Mark's Market Talk

Jan 23, 2023

March corn ended last week a penny higher than the week before while the December contract was down 3 cents. There was not much in the way of new news to move this market. Corn sales are still way behind last year as the total sales number is only 54 percent of a year ago. This is the time of year we should start to see some bigger sales as the rest of the exporting countries are between crops. We are competitively priced in the world; it just seems everyone is holding tight right now. March beans ended last week 21 cents lower while the November contract was 41 lower. Right now it appears we may have set a high the week prior as we have steadily trended lower since then. Soy products helped lead us higher and now they are leading us lower. The world veg oil prices have retreated a long way from their summer highs. Bean meal has lost some of it’s bloom lately. There is still hope that meal will recover and take beans higher with it, but it has not materialized yet. It is disappointing to watch new crop beans come down to toward the level that new crop corn has been trading. The hope was corn would move higher to lure acres away from beans. That may not be necessary now as the ratio is coming back to a more normal level. Crude oil moved higher last week after floating lower for a couple of weeks. This is a positive for the corn market as ethanol production was a little higher last week. However, the processors are barely breaking even. If they would happen to slow their grind, we will see these good basis levels on old corn begin to dwindle in the weeks ahead. Feeder cattle have been selling sky high this month with leads me to think the buyers are betting on 2 things. They must be expecting 1.60 plus on the finished side, and they figure the price of corn is going to be cheaper. Perhaps they will be right on both counts, but I have always thought cattle feeder use a different arithmetic than the rest of us.