It’s been a while since I have posted a market update, so lots of things to talk about this morning. Looking at the major crops, Corn and Beans have been on a steep slide over the last several months. This downturn can be attributed to a number of factors, including a stronger dollar, the prospect of a tremendous domestic crop, and many non-commercial traders pulling their money out of commodities. Barring any major global market or weather concerns, the outlook remains neutral to bearish in the near term.
As for the specialty crops, black oil sunflowers have followed suit, falling to their oil value at the crush. Soybean oil will be the main factor in determining sunflower prices until demand for birdfood picks back up. Millet has bucked the bearish trend, as the stocks on hand have dwindled substantially and pricing has been on a run as a result. We are still about 10-12 weeks from new crop on millet, so be prepared to pay up if you need any in that time frame. Nyjer has been steady to firm as well, although year over year demand is off 60% from 2011 to 2012. It is more from a lack of sellers than anything else, and I expect to see prices cool off in the summer months. Peanuts prices are softening as well; demand has taken a wallop with this year’s higher prices. Relief is in sight though, current new crop prices are about 75% of today’s values.
As for planting progress and new crop outlook, nearly every major and specialty crop is progressing at tremendous pace. Excellent planting/growing conditions have been the story in most growing regions in the US/Canada, and new crop pricing is reflecting high expectations for these crops.
The result of all this bearish news is that many of the bigger commercial buyers are taking a hand to mouth approach to purchasing, which is the right play in this market. It feels like maybe we have all worked our way to one side of the boat though, setting the table for a change in the coming months. Any major global event could send the markets into a fury, leaving everyone scrambling for ownership (think Russia cutting off exports, major drought, Eurozone problems, etc). You know where that story leads…