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Market Plus: Apr 15, 2005

posted on April 15, 2005

Market Plus: Apr 15, 2005

Pearson: Welcome to the Market Plus page here at our Market to Market Web site. I'm Mark Pearson. With me this week two of our senior analysts, Walt Hackney and Doug Jackson. And gentlemen, first of all good to have you with us, good insights on the show. We're going to try and add to that just a little bit. We were talking about soybeans at the start of the market session and Doug Jackson, how seriously is the board taking this Asian Rust threat?

Jackson: Mark, we've got a substantial risk premium factored in the November beans already. The market knows that it could -- it is an unprecedented threat. We have no idea, the market is not comfortable dealing with unknowns. In our work, Mark, we have suggested that if the rust eventually confirmed to be in Arkansas that day would be up 25 cents on beans. If it is confirmed in Missouri I think we'll be up 35 cents. Frankly, Mark, I think the combination of a normal summer weather threat and the combination of any evidence that the rust is moving north could give us a situation where beans could be up a dollar a bushel sometime this summer. I think that is the kind of emotionalism we're going to face. Others, however, take the point of view that the rust in the first year in the United States may stay in the Deep South and not be a threat. But as it has moved quickly late in the season in Argentina, moving against the prevailing winds we can just see that it doubles every week and is a variable threat. It's something unprecedented in the United States. This is not aphids, this is not light mold and the question exists whether we are going to be able to adequately deal with it in the United States. Do we have enough fungicide for multiple applications? Do people understand that that is what is going to be required to control it? Do we have enough sprayer capacity? Are we going to be able to move quickly with preventative spraying which is really what it takes to fight it adequately? Some people say there is no such thing as curative spraying. At that point you're just minimizing a significant loss. All of these things are going to be dealt with but the markets this summer, a normal volatile period of time and frankly I think it leaves us in a situation where there is not a lot of downside to the November beans until we can prove that we've got a 40 yield in the bag and we're going to have to go through many scares before we ever get to that point next September.

Pearson: Alright, so the market is going to be nervous over on that front. Cattle market has been nervous about what is going to happen with Canada. And Walt, you're up there, you talk to cattlemen a lot. A lot of them are upset, a lot of them think things should stayed closed. There are others who are saying we're shooting ourselves in the foot trade wise. We've got Canada selling beef elsewhere around the world, competing with us elsewhere around the world where they weren't doing that before. What is your take? What do you think is going to happen with this Canada situation?

Hackney: Well, right now, Mark, it appears to some of us that the Canadian cattlemen and that government and that Ag Department are doing a better job creating a new market opportunity for the Canadian beef than the U.S. is. We seem to be hung up in those non-related issues with our export countries that really may or may not pertain to beef. And in Canada their focus is on beef exporting and they're getting it done. They're opening other markets. People would ask how can they who actually started the BSE issue be in front of the U.S. who have never found a U.S. originating animal with BSE? Well, the simple point is they have taken the non-political route. They are going after a physical market and they are getting it. As far as the effect of opening the border to the U.S., physically not much. Most of that beef that is currently coming to the U.S. anyway in boxes. The majority of our beef out of Canada is clean, it's healthy, it's okay for food safety and we're blending it in and going and no one is any worse off for it. The problem we've got is the inability to handle the adverse psychology that will happen when that border opens. The cattlemen themselves are running with no fear right now, Mark. They are buying these feeder cattle at record prices. They are buying cattle that won't come finished until next spring, sometimes May, June of 2006. So, it's all back to the political side of our issue. It's time that we settle that issue, Mark. That thing should have been taken care of over a year ago and it wasn't, it was a political football then, it's worse today. The attorneys and the politicians have gotten a hold of it and quite frankly they are not, now, scaring the American cattle producer at all. They figure it's like crying wolf and so that is where we're at.

Pearson: Alright, appreciate your insights and updates. Walt Hackney and Doug Jackson, thank you so much for being with us. And for all of us here on Market to Market here at the Market Plus page, thanks for joining us, I'm Mark Pearson. Have a great week.


Tags: agriculture commodity prices markets news