Today's USDA reports really did a number on this index that I have created for my own analysis purposes. The unexpected data showed supply outrunning current expected levels of demand and forced the market to adjust to the new set of fundamentals.
If you note the index, it is at a 5 month low!
A couple of things to note here that I was unable to get to this morning amidst the hustle and bustle of trading activity. First, corn demand has fallen off because feed demand is falling off. The reason is because we now know that there are less piggy mouths around to feed than previously expected. Also, cattle numbers are well off last year's levels as well. Less animals to feed means less corn demand.
Secondly, even though planted acreage estimates for corn are lower than last year, traders are expected the harvested crop to actually come in larger than last year. The reason is because we have thus far had nearly ideal growing conditions. The crop looks terrific at this point as it enters the key pollination stage and for now, forecasts look benign.
Wheat prices are low but global supplies are ample and US prices have had to respond to increased competition from other nation suppliers.
I do want to add another note here - today is both the end of the month and the end of the quarter. End of the month positioning is bad enough but throw in a good dose of end of the quarter book squaring, and all manner of strange price moves can be seen.
"When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe." … Frederic Bastiat
Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it. So it always has been. So it always will be. And America has no special immunity to becoming an enemy of its own founding beliefs about human freedom, human dignity, the limited power of the state, and the sovereignty of God. – Archbishop Chaput
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