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How high can corn prices go without a weather story?

How high can corn prices go without a weather story?

Corn traders will be eager on Monday to see just how many acres U.S. producers were able to get planted this week. There's some talk that 30 million acres may have gone in the ground. That seems a bit optimistic to me, but I've learned to never say never when it comes to the advancements in technology and how fast today's American farmer can get the crop planted. The bears are also suggesting next week's weather forecast is perhaps becoming a bit more cooperative in some key locations.

As for global production, the Brazilian crop appears to be in better-than-expected condition and the estimates coming out of Argentina show the corn crop continuing to move higher. With no major weather story, no real production story and no surging demand story, it continues to be difficult to build a bullish scenario based on facts. Sure there's the "what ifs" associated with weather, but isn't there always?

Bottom line: There's never been a crop year yet that didn't start off without concerns surrounding weather. The problem is, as of right now this doesn't equate to facts the bulls can use to build a case against the bears. In the courtroom of trading, the "what ifs" surrounding weather are simply considered hearsay and not permissible as actual evidence. Just as the bulls can say it will be a bad growing season, the bears can say the weather will be nearly ideal. So right now we are left to trade on the facts.

The facts include timely planting of the U.S. corn crop. There's also some realistic evidence showing total corn acres may actually increase rather than decrease. We also have facts showing the South American corn crop doesn't appear to be having any major production problems and perhaps is even getting a bit larger. We have facts that the Chinese are clearly becoming a bit more difficult in regard to DDGs and Milo inspections. We have facts that ethanol production has been wavering a bit as of late and may have a tough time reaching the USDA's current forecast. We have facts that show the bird-flu virus is very real, even though it might not have a huge impact on overall feed demand, it's certainly not bullish.

Really the only bullish fact I would feel comfortable submitting in the courtroom as evidence, is that there are a ton of traders all leaning over the short-side of the boat, and the macro landscaping is creating some fresh new investor uncertainties. Meaning a short-covering rally is definitely a possibility... but the question remains, how high can prices go without a weather story? As producer I don't like selling on the breaks, so I am going to stick with my current gameplay and remain extremely patient. In fact I may be doing nothing for  several weeks, or at least until more bullish evidence is allowed in building our case.  

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