Iowa Public Television


Market Plus: Mar 22, 2002

posted on March 22, 2002

Market Plus: Mar 22, 2002

Sprecher: This is Market Plus and this is Doug Hjort. We're going to talk about some of the things we haven't talked about in the program. For one let's just talk geopolitics a little bit. What impact is the Russian moratorium on imports of so called bush lakes American poultry going to have on trade and the American agri-economy?

Hjort: Well, it's an interesting thing because it's a veiled type of protest here by the Russians concerning the steel industry and so on. They talk about the health issues of course, that's what they publicize as to why they stopped the import of the poultry. On Friday of this week there was a wire service story that said there was some agreement there but I think we have to keep all of that kind of tongue in cheek until we really see something developing. They've got 30 days under that thing, 20 or 30 days. The impact though, if they don't start taking that chicken again is that we're going to have all this dark meat that has to be moved and we have to find another market for. I like dark meat but I can't eat all that. It's really going to lay on top of even the pork market. It's going to be strong competition to the pork, especially pork, probably some to the beef too. It's adding to worries that this market is already under, this red meat market is already under. We're going to have to work this thing out and get this thing moving forward within the next week or two. Let's put it this way, we're not going to see the hog prices start to rebound anything significantly until this issue with the Russians is solved.

Sprecher: Turning to the grain oil seed markets, the South American harvest is just under way, about 25 percent perhaps done. It appears it's going to be a pretty decent harvest. Have American soybean producers who've still got beans in the bin lost their opportunity to price those beans and clear out the bins?

Hjort: Well, I don't think so and the reason I say that is demand. It's interesting to look at world production in soybeans, understanding that we have record acreage planted last year here and in South America, the crop that they're harvesting now, record high yields and yet we are consuming a few more bushels of soybeans worldwide than what we are producing. Now, it's not bullish because we're starting from almost a record high, two years ago we had record high soybean stocks worldwide. So, when you look at the demand side of the equation, what it's telling us is that every year we have to maintain acreage at this level and have record or very near record yields, otherwise the demand is going to pull that stock down and keep pushing prices up. Now on the short term and the short term in this discussion would be the next two or three months, it's not going to have any big impact because even if we export a few more beans and we crush a few more beans than what USDA is saying now, let's say we crush or use 30 million more we're still going to have 235, 230 million bushels left over. Anything over 200 here in the United States is a great plenty plus the fact the South Americans are going to have a very comfortable supply as well. So, maybe they've lost their advantage but remember, too, the future traders, the big speculators are long in the bean market now. They've got something to protect there, just like they're heavily short in the corn market, you can look on a trend and that's straight down and it keeps going down, they're protecting that short position. Every time the market rallies they sell it. On the beans they've got a reason to come in here and find support and maybe we found that this week at a support level. Maybe they'll try to pull this market back up and see if they can't at least get up into the next major resistance level. Now that's about a nickel to seven cents higher than we got back a week or ten days ago. You get back into that area I think that's a major selling area for any old crop, new crop I wouldn't price because we're still priced below the loan rate.

Sprecher: Thank you Doug, that's been Market Plus.

Tags: agriculture chickens commodity prices markets news poultry Russia