Corn prices continue to struggle as the fallout in crude oil becomes historically dangerous. Demand worries associated with ethanol becomes more concerning. A few weeks back the trade was talking perhaps -300 million to -500 million bushel reduction in corn demand, now all of a sudden the trade is thinking we could see a much larger reduction in corn used for ethanol. At the same time, we are digesting continued headlines of meat processing plant closures and weakening feed demand. Technically, it feels like the MAY 2020 contract is wanting to test major psychological support down at $3.00 per bushel. The new-crop DEC20 contract posted fresh contract lows and will now be trying to hold support in the $3.30 to $3.35 range.
In Brazil, traders continue to closely monitor rainfall events as a portion of its second-crop is in need of a drink. At this point, the market doesn't see it as much concern especially with such demand uncertainties circulating. The weather here at home seems mostly a non-event. Some producers are saying they have fields that are too dry, while others are saying they have fields that are too wet. Bottom-line, the planters are starting to roll in more big production areas.
With that being said, as a spec, I remain long the JUL20 contract. When I initiated the position my thought was to start extremely small in the low $3.30's and cost-averaging into more units between $2.80 and $3.20 per bushel if the downward pressure persists. The craziness and almost unthinkable in crude oil now has me more concerned and uncertain about nearby corn prices. At least for the moment, I am going to hold off adding any additional length. As a producer, we have only a small number of hedges left in place to protect the downside and I'm probably lifting the remaining ones if we break sub-$3.00.
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The opinions of Kevin Van Trump are not necessarily those of Corn and Soybean Digest or Farm Progress.
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