Mark's Market Talk for January 8, 2024

Jan 08, 2024

Hopefully last week is not a prelude to what we can expect in the grain markets for the coming year. Corn ended the week down 10 cents while beans were down a bigtime 42 cents. We haven’t been this low for over 2 years. Trade volume and interest has been tremendously low the past 3 weeks. It feels like people are stuck in holiday mode and are not back to work. Other markets such as the stock market have a lot of interest right now as the Dow is in an uptrend. The USDA will release their January stock and demand report this Friday. This could be the biggest report we will have in the coming year. They may, and no doubt will, adjust the 2023 yield numbers. They will also do some shuffling on the demand side; the problem is we don’t know how the shuffle will be. At the end of the day, we will probably have new carryout figures and the board will trade these numbers into the March report. They will also release new numbers for South American production. We debate how reliable our government is in the numbers they come up with for US production. Most of us have a low amount of confidence in the numbers that come out of South America. Here in our country, we may say that a certain state is suffering drought or delayed planting, and it is easy for us to understand the number of acres involved. Brazil is so big we have trouble comprehending how big of an area they are talking about when they are having crop problems. It is a whole different ballgame down there. Bottom line the corn and bean markets have trended lower since harvest ended. We need something to reverse this, and we need it soon. We might get a late Christmas present Friday if the predictions point to lower carryout numbers. Or we may tread water until closer to planting time and see if our weather pattern changes. It is safe to say that this is not the year to look a gift horse in the mouth. If prices do rebound, we need to be sellers on the way up.