Free Commentary

By: Dan Hueber –

Outside of the livestock, it was a challenge to find any commodity market that was feeling even remotely optimistic yesterday.  Grain markets surrendered early gains to finish soft, beans continued to erode in the face of global competition and ideas of more acreage, metals were higher as global political concern remain tense but the biggest drag was undoubtedly crude oil.  This market has climbed higher for the past several weeks, buoyed by a rosier global economic outlook and a proposal by the Saudi’s that a production slowdown be extended through the first quarter of next year.  In what appears to be a classic example of buy the rumor, sell the fact, at the conclusion of the OPEC meeting in Vienna this week, the organization confirmed that indeed, production cuts would be extended, crude markets turned sharply lower, diving as much as 5%.  I did see some commentary that suggested there was disappointment that they did not decide to trim production even further but that sounds more like someone conjuring up a reason to justify the action.  This is one factor though that should continue to hang over the crude market as prices advance and that is the fact that U.S. Shale production is on the rebound. Since mid-2016 the output is up by around 10%.


The morning weather models suggest that rains will continue to fall across most of the Midwest and at least into the Tennessee Valley over the next couple weeks.  While this may be providing underlying support to the corn market, it would not appear to be stimulating any out and out buy interest. It will be interesting to begin seeing the crop rating but even then, the early numbers will probably not reflect the extent of the problems that exist.

Seeing that we sit on the cusp of a long weekend, it is difficult to imagine that we will see great volume or direction today.  Ideally after the break and the introduction of a new month, traders will have taken a fresh perspective concerning the amount of risk that we confront in days/weeks ahead.

With that, we wish you all a pleasant weekend and as a tribute to those that gave their lives for this nation which we commemorate this Monday, here is the poem Decoration Day, written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1882 to mark this event;

Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
On this Field of the Grounded Arms,
Where foes no more molest,
Nor sentry’s shot alarms!

Ye have slept on the ground before,
And started to your feet
At the cannon’s sudden roar,
Or the drum’s redoubling beat.

But in this camp of Death
No sound your slumber breaks;
Here is no fevered breath,
No wound that bleeds and aches.

All is repose and peace,
Untrampled lies the sod;
The shouts of battle cease,
It is the Truce of God!

Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!
The thoughts of men shall be
As sentinels to keep
Your rest from danger free.

Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.