Corn bulls are pointing to strong export sales and a nearby short-covering rally. Weekly corn export sales were reported at +1.3 MMTs, up sharply from last week and topped most all guesses. There's some talk the funds covered a few short positions based on the weakness in the U.S. dollar. Bulls are also pointing to some potential late-inning complications in a few production areas across the U.S. Producers are reporting late disease complications as well as flooded fields in parts of the Dakota's, Wisconsin and small portions of Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota.
There's also more nearby rains in the forecast and cooler temps. We are also seeing corn export premiums in South America and Ukraine growing larger as supplies remain tight and taxes and logistics complicate flow. This leads me to believe U.S. exporters are going to remain a heavy supplier to global buyers and the strong "demand" story is going to remain in play. As a producer, I think a lot of consideration needs to be placed on "time." The end of 2018 isn't all that far away.
How soon do you need to price bushels and raise cash-flow? How much storage is in play? Can you re-own the board in some capacity if you make cash sales near the low? I would like to say the low is in place, and all of worries are going to be fixed by a strong and lengthy rally. Unfortunately, I just can't convince myself that's going to happen. I still think we are somewhat range-bound and will continue to trade sideways to lower into year end.
From a technical perspective, it's easy to argue that we are stuck in 50 cent range between $3.40 to $3.90 per bushel. I'm personally more of the belief the range might be a bit lower, between $3.30 and $3.80 per bushel. Again, I'm just worried about "time" and producers who need to price more bushels prior to year end, may have only a few windows of opportunity near the higher end of the range. Stay engaged and continue to pay close attention. The bounces need to be used to reduce nearby risk. As a spec, I am still on the sideline wanting to be a longer-term bull, just in no real hurry.
The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Corn+Soybean Digest or Farm Progress.