Mark's Market Talk for March 4, 2024

Mar 04, 2024

Finally, after eight or nine weeks of lower closes we finished last week in the black. May corn was higher four of the five days and ended the week eleven cents higher. Beans were hit and miss all week but ended the week ten cents higher. It feels like we may have put a low in place for the time being, but the markets are acting strangely this year so it may be early to say we are headed higher from here but let’s hope we are. The EPA has agreed to year around E15, but they want to start it in 2025 instead of right now. That feels like a compromise with the oil industry. Crude closed above $80 last week with some thinking it may head to $90 if the OPEC nations hold to their proposed slow down in production. The biofuels people are waiting for a ruling from the Biden administration concerning aviation fuel. You would think this should be a no brainer. It has been proven to work, it is renewable, it is environmentally friendly, and we can make it here in the US. However, the oil industry carries a lot of clout in this country, and this is an example of oil money paving the way. There were several stories on the nightly news last week concerning the rising cost of food. We can’t deny food has gone up in price. But if you watch them interview customers in grocery stores, look at their carts and see how much nonfood items they have. Food gets blamed at the checkout counter, but the cart may have a third or more nonfood items. Of course, farmers get blamed for the high cost of food even though many times the product packaging costs more than the raw product. Congress did pass a stop gap budget bill last Thursday to keep several departments including Agriculture running but only until this Friday. We talk about other countries in the world that cannot manage their finances, perhaps we need to look in the mirror. Spring crop insurance prices have been set. Corn will be $4.66 and beans $11.55. That is a big reduction from the past two years.