In my grandmother Faragher’s Manx household was the tradition of the “Qualtagh.” The qualtagh, the first visitor to your home in the New Year, was a harbinger of the household fortunes for the year. A young, vigorous man was as good as it gets. A crusty, broken down old farmer meant you should dig a […]
In NASCAR the so-called “silly season” is that period at the end of the year when teams are realigning. Drivers are going to other teams, teams are changing leadership or swapping drivers. People are hired, fired. Everyone knows this next year is the year. Just ask the Cubs or, for that matter, the Indians. Silly […]
Last week we looked at charts, trying to find signals of direction. Well, we know more about direction now. Corn prices broke sharply on the Chicago Board of Trade this week for no particular reason I can think of. That should give you confidence that you are not wasting your time reading this! Actually, the […]
It is hard to get a handle on where markets are going these days. The easiest method, with the least recriminations when you are wrong, is to look in the rearview mirror.
When prices go up and down, sometimes without reason, we call it “volatile.” When we can explain it, we describe cycles and retracements and corrections. We have a basket full of adjectives to describe the chicken-entrail sketching on our charts. This market we just describe as erratic.
USDA released the Sunday night Crop Progress Report Monday after the close, and it was not pretty. Harvest still drags on, and rain coming into the Midwest this week will not help. Thanksgiving will come and go with corn, and even soybeans, still in the fields. One of the biggest traditions of my youth was […]
December corn futures gained 9 cents in the last five minutes of trade Monday. Traders seemed to be reacting to fears of lack of harvest progress. USDA released new harvest numbers after the close that seemed to confirm the bullishness. December futures had a 24-cent range from high to low Monday. We had a spike […]
There has been a lot of grain market volatility to confuse things. One day, we were up 4 cents and the next down 4 cents. The optimist says we are going higher, the pessimist says we are going lower, and the realist says the market did nothing for those two days.
I have had bird feeders close to the house for 35 years. The bear tore them down a couple of times a few years ago, and we had to stop feeding for a month. Other than that we have always fed a herd of a few hundred “livestock” as I call them. Regular customers Most […]
Two old axioms of the grain trade cropped up in conversations last week. One is that a big crop keeps getting bigger. The other is that the cure for low prices is low prices.
We can’t go back to the markets of 2008.
Many questions remain as we approach the end of the crop year. Not the least of these is: What size crop do we have?
USDA will release the Supply and Demand Report Wednesday, and, as usual, it represents an untimely truth for this grain market columnist. I write this on Monday before the market opens, and the reader gets this Thursday, after the report and after some market reaction to it. The numbers Monday, the markets were sharply mixed, […]
For the first time in a long time, corn has had days as the leading grain on the Chicago Board of Trade. That is to say, some days the gains in corn were more than the gains in wheat or soybeans. Some days, the beans matched the corn, but with a higher-priced commodity where the […]
Tuesday’s market (June 30), we’re in a “hat rack” market — we’re looking look for some kind of market news to “hang our hat on.”
Prices have broken sharply on the Chicago Board of Trade the last few days. The perception of a good crop and outside markets continue to ravage what was a welcome rally. Monday trading was an example of how bad it gets when the speculators run out on the market. Soybeans were down 27 1/2 cents […]
Corn, beans and wheat have made new recent highs on the Chicago Board of Trade this week, but there is no surprise. Price discovery The same factors that have pushed prices the last month continue to effect the ideas in Chicago of price discovery. Price discovery is the term the grain trade uses for finding […]
Now is the spring of our discontent. Now, we are starting to talk about how dry it has gotten. Now, we are wishing we had not poked seed into mud that might crust over it.
I put in 750 miles in Ohio and Michigan over the weekend, and I was amazed how far behind we are in reality. Yes, the Planting Progress Report from USDA said Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois are the problem with the U.S. being so far behind, but looking at miles of northwest Ohio bare as far […]
The planets are aligning this morning in a manner that will be easier to interpret by the end of the day. Unfortunately, I have to write this on Tuesday morning, not Tuesday evening. The planets are aligning, or even colliding, in the form of the USDA Planting Progress Report, out Monday afternoon, and the USDA […]