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Market Plus: Aug 10, 2007: Sue Martin

posted on August 10, 2007

Market Plus: Aug 10, 2007: Sue Martin Pearson: Welcome to the Friday, August 10th, 2007 version of market plus here at our Market to Market Website. Joining us this week is Sue Martin, always great to have one of our senior market analysts with us. Sue, first of all, we didn't get to much of the cattle market on Friday night's show so I'd like to maybe get you to talk a little bit more about what you see for beef prices.

Martin: Well, I think, Mark, when we look at the fact that we're killing more cattle than we were supposed to according to the USDA reports and, you know, seasonally cattle do have a tendency to slip in the first two or three weeks of August anyway and I think that coupled with the fact that the heat has hit us and hurt our consumption temporarily I think those -- and you never get that last consumption back, I think that's what's driven the market down. Now, the basis, there's only been three times in the last 20 years that we've had October futures five dollars or greater over the price of cash and that's where they are now. So, I think as we go forward towards October and probably as we get into the first week or two of September I think that basis will narrow to about three dollars over the cash and possibly maybe as narrow as two but I think three is reasonable. And so whether that means that cash moves up to the futures or the futures drifts a little bit more, another two dollars or something like that, I'm not sure. What I do think, though, as we go on forward into October I think there's going to be quite a few deliveries hitting us if the futures stay premium over the cash side I think it will, I think we're going to be hit with a lot of deliveries because I think there was cattle that were taking the heavy weight cattle, that were heavy weight calves I should say or feeders and taken and put on feed and planned to be brought back. They were sold against the October futures and those are going to come back at us. And so I think we're going to have a good supply of cattle as we go to October. But in the meantime I do think that world, you know, this is probably the thing that we've missed, or not talked about all along is that the whole global economies for the past couple of years or so have been growing and doing so well. And I think that while we're getting our equity market is having a few little jitters here and other world markets reacting to it the demand is still good and that these third world countries that we tried to prop up back in the 90's we're seeing the benefits now, they're all eating better and needing more. We need South Korea to come back and give us our exports back and that will be a big shot in the arm for this cattle market.

Pearson: And real quick on hogs, big rumors about this huge China trade that may or may not happen, is that a buy the rumor, sell the fact kind of thing?

Martin: Well, it appeared to be because the funds sure bought into it and it ran the market up nicely and we got against some old highs here on the long-term charts. But in the meantime we're killing more hogs, again, than what the USDA says we should and it doesn't look like any slow down to me and you've had corn break a dollar off the highs so I think everything is status quo, there's no liquidation out there, I think that we're looking at a hog market that needs to be hedged.

Pearson: I want to talk about the soybean market. You were talking about you're extremely friendly to soybeans. Several analysts have been on the show as you've discussed to expand in South America this bean price has to go higher, $8.50 won't cut it, even $9 won't cut it according to you and most everybody else, you talked about a 10 in front of the beans on the show Friday night saying that's what it's going to take just to see some expansion down in South America and with good weather down there then maybe they can make up part of this difference we're missing on soybeans.

Martin: Well, I think that's the case because when we look at the fact that France, for example, has a very aggressive biofuels program for 2008 and they're not the only ones and you see acres being reduced on competitive oil seeds and in the meantime soybean oil and palm oil account for 52% of the world's usage for veg oil, you know, we need the soybeans and we are greatly reduced here, China is having weather, the USDA reduced their production estimate on China in the report on Friday so I think there's issues out there and we have to have these beans. Our carry is dropping so aggressively. What's really interesting, Mark, is the fact that in years past, in the last 30 years when 50% of the time the carryout increases on new crop and 50% of the time it's decreased. Now, I'm not sure how many of those times that we would have known in the month of August that our carryout was going to drop drastically on the new crop product but we do this year. And in those 15 years that we reduced our carryout on new crop beans 10 of them saw the harvest low put in in August. Out of those 10, six of them put that low in higher than the July low and I have a lot of cyclical timing that was due for the end of July, the very last week and I think our bottoms are in and I like the bean market a lot.

Pearson: Alright, Sue Martin, as usual good to have you with us, senior market analyst on Market to Market. Also, I want to thank all of you for joining us here at our Website and, of course, join us every week for Market to Market on public television. For all of us here on Market to Market, I'm Mark Pearson. Thanks for joining us on market plus.

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