Karl's Feed
Aug 4, 2014

U.S. chicken farmers latest caught in Russia sanction crosshairs

By Tom Polansek and Karl Plume

(Reuters) – Russia’s threatened ban on U.S. poultry imports, the latest move in a sanctions skirmish over Moscow’s support of rebels in Ukraine, has agriculture companies alert to the risks of a conflict that’s already roiled trading of crops ranging from soy, beef and fruit to California pistachios.

Moscow has struck back against trade sanctions following the downing of a Malaysian jetliner last month by imposing food restrictions, and would add U.S. chickens to Ukrainian soy and other products Russia has blocked since it seized Crimea earlier this year: Australian beef, Latvian and Lithuanian pork, Moldovan fruit and Ukrainian juice.

Jul 31, 2014

Bunge profit tops Street view on strong agribusiness results

July 31 (Reuters) – Bunge Ltd, one of the world’s
largest agricultural trading houses, on Thursday reported
higher-than-expected second-quarter earnings as strong demand
and record large soybean crops in the Southern Hemisphere
bolstered oilseed processing margins.

The White Plains, New York-based company forecast a solid
second half of 2014, skewed toward the fourth quarter, on steady
global demand for crops and as the U.S. and European harvests
replenish stocks.

Jul 23, 2014

U.S. grain farmers resort to giant storage bags to avoid cheap sales

CHICAGO, July 23 (Reuters) – As U.S. farmers turn in record
grain crops this autumn, many will have a powerful new tool -
giant sausage-shaped storage bags – to help them avoid the
lowest prices in years and gain more control over trade with
giants such as Cargill Inc.

Demand has surged this summer for the white polyethylene
bags the length of a football field and the equipment required
to fill them, according to manufacturers and wholesalers.

Jul 8, 2014

Soybeans fall for 7th day; corn dips as U.S. crops thrive

CHICAGO, July 8 (Reuters) – U.S. soybean futures fell for
the seventh straight session on Tuesday, and corn slid lower for
a sixth day as favorable weather around the Midwest buoyed
forecasts of record crops this autumn.
Wheat prices were narrowly mixed after hitting a four-year
low the previous day, with prices anchored by rising supplies
from an accelerating harvest and weak export demand for the U.S.
Some investors were positioning ahead of Friday’s monthly
U.S. Department of Agriculture supply and demand report, which
was expected to show higher old-crop soybean ending stocks and
record-large corn and soybean harvests.
Despite pockets of excessive moisture and flooding, crop
development conditions around the Midwest have been largely
ideal. Corn this month is entering its critical pollination
stage, a period when excessive heat and dryness can clip yields.
The USDA on Monday reported that the corn crop was in the
best shape for early July in 15 years and that soy crop
conditions were the best in 20 years.
“Weather outlooks are still suggesting below-normal
temperatures for corn pollination and so far no threat for
soybean production in the July/August time frame,” said Rich
Nelson, chief strategist with Illinois-based consultancy
Allendale Inc.
Chicago Board Of Trade July soybeans were down 21
cents, or 1.5 percent, at a 4-1/2 month low of $13.42 a bushel
by 10:09 a.m. CDT (1509 GMT), while new-crop November futures
eased 4-1/4 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $11.21-1/4.
CBOT December corn declined 2 cents, or 0.5 percent,
to $4.05-1/4 a bushel. The spot corn contract hit a
four-year low of $4.05-1/2 a bushel on Monday.
The wheat market remained anchored by plentiful supplies in
key exporting countries and favorable weather for the spring
crop in the United States.
CBOT September wheat gained 1/2 cent to $5.57-1/4 a
bushel after posting its steepest percentage drop since March
2013 in the previous session.
The USDA on Monday reported that 70 percent of the U.S.
spring wheat crop was in good to excellent shape, unchanged from
a week earlier, and winter wheat was rated 31 percent good to
excellent, a point higher than the previous week.
Better-than-expected harvest results in Kansas, the top U.S.
wheat-growing state and part of a zone that suffered severe
growing weather this year, have also dampened prices this week.
Falling wheat prices have stirred some demand from
importers, but cheaper Black Sea production has pushed U.S.
wheat out of the frame in a string of tenders. Meanwhile, an
outlook for higher global bulk shipping rates further dampened
the export outlook for U.S. wheat shippers.

RIC Name Last Pct Chg Net Chg Pvs Close
1Cc1 CORN JUL4 408.25 -0.24 -1.00 409.25
1Sc1 SOYBEANS JUL4 1338.50 -1.80 -24.50 1363.00
1SMc1 SOY MEAL JUL4 437.20 -1.46 -6.50 443.70
1BOc1 SOYBEAN OIL JUL4 37.91 -1.17 -0.45 38.36
1Wc1 WHEAT SRW JUL4 545.50 0.09 0.50 545.00
1RRc1 ROUGH RICE JUL4 14.62 14.62
BL2c1 M.WHEAT EUR NOV4 182.75 0.14 0.25 182.50
CLc1 LIGHT CRUDE AUG4 103.52 -0.01 -0.01 103.53
.DJI DJ INDU AVERAGE 16908.20 -0.68 -116.01 17024.21
XAU= GOLD 1314.50 -5.39 1319.89
.BADI BALTIC EXCH DRY 881.00 -0.79 -7.00 888.00
.DXY US DOLLAR INDEX 80.17 -0.06 -0.05 80.22

Jul 3, 2014

Illinois high court rules constitution protects health benefits

CHICAGO, July 3 (Reuters) – The Illinois Supreme Court
decided Thursday that healthcare for retired state workers is a
constitutionally protected pension benefit, a ruling with
implications for pension reform legislation passed by the state
legislature earlier this year.

The 6-to-1 decision allows the continuation of class-action
challenges to a 2012 Illinois law that gave the state the right
to impose healthcare insurance premiums on its retired workers.
The challenge to the state effort to change healthcare benefits
centered on a constitutional provision that membership in any
public sector pension or retirement system “shall be an
enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which
shall not be diminished or impaired.”

Jun 27, 2014

U.S. soy supply seen at 37-year low, plantings hit record

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Relentless demand from exporters and processors likely thinned U.S. soybean stocks by June 1 to the lowest since the 1970s, but farmers have responded by planting their largest-ever soy crop this season, analysts expect government data to show on Monday.

The U.S. Agriculture Department’s (USDA) annual acreage and quarterly grain stocks reports, scheduled for release at 11:00 a.m. CDT (1600 GMT), will offer clues into how the government will update its supply and demand forecasts in mid-July.

Jun 23, 2014

Despite concessions to U.S. farmers, Big Data giants still in control

By Karl Plume

(Reuters) – In the tussle between U.S. farmers and Big Data purveyors, farmers are winning some control over details about crop and growing conditions on their land, but most data sellers are retaining ultimate say over how they can use the information that could be worth billions of dollars.

Although companies like Deere & Co and Monsanto Co’s Climate Corp are giving some ground by putting legal teeth behind promises made during sales pitches, they are refusing to back away from claims they have an absolute right to all data collected as combines, tractors and other equipment work fields across the country.

Jun 6, 2014

Corn, wheat bounce from 3-month lows on short-covering

CHICAGO, June 6 (Reuters) – U.S. corn futures jumped 1.5
percent on Friday in the strongest gains in a month on technical
buying and short-covering after sinking to a three-month low the
previous day. Still, they remained on pace for a fourth straight
weekly decline.

Hard red winter wheat futures surged more than 2 percent on
concerns about adverse weather in some key production areas,
including Russia’s Volga Valley and the southern U.S. Plains.
The rally helped to lift soft red winter wheat from three-month

Jun 5, 2014

DuPont signs up U.S. Midwest colleges for big data services for farms

June 5 (Reuters) – DuPont Pioneer has signed up eight
U.S. Midwest universities to work on research into nitrogen use
on farms, the latest in a flurry of deals by agriculture firms
looking to reap the benefits of the data collection from farm

The seed and chemicals company will provide some funding for
the research and equipment and technology for the schools,
according to the three-year agreement announced on Thursday.

Jun 5, 2014

Corn, soybeans tumble on good crop weather, fund selling

CHICAGO, June 5 (Reuters) – U.S. corn futures dropped for a
fourth straight day on Thursday, hitting the lowest point since
February, as favorable Midwest crop weather bolstered
expectations for a bumper harvest this autumn and triggered fund
Soybean prices fell 1 percent to the lowest in more than two
weeks, led by deferred-month contracts after the U.S. Department
of Agriculture reported lower-than-expected new-crop export
sales last week.
Wheat fell for the 19th time in 21 sessions and hit a
three-month low on poor export demand and a generally favorable
global crop outlook ahead of the northern hemisphere winter crop
Traders were rolling positions out of July contracts to
deferred months, ahead of position rolling by a large fund
expected to begin on Friday.
“We’re starting to see some profit taking and some position
moving ahead of the roll, and we’re seeing some people exit the
market,” said Karl Setzer, analyst with MaxYield Cooperative.
“The market’s trying to find a weather issue, not just in
the United States but anywhere around the world, and it’s just
not there,” he said.
The large long position held by commodity funds in both corn
and soybeans made them susceptible to fund selling.
Chicago Board of Trade July corn fell 5-1/2 cents, or
1.2 percent, to $4.50-3/4 a bushel by 11:00 a.m. CDT (1600 GMT),
the contract’s lowest since Feb. 14.
CBOT July soybeans shed 16-1/4 cents, or 1.1 percent,
to $14.66-1/4 a bushel. Selling accelerated as the contract
broke below its 50-day moving average around $14.73-1/2.
USDA on Thursday reported U.S. old-crop corn export sales
last week at the high end of trade expectations at 550,700
tonnes, but new-crop sales were below forecasts at 19,600
Old-crop soybean export sales totalled 41,300 tonnes, within
trade expectations. But new-crop sales of 230,500 tonnes were
well below forecasts for 500,000 to 750,000 tonnes.
CBOT July wheat fell 6-1/2 cents, or 1.1 percent, to a
three-month low of $6.08 a bushel.
Analytics firm Informa Economics updated its U.S. winter
wheat production estimates at midmorning, pegging production at
1.396 billion bushels – down 100 million from its previous
estimate – but the data garnered little reaction in the futures
U.S. wheat is facing stiff competition from rival exporters
such as Russia and Ukraine, which have been winning much of the
tender business.
“Any strength in U.S. wheat prices would largely serve to
make exports from the country uncompetitive. Therefore, we
expect prices to be capped unless there is a supply shock
elsewhere in the world,” Societe Generale said in a report.

RIC Name Last Pct Chg Net Chg Close
1Cc1 CORN JUL4 451.00 -1.15 -5.25 456.25
1Sc1 SOYBEANS JUL4 1466.50 -1.08 -16 1482.5
1SMc1 SOY MEAL JUL4 493.70 -0.56 -2.8 496.5
1BOc1 SOYBEAN OIL JUL4 38.63 -1.58 -0.62 39.25
1Wc1 WHEAT SRW JUL4 608.25 -1.02 -6.25 614.5
1RRc1 ROUGH RICE JUL4 14.115 -0.77 -0.11 14.225
BL2c1 M.WHEAT EUR NOV4 190.75 -0.26 -0.5 191.25
CLc1 LIGHT CRUDE JUL4 102.37 -0.26 -0.27 102.64
.DJI DJ INDU AVERAGE 16820.77 0.5 83.24 16737.53
XAU= GOLD 1254.19 #N/A 11.39 1242.8
.BADI BALTIC EXCH DRY 977 1.88 18 959
.DXY US DOLLAR INDEX 80.542 -0.15 -0.121 80.663