Yet the darkness could not prevail
Aug 21, 2017
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Very welcome and evidently solid rainfall in Western Iowa and Missouri over the weekend has been enough the embolden the bears in the grain and soy markets this morning. Understandably, corn has been impacted the most as there is little other than weather to focus on in that market for now, while beans have enjoyed quite solid export interest over the past week. In fact, this morning the USDA has announced additional sales; 463,000 MT to unknown destinations for the 2017/18 crop year and an additional 198,000 MT to China for that crop year. Now if we could just see a little of that interest work its way into corn.
As you are most likely aware, the annual Pro Farmer crop tour kicks off today, and I do not recall a recent year in which so many were anticipating the numbers. Of course, last year crops we so uniform across such a wide swath of the country, the general assumption was that any and all numbers would be large but with many already in varying states of disbelief with the USDA figures, we are bound to see markets gyrate as each new yield report is released this week.
Needless to say, today the headline news is not surrounding crop size but rather the solar eclipse that is moving diagonally across the United States, the first time it has traveled across the entire nation in 99-years. Of course, we “enlightened” folk here in the 21st century look upon this as little more than an interesting celestial phenomena but in ancient lore, these events were often considered either precursor to something terrible that was going to befall the earth or embodied a rare visual glimpse for humans to witness the eternal struggle between good and evil. Vikings believed that they were witnessing an attempt by the giant wolf Hati, trying to eat the sun and if successful would usher in the great apocalypse. To date, Hati has failed to attain that goal. In a similar vein, the ancient Chinese thought that either a giant dragon or dog was attempting to eat the sun and would bang on drums in an effort to scare the beast away. When you stop and think about it, maybe this is not all that different than the struggle we see each day in the market between the bull (sun) and the bear (moon). One represents light and prosperity while the other darkness and depression and possibly even a financial apocalypse. The classic struggle between good and evil, light and dark. As I said though, we today are far too advanced to believe in such mythology and symbolism but just as a precaution; I may head over to the music store later today and see if I can find a drum to begin pounding on.
Speaking of the battle between light and dark, I would encourage you to read a special report published by Reuters this morning concerning the ongoing campaign by some in the petroleum industry to undermine biofuels. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-biofuels-valero-specialreport-idUSKCN1B115D
. By no means is this a new fight as we know the oil industry has always tried to oppose biofuels every step of the way but this would suggest they have drawn up a new battle strategy and are operating in a more covert fashion than in the past, which can make for a much more threatening opponent. For those of you who cannot get through on the link, the two most prominent names in the report are Valero and Carl Icahn. Staying with our eclipse theme from this morning, they would represent the wolf or the dragon intent on eating the sun.