Four Score

Published on: 09:15AM Nov 19, 2019

“Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”  No, I am not trying to channel Abraham Lincoln, but it was 156 years ago on that date that he delivered those immortal words at Gettysburg.  Many of us we required to memorize them back in grade school, but of course, for many of us, that was a long, long time ago, and I believe these 275 words that he uttered are worthy of being read and re-read time and again.  I have included the entire speech at the end of today’s comments.

Corn and soy market succumbed to another bought of despair yesterday as the early weekend optimism that trade talks were making progress was supplanted with disappointment yet again.  Nothing official was released, but a report on CNBC suggested that the mode in China had turned pessimistic due to President Trump's unwillingness to roll back tariffs.  One would have to think the trade will eventually grow weary, or maybe wearier of this on-again, off-again chatter, and stop reacting to every whisper they hear.

Crop progress was in line with trade expectations with corn now 76% complete, versus 92% on average and beans 91% compared with 95% average.  That said, the news was received as slightly supportive, particularly looking at the northern states.  Corn harvest in North Dakota stood at just 23% complete, South Dakota 53%, Minnesota 77%, Michigan 39%, and Wisconsin 44%.

It is worth noting that managed money continues to add to an already sizeable short position in the corn market, despite the lateness and uncertainty of this crop this year. Still, the lack of export interest thus far appears to be the offsetting factor.  There was another sale of corn announced this morning though.  Two in a row and this time for 191,000 MT to unknown destinations.

While both corn and soybeans slipped down to the lowest levels traded since September yesterday, it is worth pointing out the action in wheat.  December futures did poke in a lower low for this swing, and briefly traded below 5.00, but then snapped back higher for the close.  They did not quite post an outside reversal higher, but I suspect the reaction was trying to tell us we are on top of what should be very solid support.  With technical indicators for this market, as well as corn and beans quite oversold, I believe we should be right on top of seasonal/cycle lows.

Gettysburg Address
by Abraham Lincoln

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate — we cannot consecrate — we cannot hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.

The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.