July 17, 2023
The growing season is here. Do you want to know where prices are headed? We know the answer. It’s all about the weather. If the rains last night were broader and heavier than expected, prices adjust quickly and the market turns its attention to the 3-day, 7-day and 30-day forecasts.
Unpredictable weather during the growing season makes summer a volatile period for prices. The accompanying chart illustrates the volatility. The chart shows the percentage of years when the monthly price range in November soybean futures prices was greater than 10% of the price on the first trading day of the month. Consider the current market as an example. November soybean futures are trading near $12/bu. The history since 1990 indicates that we have nearly a 50% chance of experiencing a price range of $1.20/bu. (10% of $12) or greater in the months of June and July.
Data source: CBOT closing prices for November soybean futures.
The war in Ukraine remains headline news. Demand for soybeans in China remains headline news. But the growing season is here, and nothing is more important than the weather and its impact on crop development.
I can say with 20/20 hindsight that I wish I had been more aggressive with new crop sales earlier in the year. “I should have sold more” is the seller’s lament in a bear market. Rehashing the “should haves” is not helpful. Let’s hope that price swings in June and July give us another chance to get more soybeans and corn priced at higher levels.
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