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Market Plus: Oct 24, 2008: Tomm Pfitzenmaier, Market Analyst

posted on October 24, 2008

Market Plus: Oct 24, 2008: Tomm Pfitzenmaier, Market Analyst Pearson: Welcome to the Friday, October 24th, 2008 version of Market Plus, glad you've joined us here at our Market to Market Web site. And with us this week one of our senior market analysts, Tomm Pfitzenmaier. Tomm, a couple of things. A lot of people out there are really thinking hard about what they need to do and what they should do and when it comes particularly to sales of corn and soybeans since we're in the midst of that harvest. On the show you talked about a couple of things and one that was really driven home to me is we've got a strong cash demand for both.

Pfitzenmaier: Yeah, and ultimately that is going to help support the prices. The contrarian in me would say the fact that all the farmers have their only strategy is to store always makes me a little nervous because when everybody is leaning one way it kind of makes you uneasy to lean that way yourself. But there is a situation as I alluded to on the show where right now we've got a pretty strong demand for corn and beans. Now, there is not much corn harvested and not that much available so it's kind of hard to take advantage of it in corn. But if you do have any I think there's a chance here to move some corn, some of this corn quality is not that good anyway, it's not going to store very well so there's an opportunity to move some of that corn out, re-own it on the board and as I said on the show you want to own that product in the vehicle that's going to go up the most or down the least and when you've got a tight basis like that odds are that after harvest, after your harvest gets going, a lot of corn comes in you're going to see that basis widen back out. In other words, the price of cash corn moves down relative to the futures. So, if you can convert that into a futures position you can own it in a vehicle that, number one, isn't going to deteriorate and, number two, has the best chance of going up. Same is true in beans, basis has jumped 10 to 20 cents a day some days as these end users are really bidding up to get their hands on immediate possession of beans and there are quite a few beans available to take advantage of that. So, you need to watch that very closely. That's one of the reasons you have a bin is to take advantage of basis improvement. Well, it doesn't matter when it happens. If it happens today or it happens next May it's accomplished everything for you that it needs to accomplish. So, in terms of what to do on the rest of that corn there is good carry out to July, approximately 40 cents from December out to July which is a good carry in the market so you can use that to take advantage and help make your bin pay for itself. Most people say well yeah it's a 40 cent carry but the price isn't high enough and I get that and maybe you're going to want to be a little patient and wait for a price recovery to do that but it's one of the things you need to keep an eye out for.

Pearson: '09 sales, I know we've had a lot of pressure, we've had a lot of bad news thrown at this market not so much fundamentally but certainly spillover from the equities and from the credit markets and virtually every country on the globe. Do we look at some of those '09 opportunities yet?

Pfitzenmaier: Yeah, I think you do. If we come back, as I said on the show, a billion and a half bushel carry out then the opportunity for December of '09 to rally probably isn't that great. Now, that's not to say you can't have a 50, 60 cent rally, rally up to $5, maybe $5.25, $5.50 but if you get up into those areas I think you need to start looking pretty seriously at getting some of that product moved or maybe watch the carry, maybe you want to go out to July of '10 and sell that carry. But I think people that are looking for rallies back to $7 I think those days are probably behind us. We need to sort of lower our sites and start making some sales on whatever rallies we get. I'm not saying that's going to happen in the next 30 days or anything but on into the winter.

Pearson: Maybe opening up our marketing window just a little bit further and deeper and particularly if you are concerned and you do have a lot of risk right now this may be a strategy you may want to consider at least down the road.

Pfitzenmaier: Absolutely and you have to consider what your costs are and how it fits into your profitability and your operation but, yeah, those are the price levels that I guess I'd be keeping an eye on.

Pearson: As usual some great insights on Market Plus. Tomm Pfitzenmaier joining us here. For all of us here on Market to Market, I'm Mark Pearson. Have a great week.

Tags: agriculture commodity prices markets news