

Are we going to see Sub $4.00 Corn this Year?

Oct 10, 2013

TRADING COMMODITY FUTURES AND OPTIONS INVOLVES SUBSTANTIAL RISK OF LOSS AND IS NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL INVESTORS. YOU SHOULD CAREFULLY CONSIDER WHETHER TRADING IS SUITABLE FOR YOU IN LIGHT OF YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, KNOWLEDGE AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES.        

A higher then expected Quarterly Grain Stocks report and better then expected yields coming off combines has cast a bearish cloud over the corn market.  This has us asking the question - Can corn crack the $4.00 level this year?   Given the potential for the biggest ending stocks in over a decade it would seem that the answer would be yes it could.  However, there may be a big difference this year between what basic fundamentals suggest corn can do and what corn will do.  So, the real question is will corn break $4.00 this year.  

The fundamental set up in the corn market is undeniably bearish.  The corn market has certainly reflected this as it has been on a steady decline for months leading to the lowest prices in well over a year.  This would certainly seem to be justified by slowing demand figures and growing supply projections.  In theory it would make sense that if we are going to have the largest ending stocks in recent history we should also see some of the lowest prices in 10 years or so, again - in theory.  This year however theory and reality may not be aligned.  

The absence of the USDA is an issue for all Ag markets.  The lack of updated supply and demand figures leaves markets somewhat in the dark.  But, this USDA shut down should have the least effect on corn because we all know that ending stocks for corn are going to be big, its just a question of how big.  Honestly I am not sure if it makes much difference for this years prices if we have a 1.7 billion bushel carry over of a 2.1 billion bushel carry over.  Either way we will have no fear of running out of corn this year.  The difference between a 1.7 billion bushel or a 2.1 billion bushel carry over may have a significant impact on the next crop's prices but maybe not this year.  

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At some point the corn market may work to achieve some key (and maybe uncomfortable) objectives.  If we continue to have huge corn carry over numbers the market will want/ need to encourage or buy back demand and/or decrease supply.  I will go into more detail on how the market may try to achieve this in future articles, but for now the short answer is lower prices maybe much lower prices.  However, as we are just one year removed from a major drought year, tight ending stocks and record high prices it is only a possibility that corn will need to encourage demand and slow production rather then a certainty.  

This year is likely a year where lots of corn will find its way into storage.  We have no idea what next years growing season will bring or what crops will look like.  So, I think corn would be jumping the gun at this point to try and go and encourage demand or slow production.  And, it comes at a good time because after three years of good prices leading to record prices last year few producers are strapped for funds and there seems to be lots of storage available.  After record prices bins have been emptied and producers have reinvested into their operation by adding storage.  So, it would make sense that guys will look to store corn and if this happens on a large enough scale it very well could keep the cash market relatively tight and keep corn bolstered over $4.00.  

So, corn may have the basic fundamentals to see prices well below $4.00 this year but, given the bigger picture I am not sure we will.  I think it is likely that producers store and hold tight at low prices and this could keep prices from a free fall.  The concern might be next year, but we do still have South America's and our growing seasons to get through first.  Either way producers should be looking at some cheep "worst case scenario" puts for this year and really consider looking at locking in a floor for next year.  More on what to do with next year in articles to come.  

Or...  

Feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email if you would like to talk about your marketing plan, the markets, weather, or just to visit.   

CME Options On Futures: The Basics: http://www.zaner.com/offers/?page=9&ap=tseifrie

December Corn Daily chart:

November Soybeans Daily chart:

December Wheat Daily chart:

All this means that speculators should be looking for opportunities and producers need to look to lock up some prices. Give me a call for some ideas. In particular, producers looking to hedge all or a portion of their production may be rather interested in some of the options / options-futures strategies that I am currently using.

In my mind there has to be a balance. Neither technical nor fundamental analysis alone is enough to be consistent. Please give me a call for a trade recommendation, and we can put together a trade strategy tailored to your needs. Be safe!

Ted Seifried (312) 277-0113 or tseifried@zaner.com

Additional charts, studies, and more of my commentary can be found at: http://markethead.com/2.0/free_trial.asp?ap=tseifrie 

Futures, options and forex trading is speculative in nature and involves substantial risk of loss.  This commentary should be conveyed as a solicitation for entry into derivitives transactions.  All known news and events have already been factored into the price of the underlying commodities discussed.  The limited risk characteristic of options refers to long options only; and refers to the amount of the loss, which is defined as premium paid on the option(s) plus commissions.

FOR CUSTOMERS TRADING OPTIONS, THESE FUTURES CHARTS ARE PRESENTED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THEY ARE INTENDED TO SHOW HOW INVESTING IN OPTIONS CAN DEPEND ON THE UNDERLYING FUTURES PRICES; SPECIFICALLY, WHETHER OR NOT AN OPTION PURCHASER IS BUYING AN IN-THE-MONEY, AT-THE-MONEY, OR OUT-OF-THE-MONEY OPTION. FURTHERMORE, THE PURCHASER WILL BE ABLE TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT TO EXERCISE HIS RIGHT ON AN OPTION DEPENDING ON HOW THE OPTION'S STRIKE PRICE COMPARES TO THE UNDERLYING FUTURE'S PRICE. THE FUTURES CHARTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO IMPLY THAT OPTION PRICES MOVE IN TANDEM WITH FUTURES PRICES. IN FACT, OPTION PRICES MAY ONLY MOVE A FRACTION OF THE PRICE MOVE IN THE UNDERLYING FUTURES. IN SOME CASES, THE OPTION MAY NOT MOVE AT ALL OR EVEN MOVE IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION.

The Absence of the USDA is having an Effect on Grains Markets

Oct 08, 2013

TRADING COMMODITY FUTURES AND OPTIONS INVOLVES SUBSTANTIAL RISK OF LOSS AND IS NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL INVESTORS. YOU SHOULD CAREFULLY CONSIDER WHETHER TRADING IS SUITABLE FOR YOU IN LIGHT OF YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, KNOWLEDGE AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES.        

Today it was announced that the October USDA report would be postponed with no make up day rescheduled.  Aside from the very important October USDA WASDE report the market has missed out on weekly crop progress reports, export sales, export inspections, and the October 15th NOPA crush numbers are in jeopardy.  This means that markets are flying blind with out the data to get an accurate depiction of supply and demand.  

Now, I have certainly criticized the USDA in the past for various reasons, and I do believe that the USDA needs to remember their purpose and strive to provide the most accurate and unbiased information possible as I cannot say for sure they have in recent years.  But in a vacuum of inputs the grains markets are left without direction.  This "flying blind" is doing markets a disservice.  

CME Options On Futures: The Basics: http://www.zaner.com/offers/?page=9&ap=tseifrie

In particular the October USDA report is a big report, especially this year, because it is the first report to give actual field based numbers rather then statistical based numbers.  This means that there should be USDA crop scouts out in fields taking samples and gathering data.  This is certainly not happening right now and will take time even when the USDA is back up and running (walking quickly at best).  This field based report is very important this year in particular because it was such an odd growing season with a cold wet spring into summer, a warmer June, a record cool July, and a hot and dry August.  There has been lots of arguments and speculation over the quality of the US crop for months now and just as we are leading up to some answers the US government partially shuts down.  

In the mean time the USDA's last word was a bearish grain stocks number, particularly for corn and soybeans.  The Quarterly grain stocks report suggested higher then expected beginning stocks as well as possibly lighter then expected demand.  I fear that with this last bearish note from the USDA, along with no fresh USDA projections, harvest pressure and talk that yields may be coming in quite a bit better then expected could lead to markets to push lower, maybe even lower then they should.  We have not seen it yet after one week of the USDA going dark, but as this situation lingers things may start to change.   

Sign up for our Morning Ag Comments: http://www.zaner.com/offers/?page=17

Feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email if you would like to talk about your marketing plan, the markets, weather, or just to visit.   

December Corn Daily chart:

November Soybeans Daily chart:

December Wheat Daily chart:

All this means that speculators should be looking for opportunities and producers need to look to lock up some prices. Give me a call for some ideas. In particular, producers looking to hedge all or a portion of their production may be rather interested in some of the options / options-futures strategies that I am currently using.

In my mind there has to be a balance. Neither technical nor fundamental analysis alone is enough to be consistent. Please give me a call for a trade recommendation, and we can put together a trade strategy tailored to your needs. Be safe!

Ted Seifried (312) 277-0113 or tseifried@zaner.com

Additional charts, studies, and more of my commentary can be found at: http://markethead.com/2.0/free_trial.asp?ap=tseifrie

Futures, options and forex trading is speculative in nature and involves substantial risk of loss.  This commentary should be conveyed as a solicitation for entry into derivitives transactions.  All known news and events have already been factored into the price of the underlying commodities discussed.  The limited risk characteristic of options refers to long options only; and refers to the amount of the loss, which is defined as premium paid on the option(s) plus commissions.

FOR CUSTOMERS TRADING OPTIONS, THESE FUTURES CHARTS ARE PRESENTED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THEY ARE INTENDED TO SHOW HOW INVESTING IN OPTIONS CAN DEPEND ON THE UNDERLYING FUTURES PRICES; SPECIFICALLY, WHETHER OR NOT AN OPTION PURCHASER IS BUYING AN IN-THE-MONEY, AT-THE-MONEY, OR OUT-OF-THE-MONEY OPTION. FURTHERMORE, THE PURCHASER WILL BE ABLE TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT TO EXERCISE HIS RIGHT ON AN OPTION DEPENDING ON HOW THE OPTION'S STRIKE PRICE COMPARES TO THE UNDERLYING FUTURE'S PRICE. THE FUTURES CHARTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO IMPLY THAT OPTION PRICES MOVE IN TANDEM WITH FUTURES PRICES. IN FACT, OPTION PRICES MAY ONLY MOVE A FRACTION OF THE PRICE MOVE IN THE UNDERLYING FUTURES. IN SOME CASES, THE OPTION MAY NOT MOVE AT ALL OR EVEN MOVE IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION.

Is the USDA going to have to Raise Yield Projections?

Oct 03, 2013

TRADING COMMODITY FUTURES AND OPTIONS INVOLVES SUBSTANTIAL RISK OF LOSS AND IS NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL INVESTORS. YOU SHOULD CAREFULLY CONSIDER WHETHER TRADING IS SUITABLE FOR YOU IN LIGHT OF YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, KNOWLEDGE AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES.        

Over the last few days we have been getting a lot of feedback on harvest results.  The overwhelming majority of reports sing a similar tune - Better then expected corn yields and much better then expected soybean yields.  If this really is the case on a national scale is the USDA going to have to increase yield projections?  That is when or if the USDA is back in business...  

Earlier today I was speaking with a producer in North East Indiana and he was telling me about how his harvest was going.  They had been combining soybeans for 4 days so at this point they felt their yield estimates were fairly accurate.  Going into harvest they were expecting soybean yields in the low 40s, as it turns out they were actually averaging well over 60 bushels an acre!  That is 20 bushels or about 30% better then expected.  And this is not a unique story.  We have been hearing much more of the same from all over the map.  Plants seem to look small but have a lot of pods.  About the only complaints I have heard were about bean size, but that has been few and far between.  Maybe soybeans fared better then we expected through the warm and dry August.  

CME Options On Futures: The Basics: http://www.zaner.com/offers/?page=9&ap=tseifrie

So does this mean that the USDA was wrong to lower yield estimates on the August USDA WASDE report?  Maybe, maybe not.  It still might be too early to tell.  The real question will be answered late harvest.  It is the later planted acres that may be the key.  Late planting due to the cold wet spring meant that some fields were planted later in key areas such as Iowa, Western and Northern Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and parts of the Dakotas.  The later planted fields may have sustained much more damage during the hot and dry period in August.   

Also, the USDA did not lower yield estimates by nearly as much as some people were thinking they should at the time.  Maybe they got something right, maybe they got lucky.  But I think that if there is an October USDA report they should hold tight on yield estimates until the harvest is complete.   

Either way it certainly seems that yields are going to be much better then what the market was pricing in during the hot and dry spell in August.  At this point I really do not think a 39 bushel national average yield for soybeans that we heard so much about during the sharp rally in August is possible.  If anything the USDA may have to raise yield numbers for soybeans but I think it is too early to tell for sure.  Corn yields have been better so far, but I do wonder if things get worse as the harvest moves North.   

Sign up for our Morning Ag Comments: http://www.zaner.com/offers/?page=17

Feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email if you would like to talk about your marketing plan, the markets, weather, or just to visit.   

December Corn Daily chart:

November Soybeans Daily chart:

December Wheat Daily chart:

All this means that speculators should be looking for opportunities and producers need to look to lock up some prices. Give me a call for some ideas. In particular, producers looking to hedge all or a portion of their production may be rather interested in some of the options / options-futures strategies that I am currently using.

In my mind there has to be a balance. Neither technical nor fundamental analysis alone is enough to be consistent. Please give me a call for a trade recommendation, and we can put together a trade strategy tailored to your needs. Be safe!

Ted Seifried (312) 277-0113 or tseifried@zaner.com

Additional charts, studies, and more of my commentary can be found at: http://markethead.com/2.0/free_trial.asp?ap=tseifrie

Futures, options and forex trading is speculative in nature and involves substantial risk of loss.  This commentary should be conveyed as a solicitation for entry into derivitives transactions.  All known news and events have already been factored into the price of the underlying commodities discussed.  The limited risk characteristic of options refers to long options only; and refers to the amount of the loss, which is defined as premium paid on the option(s) plus commissions.

FOR CUSTOMERS TRADING OPTIONS, THESE FUTURES CHARTS ARE PRESENTED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THEY ARE INTENDED TO SHOW HOW INVESTING IN OPTIONS CAN DEPEND ON THE UNDERLYING FUTURES PRICES; SPECIFICALLY, WHETHER OR NOT AN OPTION PURCHASER IS BUYING AN IN-THE-MONEY, AT-THE-MONEY, OR OUT-OF-THE-MONEY OPTION. FURTHERMORE, THE PURCHASER WILL BE ABLE TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT TO EXERCISE HIS RIGHT ON AN OPTION DEPENDING ON HOW THE OPTION'S STRIKE PRICE COMPARES TO THE UNDERLYING FUTURE'S PRICE. THE FUTURES CHARTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO IMPLY THAT OPTION PRICES MOVE IN TANDEM WITH FUTURES PRICES. IN FACT, OPTION PRICES MAY ONLY MOVE A FRACTION OF THE PRICE MOVE IN THE UNDERLYING FUTURES. IN SOME CASES, THE OPTION MAY NOT MOVE AT ALL OR EVEN MOVE IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION.

Is it a Good Thing the USDA is Shut Down?

Oct 01, 2013

TRADING COMMODITY FUTURES AND OPTIONS INVOLVES SUBSTANTIAL RISK OF LOSS AND IS NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL INVESTORS. YOU SHOULD CAREFULLY CONSIDER WHETHER TRADING IS SUITABLE FOR YOU IN LIGHT OF YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, KNOWLEDGE AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES.        

The US government could not come to terms by Monday night and effectively shut down leaving lots of questions about what happens to the USDA and if there is going to be a report on October 11th.  I just submitted our estimates to the newsies, but I am not sure this report happens and if it does I'm not sure it will be taken seriously.  After the September USDA WASDE report and the Quarterly Grain Stocks report I wonder if maybe it is a good thing if the USDA takes a break.  

In the past we have all disagreed with the USDA at some point.  Producers, end users, analysts, speculators...  We have all called the USDA crazy for disagreeing with us.  But, in the past there did seem to be a method to their madness.  Lately I'm not so sure.  This has become increasingly evident in the Quarterly Grain Stocks reports and the most recent one was no exception.  

CME Options On Futures: The Basics: http://www.zaner.com/offers/?page=9&ap=tseifrie

Earlier this year we saw an unprecedented shock in a Quarterly Grain Stocks report when corn stocks came in almost 400 Million bushels higher then expected.  And, in a drought year where corn production takes a hit 400 million bushels is a lot of corn to miss.  How could the USDA have been so far off on the Monthly WASDE reports leading up to this?  The result was a 3-day limit down shock to the market.  If the USDA had been more accurate in their estimations this highly volatile move would have been smoothed out and spread out over time allowing longs to get out and, (more importantly in my book) allow producers a better opportunity to get hedged at higher prices.  This was a gross miscalculation made by the USDA and it couldn't have happened in a more important year.  It was the most wrong they have been, maybe in history and market participants, especially producers, paid for the USDA's error.  

Now with this last Quarterly grain stocks report the USDA did it again.  This time it was not as big of a raw number but as this was the final stocks number of the marketing season it came close on a percentage basis.  This time around the reaction wasn't as violent maybe because the market was already in a bearish mood but also maybe because to some extent we have become jaded to the USDA's errors.  Either way we "found" an extra 141 million bushels of corn that it seems the USDA had been overlooking.  Where does 141 million bushels of corn hide you might ask?  Well, it really wasn't hiding at all.  It was abundantly clear that the USDA had overshot the mark on ethanol demand by 80-95 million bushels.  On the September WASDE report the USDA had a chance to rectify the miscalculation but instead added 15 million bushels to ethanol demand.  At the time I was wondering if the USDA was doing this in order to offset a production number that was too high, as it turns out they had no grand plan or clue for that matter.  

This is really a big problem for Ag markets.  If the USDA does not get their act together we will stop paying attention to them as best as possible.  I have said many times before -  we can argue with the USDA until we are blue in the face but in the end these are the numbers we have to trade.  Well, I am starting to put some more thought to that statement.  I suppose it is possible that the market at some point begins to pay more attention to private estimates then the USDA.  This is dangerous however as we never really know the agenda of the private analysts.  They could be influencing the market for their gain for all we know.  This is why the USDA was so important to market integrity.  The USDA is charged with supplying the market with non biased and accurate as possible information.  

So, maybe the USDA need some time off to collect their thoughts and think about the year they have had.  Maybe now is the time to get back to the concept of providing un-biased and accurate information.  Because, in the end the markets, like it or not need the USDA.  But the USDA needs to be more accurate in order to smooth the price discovery process rather then continuously shock the market.  

Sign up for our Morning Ag Comments: http://www.zaner.com/offers/?page=17

Feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email if you would like to talk about your marketing plan, the markets, weather, or just to visit.   

December Corn Daily chart:

November Soybeans Daily chart:

December Wheat Daily chart:

All this means that speculators should be looking for opportunities and producers need to look to lock up some prices while we have corn near $5.00 and soybeans near $12.00. Give me a call for some ideas. In particular, producers looking to hedge all or a portion of their production may be rather interested in some of the options / options-futures strategies that I am currently using.

In my mind there has to be a balance. Neither technical nor fundamental analysis alone is enough to be consistent. Please give me a call for a trade recommendation, and we can put together a trade strategy tailored to your needs. Be safe!

Ted Seifried (312) 277-0113 or tseifried@zaner.com

Please check out my Blog at: http://tedseifriedfutures.com/

Additional charts, studies, and more of my commentary can be found at: http://markethead.com/2.0/free_trial.asp?ap=tseifrie

Futures, options and forex trading is speculative in nature and involves substantial risk of loss.  This commentary should be conveyed as a solicitation for entry into derivitives transactions.  All known news and events have already been factored into the price of the underlying commodities discussed.  The limited risk characteristic of options refers to long options only; and refers to the amount of the loss, which is defined as premium paid on the option(s) plus commissions.

FOR CUSTOMERS TRADING OPTIONS, THESE FUTURES CHARTS ARE PRESENTED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THEY ARE INTENDED TO SHOW HOW INVESTING IN OPTIONS CAN DEPEND ON THE UNDERLYING FUTURES PRICES; SPECIFICALLY, WHETHER OR NOT AN OPTION PURCHASER IS BUYING AN IN-THE-MONEY, AT-THE-MONEY, OR OUT-OF-THE-MONEY OPTION. FURTHERMORE, THE PURCHASER WILL BE ABLE TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT TO EXERCISE HIS RIGHT ON AN OPTION DEPENDING ON HOW THE OPTION'S STRIKE PRICE COMPARES TO THE UNDERLYING FUTURE'S PRICE. THE FUTURES CHARTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO IMPLY THAT OPTION PRICES MOVE IN TANDEM WITH FUTURES PRICES. IN FACT, OPTION PRICES MAY ONLY MOVE A FRACTION OF THE PRICE MOVE IN THE UNDERLYING FUTURES. IN SOME CASES, THE OPTION MAY NOT MOVE AT ALL OR EVEN MOVE IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION.

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