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corn seedlings

Pulled the trigger on corn

Still a longer-term bull, but a bit apprehensive nearby

Corn prices are steady this morning after pushing to a fresh multi-month high, trading to $4.25 per bushel vs. the DEC18 contract, the MAR19 contract traded to $4.33 per contract.

As a producer, I pulled the trigger and reduced a bit more longer-term risk. It's not that I'm turning bearish, but with the market hitting levels we haven't seen in 10-months and me wanting to get another 30% of my estimated new-crop production price risk reduced during the next 90 to 120-days, I decided this would be a good place to start.

It's certainly not a home run or even a double, but the numbers do pencil and will keep me in the game for another at-bat. At the moment I'm still a longer-term bull, I'm just a bit apprehensive nearby. It seems like everybody and their brother has now decided to jump on the bullish bandwagon. I've never had a lot of luck playing this game as a team sport. I'm just wondering where the new bullish money-flow is going to come from?

  • I certainly understand the longer-term fundamental picture and the what-if's surrounding the U.S. crop.
  •  I understand that South American corn production is probably down by -20 MMTs, and that China is chewing through more of their domestic corn than most in the market had forecast.
  •  I also see ethanol demand increasing globally as several countries opening more corn-based plants and work towards increasing blend ratios.
  •  I also believe the USDA is currently underestimating corn used for U.S. feed and export demand.
  •  I also recognize the political unrest and uncertainty brewing in Argentina and Brazil and the raging inflation that could keep some supply held back and on the farm, meaning less available to the exporters.

The issue is most of the other bulls in the marketplace also see similar bullish cards in play. Again, my question is what headlines are we going to see nearby that will bring in new bulls and outweigh the fears and uncertainties that might arise causing some liquidation of length?

Hence, the reason I wanted to reward the recent rally and reduce a bit more risk.

The planting pace here in the U.S. is basically back to our historical average. Yes, there are some delays and problems up in Minnesota and the Dakotas that the trade will continue to monitor the next couple of weeks.

But we have seen some fairly good rainfall totals as a whole and soil moisture levels seem adequate for many important growing regions. In other words, not perfect conditions by any means, but good enough to currently avoid a major wide-spread worry.

Weather for late-June and into July will obviously be a "wild-card," but that's still a ways off on the horizon.

Recent rains in Brazil seem as if they've stopped the bleeding in regard to crop losses. It seems like a couple of weeks back we were hearing talk from boots on the ground that the Brazilian crop could be sub-80 MMTs, now it seems I'm hearing more talk about 81 to 83 MMTs, which is still less than the current USDA estimate, but not as low as the trade was once thinking.

I also don't think the dry conditions in southern Russia and parts of Ukraine are as significant as some thought a few sessions back.

I hope I'm dead wrong and the market just keeps ripping higher, ultimately providing me with easier opportunities to feather in additional sales at higher prices.

We've basically rallied +50 cents from the mid-December lows to the recent highs, I just want to make sure I grab a little.

From a technical perspective, old-crop support still looks to be down in the $3.80 to $3.90 area, with heavier resistance up between $4.20 and $4.40 per bushel. New-crop support is still thought to be around the psychotically strong $4.00 level with heavier resistance up in the $4.40 to $4.50 range.

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