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Market Commentary for 6/5/23

Jon Scheve with weekly market commentary made on June, 2, 2023

It is amazing how quick a 2-week weather forecast change can impact corn prices. Friday morning weather reports showed possible rain, so the market was trading lower. Then by midday, precipitation was looking less likely over the next two weeks, and corn values increased 30 cents. This is what a weather market looks like. If you could predict the weather, you could predict corn prices too.

2022 Crop Marketing Recap – Bean Basis Review

As the 2022 marketing year ends, I like to review all of my trade decisions to evaluate performance and identify areas of improvement in the future. The following analyzes my bean basis decisions.

For background, my farm in southeast Nebraska is 60 miles from a processing plant and 10 miles from a rail-loading elevator. Due to long lines and increased freight costs during harvest, I built enough on-farm storage 10 years ago to store 100% of my corn and beans to maximize flexibility and profitability.

At harvest I stored 100% of my beans to wait for better basis prices, like I usually do. About one month later, in November, I found an opportunity to set basis on 100% of my beans (picked up on my farm) at a value better than the local processor and rail-loading facility were bidding after all freight costs were considered.

Usually, I struggle to get a positive bean basis bid picked up on my farm. However, due to low yields in my part of the bean belt, I managed to sell +50 against the January futures, which is the best basis I have ever collected on my farm.

The following chart shows the price I sold (red X) compared to the processor and elevator spot bids. Prices include all freight rates for picking up on my farm to easily compare opportunities.

With hindsight it is clear I hit the year’s high for my bean basis. However, at the time of the basis sale it was not a sure thing. There was uncertainty around South America’s upcoming production and how many beans farmers were going to store through winter into early spring. Why Did You Sell? It came down to the storage cost to hold the beans. With futures at the time around $14.50, it meant the cash value was about $15. With interest rates increasing to 7%, it would cost me over 8 cents per month to keep the beans in storage. I did think there was a chance basis values could work higher, but I did not think it would be enough to cover the interest cost I would incur each month. Knowing what I know now I am obviously glad I set the basis when I did. Next week: when and what price I set the futures on my 2022 bean crop.

Jon Scheve Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

9358 Oak Ave Waconia, MN 55387


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