Jon Scheve with weekly market commentary made on June, 16, 2023
This time of the year has the most weather risk because no one knows if July will have widespread drought conditions or favorable precipitation. Interestingly over the last 40 years, on average, the middle of June has been the best time frame to sell new crop corn futures. Market Action As I shared last week, on Dec 27th I finished my 2022 bean sales when futures went above $15. New Crop Bean Futures Sale: On Dec 27th, November 2023 beans were trading above $14. For the last two years I sold 25% of my beans one year in advance. For the 2021 crop I sold at $10 and then for the 2022 crop I sold at $12.20. Keeping with the trend of selling in advance, I did it again for 2023 and sold 25% of my upcoming beans for $14.04. Why Did You Do This? At the time, none of my new crop corn was protected and I only had 10% of my old crop corn sold, and with no new crop beans protected I thought I was open to a lot of risk for my operation. After finding that my breakeven would be $12 on my new crop beans if my bean yields were normal, I thought it best to make a sale on part of my crop with nearly $2 per bushel profit in the trade. Buying More Protection on New Crop Beans: I then decided to buy protection for the rest of my new crop beans. On the same day on 75% of my anticipated new crop production, I purchased $13.80 bean puts for 78 cents, which provided a guaranteed $13.02 floor price until the end of October ($13.80 strike price minus 78 cent cost to purchase the put). Combining this put with my $14.04 sale mentioned above, gave me a guaranteed floor just over $13.25 after commissions. This left me with over a $1 per bushel guaranteed profit on all my beans, while still allowing unlimited upside potential on 75% of my beans, less the 78-cent put cost. Since I’m using puts, any production issues due to dry weather will be less of a concern and there is no margin call risk on that portion of my hedge. Why Not Sell More Beans At $14? I considered selling 50% of my beans and buying puts on 50% of my crop, but that only improved my guaranteed floor price by 25 cents ($13.50) and limited my upside potential if prices were above $14.82. With Brazil and US bean production so uncertain at the time, I was estimating that the upside price potential could be as high as $17, but the downside risk was as low as $11. When analyzing the risk versus reward for my operation, selling 25% of my beans one year in advance and then protecting the balance from a catastrophic price drop seemed like the best option for me. While beans have come back $1.70 off their lows from two weeks ago, I felt more secure knowing my entire crop was protected during the $2.70 sell off since January. Even today with the weather unknowns facing the soybean belt I’m protected against the downside and still have a lot of upside potential.
Jon Scheve Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC
9358 Oak Ave Waconia, MN 55387 email@example.com