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Market Plus: Jan 30, 2009: Tomm Pfitzenmaier, Summit Commodities

posted on January 30, 2009

Market Plus: Jan 30, 2009: Tomm Pfitzenmaier, Summit Commodities Pearson: This is the Friday, January 30th, 2009 version of Market Plus. We're glad you've joined us here at our Web site. I'm Mark Pearson and with me one of our long time regular market analysts Tomm Pfitzenmaier. Tomm, good to have you with us. We talked on the show about some head winds, we've got head winds in corn and beans for 2009 and we've got the ethanol issue out there, USDA has already cut the usage there 400 million bushels and obviously there are plants closing it seems like on a fairly regular basis. So, we've got that going on. You talked on the show about the strength of the dollar coming back and obviously a global recession is underway. So, there's some challenges out there. You were talking about making some sales. We get some rallies in here make some sales. How do you want to do that? What is the best way to do it?

Pfitzenmaier: You know, they're anticipating that the USDA in this February 12th report is going to cut usage again and pop that carry out up over two billion on corn. So, new crop corn I think most people are a little uncomfortable just flat out making sales and there's some option strategies I think you can look at to give you some potential here. You can buy that $4 December put, sell a $5 December call, you can do that for between five and ten cents. It gives you a good floor, a good $4 base, you listen to Iowa State's figures and most people's break even is in that $3.80 to $4.25, $4.50 area so you're locking in a floor that is kind of at break even for most people. It gives you the ability to participate on a rally up towards $5 for not a lot of costs there. So, that is the strategy I like using for new crop corn. If you want something just to sweeten that up a little bit you can go out and sell $8 calls for a dime and stick $500 in your pocket just to help pay for it too. That's a little more aggressive but something to look at, at least. As far as new crop beans go, again, same sort of strategy. I think there is up side potential if something goes wrong or the Chinese keep buying a lot more so you want to leave yourself a little up side but you can buy the $9 put, sell the $11 call, do that for around 10, 20 cents, not a lot of cost there, a nice floor at $9 on beans I think most people would figure that's around the break even for beans too from the numbers I see out of Iowa State, for example. $11 ceiling most people would be overjoyed if they'd get in trouble because beans were over $11. So, I think those are good strategies to kind of get a floor, give yourself some up side potential and then if we do get rallies and it rallies up get out of those and convert them to actual cash sales when the price gets high enough that you're comfortable.

Pearson: What about all this old crop out there, Tomm? Farmers really are controlling a lot more corn and soybeans as we enter this 2009 period. Cash sales are we seeing the basis start to spread out some?

Pfitzenmaier: The basis narrowed up a lot in that November and December period and kind of widened out in January and now has narrowed up again a little bit. I think for old crop corn and beans my preference is to just go out and get it sold. Now, if you can't stand that and you think something is going to wrong and nobody is going to plant corn and there's huge up side potential go buy yourself a cheap July or December corn call and let you participate at what we call a synthetic put. But get that cash sale made. We're in a down trending market. If you look at the charts we're in a pretty solid down trend, we've got a little recovery, a little consolidation within a down trending market the fast you can sell the better off you are. So, I think if you've got cash sales step up and get some made.

Pearson: All right, as usual some great insights. Tomm Pfitzenmaier, appreciate you joining us here Tomm and thank all of you for joining us here at our Web site on Market Plus. If you would like to see Market to Market on your local public television station so you can pick up the full version of the program make sure you contact your local public television program director and say I'd like to see Market to Market. Again, thanks for joining us. I'm Mark Pearson. From all of us on Market to Market, have a great week.

Tags: agriculture commodity prices markets news