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Market Plus: May 18, 2007: Tomm Pfitzenmaier

posted on May 18, 2007

Market Plus: May 18, 2007: Tomm Pfitzenmaier Pearson: This is the Friday, May 18th, 2007 version of Market Plus. We're glad you've joined us here at our Market to Market Website. I'm Mark Pearson. With me this week one of our senior analysts, Tomm Pfitzenmaier. And Tomm, you were talking a lot about soybean oil prices being higher, meal prices were up sharply this week but the corn market certainly down from where we were at the end of March once that prospective plantings report came out. I'm hearing from a lot of livestock producers on a positive note from a lot of people who are feeding DDG's in different forms, very pleased with it but also a concern about feed input costs. Should we be doing something right now with this kind of a break in this corn market?

Pfitzenmaier: Yeah, I think there's maybe a little more down in the market but we're approaching the levels where people need to start paying attention. If you can get December corn down in that $3.63 to $3.55, somewhere down in that area, I think you're going to find fairly good support and you take a basis off that you're locking in $3.00 to $3.10, not a bad place to buy corn. Most of the livestock producers I know think that that's a level that they can still make decent money with the price we've got for cattle and hogs these days. So, you know, if you're putting some cattle on feed and everybody is watching where they can hedge those fats off but they also need to be watching where they can hedge that corn input that they're going to put into those cattle and I think we're in the process of creating an opportunity. Now, maybe it's not Monday morning but some time over the next two or three weeks because I think there's a good chance the funds are going to come roaring back in here wanting to own corn because they're going to perceive potential problems, potential profits for them in that July pollination period. So, you know, there's a little time here for a set back and then I think that market is going to be very strong again.

Pearson: Right, and you're just going to have a lot of nerves, there's going to be a lot of nervous people here -- and as you pointed out in the show later corn planting, a real clustered corn plant season which could put our potential for problems of pollination.

Pfitzenmaier: Yeah, we're very vulnerable, that's for sure.

Pearson: Alright, so definitely get some corn covered. Now, beans have had this rally now, what about bean meal needs? Do you have any concerns there?

Pfitzenmaier: You know, like you said on the show, there was a ten dollar rally in meal this week, I think meal is going to be a reluctant follower. We got the tail wagging the dog in the bean complex with the bean oil leading us higher, meal is reluctantly going along. I don't see a lot of upside potential here in the short run for meal. I certainly wouldn't want to buy a ten dollar rally. Now, if it breaks back that ten dollars or under that then maybe you can start looking at meal again. Like I said, I wouldn't pay up for it though.

Pearson: Alright, how far out do you want to go?

Pfitzenmaier: I think you need to go out at least, if you're a livestock producer you've got to go out through the production cycle of whatever critter you've got out there in the lot it seems to me. You know, if that is hogs maybe you only need to go out four or five months, if it's cattle maybe you need to go out through March or next May.

Pearson: Alright, get all those needs covered.

Pfitzenmaier: Yeah, I mean, your vulnerability is all the way through there.

Pearson: One final question now, there was a private analyst you mentioned on the show, a lot of people heard about it saying that that acreage number was going to be pretty close to USDA's number which surprised a lot of people. How much weight are you putting on that?

Pfitzenmaier: Well, I mean, we don't have anything else to go by. I know there was a ton of corn planted this spring, there's no question about it and I think that could creep higher. But then again is the harvested acre going to be cut back some because there's a lot, you drive around the country there's a lot of ponds and low areas that, you know, that are still sitting not planted and that could increase the abandonment. So, I don't know, I guess I don't have any real reason to argue with that number at this point anyway.

Pearson: At this point, looks like potentially a big crop is on the way, a lot of ups and downs before we get there.

Pfitzenmaier: Yeah, absolutely.

Pearson: The option strategy, get a put bought, get some coverage, cover you on the down side.

Pfitzenmaier: With the volatility, that potential for problems in July I think you have to do something that leaves you flexible on the top side. Now, these are good enough prices, you also need to protect yourself but I think you do need to leave flexibility and somehow be able to take advantage if the market does go up.

Pearson: Alright, Tomm Pfitzenmaier with us on Market Plus this week on Market to Market. I'm Mark Pearson. From all of us here on Market to Market, have a great week.

Tags: agriculture commodity prices markets news