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Apr. 29, 2014, 7:15 PM
- U.S. government forecasters predict a more than 65% chance for an El Niño weather phenomenon by the end of the year, a development that threatens to drive up prices for food and other staples.
- El Niño has a reputation for triggering sharp run-ups for prices in markets as diverse as nickel, coffee and soybeans, and commodities investors, traders and analysts are bracing for impact at a time when global supplies of many raw materials already are stretched.
- Global food prices - which at the start of 2014 were expected to be largely flat this year - could easily climb 15% to record highs in as a little as three months after an El Niño occurs, says World Bank economist James Baffes.
- But Société Générale analysts say it is miners, not farmers, who have the most to worry about; since 1991, nickel prices rose the most (13.9%) during El Niño years among commodities the bank tracks.
- ETFs: DBA, CORN, DBC, JO, JJC, RJA, JJG, WEAT, SOYB, DJP, SGG, DBB, COW, NIB, GSG, RJI, CAFE, BAL, GCC, DAG, USCI, JJA, GRU, CHOC, CANE, JJN, RGRA, AGA, JJT, RGRC, CPER, AGF, GSP, BOM, RJZ, JJU, GSC, LSC, FUD, DJCI, USAG, BOS, SGAR, JJM, DEE, BDD, UCI, LD, WEET, UAG, DYY, DIRT, BCM, CMD, DDP, NINI, JJS, CTNN, TAGS, UBC, CUPM, FOIL, UCD, ADZ, RGRI, LEDD, UBM, CMDT, BDG, SBV, USMI, DPU, LSTK, CSCB, GRWN, HEVY, CSCR
Apr. 11, 2014, 6:06 PM
- China’s rejection of genetically modified corn is becoming a big problem for exporters: In the first full tally of the impact, a U.S. grain industry group says the rejected shipments have totaled ~1.45M metric tons, far more than the 545K tons China has reported and the 900K tons that has circulated in news media.
- The rejected shipments have cost grain companies $427M from lost sales and reduced prices for China-bound shipments that must be resold elsewhere, and has affected the price of corn and soybeans, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses for farmers.
- Big seed companies such as Syngenta (SYT), Monsanto (MON) and DuPont (DD) generally are aligned with traders such as Cargill and ADM in the desire to grow and sell as much grain as possible, but now the two groups are debating who should bear the costs for the rejected shipments.
- ETFs: DBA, CORN, RJA, SOYB, DAG, JJA, RGRA, AGA, AGF, USAG, FUD, UAG, DIRT, TAGS, ADZ
Mar. 31, 2014, 3:02 PM
- Corn is ahead about 2% after a USDA survey shows farmers planning to plant just 91.691M acres this year, the lowest in 4 years, and down from 95.365M acres in 2013. Trade estimates had been for about 93M acres.
- One year ago at this time, the nearby corn contract was trading at $7 per bushel - today it's around $5. The USDA pegs March 1 corn inventories of 7.01B bushels, up 30% from a year ago, and about inline with trade forecasts.
- CORN +3.1%
- ETFs: JJG, GRU
Mar. 10, 2014, 12:12 PM
- World corn stocks of 158.47MMT is higher than last month's estimate of 157.3 and trade expectations of 156.27. Domestic ending stocks, however, are now placed at 1.456B bushels vs. 1.481 last month and trade expectations of 1.488.
- Domestic bean ending stocks of 145M bushels is down from 150 last month, but ahead of trade expectations for 141. World stocks of 70.64MMT vs. 73.01 previously and forecasts for 71.46.
- Domestic wheat ending stocks of 558M bushels compares to 558M last month and 570M forecast.
- Markets are reading the news as bearish, with corn off a nickel, beans down $0.25, and wheat off $0.02
- CORN -0.25%, SOYB -0.75%, WEAT -1.2%
- Related ETFs: JJG, GRU, WEET
Jan. 10, 2014, 12:25 PM
- Corn (CORN +2.6%) moves sharply higher after the latest USDA projection has corn ending stocks at just 1.631B bushels vs. trade expectations for 1.861B. The agency pegs production at 13.93B bushels - few had expected this number to come in below 14B.
- The wheat (WEAT -4.2%) numbers are more bearish however, with ending stocks of 608M bushels vs. expectations of 557M. Winter wheat seedings, though, are less than expected - 41.892M acres vs. 43.501M.
- Soybean (SOYB +0.1%) ending stocks of 150B bushels are about inline with expectations.
- Related ETFs: JJG, GRU
Jan. 10, 2014, 5:08 AM
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expected to lift its estimate today for the 2013 corn harvest (CORN) to 14.05B bushels from a prediction in December of 13.99B bushels.
- That would make last year's output the largest in U.S. history, surpassing the crop of 13.1B bushels in 2009.
- If confirmed, the estimates are likely to add pressure to corn prices, which hit a 3 1/2 year low of $4.08 a bushel yesterday before closing at $4.12. That was still down 1.2%, with the decline also due to falling exports. Corn has dropped 2.4% this year after plummeting 40% in 2013.
- Wheat prices suffered as well yesterday from poor overseas sales, hitting a two-year low of $5.785 a bushel before recovering a bit to close -0.8% at $5.8425.
- ETFs: DBA, RJA, WEAT, DAG, JJA, AGA, RGRA, AGF, FUD, USAG, DIRT, UAG, WEET, TAGS, ADZ
Jan. 7, 2014, 11:35 AM
- China reportedly has turned away more U.S. corn cargoes due to the discovery of an unapproved genetically-modified strain, and traders say further rejections are likely.
- A report yesterday said China had rejected 601K metric tons of corn and corn by-products from the U.S. by year-end 2013 and suggested that more corn cargoes had been turned away since Dec. 20, when 545K metric tons had been refused.
- Chicago corn futures (CORN), which have been under pressure from rising global supplies and China's cancellation of U.S. cargoes, climbed another 0.5% Monday; the GMO corn is developed by Syngenta (SYT).
Dec. 6, 2013, 6:42 PM
- Corn futures (CORN) fell amid mounting concerns that export demand will suffer because China has been rejecting U.S. grain containing an unapproved genetically modified strain.
- This week, China rejected more than 120K metric tons in five separate shipments of U.S. corn after inspectors found the genetically engineered insect-resistant MIR 162 strain; regulators had rejected U.S. grain for the same reason last month.
- Traders worry the actions could herald a period of reduced shipments to China from the U.S., the world's biggest corn producer and exporter.
- Biotech company Syngenta (SYT) has resubmitted an application for the GMO strain to be allowed in China.
Nov. 16, 2013, 8:25 AM
- Ethanol producers vow to fight back against the EPA's proposal to lower the annual requirement for the biofuel used in gasoline.
- Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) complained it had invested in renewable fuel projects "on the basis of firm legislative commitments" and across two presidential administrations.
- Green Plains (GPRE) CEO Todd Becker calls the prospect of the U.S. turning away from a cheap and domestically produced fuel source "disgraceful."
- Although "disappointed," Renewable Energy (REGI) CEO Daniel Oh says the company's scale would "allow us to continue to succeed."
- "While we still think a large U.S. corn crop in 2013 will benefit other ADM businesses, we see the renewable fuel proposal as adding risk to the shares," says S&P Capital IQ's Tom Graves, who downgraded ADM shares to Sell from Hold after the announcement.
- Also: PEIX, GEVO, BIOF, SZYM, SYNM, AMRS, KIOR.
- ETF: CORN.
Nov. 15, 2013, 3:09 PM
- The EPA is proposing a range of 15B-15.52B gallons of renewable fuel in 2014, nearly 3B fewer gallons of biofuel to be blended into gasoline than mandated by the original 2007 law.
- The new proposal angers farm groups, corn ethanol producers and supporters of biodiesel, but it's a victory for oil companies, which have long argued that if the content of ethanol in motor fuel exceeded 10% - i.e., the "blend wall" - it might damage cars, motorcycles and lawn mowers.
- The administration also is setting a 2B-2.5B gallon target range for all advanced biofuels (earlier).
- Among the biggest movers: PEIX +13%, ADM -2.9%.
- Refiners: VLO +0.8%, HFC -0.4%, PSX -0.5%, TSO -0.3%.
- ETF: CORN -1.2%.
Oct. 5, 2013, 8:25 AM
- The U.S. government shutdown and the resulting lack of official statistics are prompting traders to shun agricultural commodities due to concerns about the vacuum of information and fears of a data dump that will hit markets hard when the shutdown ends.
- Likely to fall victim to the shutdown is the USDA's monthly Wasde crop production report, set for Oct. 11, which affects prices of grains and other agricultural commodities around the world.
- Analysts say concerns over a delay could lead to additional short-covering as speculative shorts look to take risk off the table; once the USDA resumes operations, a torrent of backlogged data could trigger a highly volatile reaction.
- ETFs: MOO, CROP, PAGG, VEGI, JJG, GRU, CORN, WEAT, SOYB, COW, UBC, JJA, RJA, AGF, DBA, FUD, UAG, DAG, AGA, ADZ, JJS, TAGS, USAG, RGRA.
Sep. 30, 2013, 3:49 PM
- Corn (CORN -2.4%) and Soybeans (SOYB -3.2%) tumble - with corn hitting a 3-year low - after the USDA reports estimated corn stocks of 824M bushels, off 17% from a year ago, but far higher than trade estimates for 687M. Bean stocks are estimated at 141M bushels, also off 17% from a year ago, but 13% above estimates. Stocks still remain low, but these are old crop numbers, and forecasters are looking forward to a big crop this fall.
- Wheat (WEAT -2.7%) stocks of 1.85B bushels were slightly below expectations.
- Lower-than-expected feed usage and export demand were behind the big corn number - high prices had pig farmers substituting corn for wheat.
- Relevant grain ETFs: JJA, RJA, AGF, DBA, FUD, UAG, DAG, AGA, ADZ, JJS, TAGS, USAG, RGRA, JJG, GRU.
Sep. 12, 2013, 1:07 PM
- December Corn slides nearly 3% after the USDA revises upward its estimate for ending stocks to 1.855B bushels from last month's 1.837B. Trade forecasts were for 1.739B. Production is lifted to 13.843B bushels from 13.763B last month and trade estimates of 13.641B. The average yield is expected at 155.3 bushels/acre vs. 123.4 last year.
- Beans go green, however, as the USDA cuts it estimate for yields across the Midwest. The agency sees production at 3.149B bushels and ending stocks of 150M after cutting export demand by 20M bushels. "Leaves trade nervous," tweets Arlan Suderman of Water Street Solutions. "USDA too conservative on demand."
- Wheat's reverses an early loss to go flat even as the USDA revises higher its forecast of ending stocks to 561M bushels from 551M.
- Deere (DE -1.1%) got knee-jerked for a few cents on the news release, but looks to be in the process of bouncing back.
- CORN -2.7%.
- JJG, GRU, SOYB, WEAT.
Aug. 26, 2013, 8:05 AM
- Soybeans lead big gains in the grains after the Pro Farmer tour suggests a harvest lower than the USDA prediction and DTN forecasts more hot, dry weather in the Midwest for the next 7-10 days.
- November beans +3.9%, December corn +3.6%, December wheat +1.5%.
- "The market's increasingly getting a bit nervous about the soybean crop," says an agricultural economist with ANZ.
- ETFs of interest: CORN, SOYB, WEAT. JJG, GRU.
Aug. 12, 2013, 12:26 PM
- The grain pits party after the USDA lowers its corn production estimate to 13.76B bushels - still a whopper of a number, but off from 13.95B in July. Ending stocks are cut to 1.837B bushels.
- Bean production is cut to 3.255B bushels from 3.42B as acres planted are cut 500K and yield is lowered to 1.9 bushels/acre.
- No change is made to the wheat production estimate, but 25M bushels of extra exports cuts ending stocks by the same amount.
- December corn erases a sizable early loss, now up $0.15 to $4.69/bushel. CORN +1.5%.
- SOYB +3.4%, WEAT +0.3%.
- Grain ETFs: JJG +1.8%, GRU +2.5%.
- Other related: JJA, RJA, AGF, DBA, FUD, UAG, DAG, AGA, ADZ, JJS, TAGS, USAG, RGRA.
Aug. 12, 2013, 3:29 AM
- This time last year, the U.S. was suffering from a severe drought that hit production and sent corn prices (CORN) to a record high of $8.31 a bushel.
- Now, the harvest is expected to rise to at least 14M bushels from 10.8M in 2012, causing prices to sink to $4.65 a bushel. Soybean is down by over 20% from a year ago.
- While the drop in prices - which is forecast to continue - is hurting farmers, it's providing relief for meat producers and other food companies.
- Relevant livestock ETFs include COW and UBC.
The investment objective of the Fund is to have the daily changes in percentage terms of the Shares’ net asset value (“NAV”) reflect the daily changes in percentage terms of a weighted average of the closing settlement prices for three futures contracts for corn (“Corn Futures Contracts”) that are traded on the Chicago Board of Trade (“CBOT”), specifically (1) the second-to-expire CBOT Corn Futures Contract, weighted 35%, (2) the third-to-expire CBOT Corn Futures Contract, weighted 30%, and (3) the CBOT Corn Futures Contract expiring in the December following the expiration month of the third-to-expire contract, weighted 35%, less the Fund’s expenses. (This weighted average of the three referenced Corn Futures Contracts is referred to herein as the “Benchmark,” and the three Corn Futures Contracts that at any given time make up the Benchmark are referred to herein as the “Benchmark Component Futures Contracts.
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