Mark's Market Talk

Sep 07, 2021

We start this week on a Tuesday due to Labor Day being celebrated on Monday. For most it means the end of summer as the kids are back in school and we are seeing the crop color change as another season nears an end. As farmers and elevator operators we are all working to start in on what appears to be a far better than average crop for many of us. The grain traders know this, and they have been liquidating some long positions, especially in corn futures. We enter every harvest with some unknowns when it comes to crop size and yields. This year there appears to be more variability in the crops than normal. We know there are large areas in the northern plains that have poor to very poor crops, and we know the eastern corn belt has fantastic crops. The unknown is what is between these areas. Can the great areas of Iowa overshadow the lesser crops in parts of Iowa and where does the average for the state end up? Lots of unanswered questions. The bigger issue this past week was how much damage did Ida do in the Gulf Coast, and when will ship loading resume at the New Olean’s port. Repair time estimates range from 2 to 6 weeks. Meanwhile barge traffic is at a standstill and that not only affects grain movement but also fertilizer and other barge dependent products. Dec corn closed 31 cents lower last week while Nov beans were 33 cents lower. The Chinese bought more beans, but no corn yet. Basis levels for both crops deteriorated due to the river problems and the nearby start of harvest. We will know more about a lot of these things at the end of this week.