Free Commentary

By: Dan Hueber –

After all the various conflicting stories and chopping back and forth, it would appear that this will have turned out to be a decent week for the grain markets and a bit lackluster but not devastating for beans. If we were to close right now, July wheat would have gained just over 12-cents, July corn is up 3-cents and November beans down around 6-cents.  A rational mind could deduce that planting delays in corn and less than desirable conditions on wheat growing areas would be providing support in those markets while the great harvest pace/size in South American as well as concerns about the potentially large US acreage weighed on the beans.  That said, using the term “rational mind” in reference to market action would come across as an oxymoron.

I did come across a story overnight concerning growing consumer resistance to a GMO product that was a bit disconcerting.  Of course, you are probably thinking, on no, not another misinformed Whole Foods customer with more disposable income than sense and while there are some truisms in that thought, this time it is on the other side of the globe; China.  China is the world’s largest consumer of soybean oil, using around 16 MMT last year of which the majority is processed from beans imported from North and South America.  Where the story sounds familiar is that in spite of assurances from the Chinese government that GM products pose no health risks, wealthy urban consumers are leery and have been shifting over the alternative oils such as sunflower, peanut of sesame.  Soy oil sales were down 1% last year while sales of the competing products rose 2 to 6%.  It would appear that consumer education is needed in China just as much as it is here in the United States

Cold temperatures, rain, and snow appears to be on tap for many regions of the country for the weekend, which should heighten concerns of move weather more front and center into the psychology of the market.  Seeing that the calendar will roll into March at the beginning of next week, the planting updates could carry a bit more weight.

Do note that unless we witness a big reversal late in the day, the U.S. Dollar appears to be on track to posted the lowest weekly close since the election.  Seeing the lowest first quarter GDP in three years, just .7%, this morning was quite disappointing.  It would appear that a close now below 98.50 would potentially accelerate the swing lower.