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Markets hot news--Feb 16

Afternoon updates:


* Piece on a Wall Street Journal blog points out that expanding capacity may be starting to limit  food commodity price gains.
The articles cites wheat prices being off 1.5% today, rough rice down 2.7%, corn down 0.8% and soybeans easing off by 0.2%. "Even with today's declines, prices for food commodities remain at very high levels. Nothing goes straight up forever," Dave Kansas writes.


* CME Live Cattle futures finished up mostly higher as feeders pushed the situation; Lean hogs were lower on weak cash prices. 


* Lid on wheat? Losses this afternoon grew on a growing sense that "global supplies are not as tight as previously feared," DJ reported.  China says recent rains have had some postive effect on the drought there, and Australia has produced a record crop despite bad weather.


From the morning news, quickly around the horn and the globe:


 * Overnight, grain and soybean futures were mostly lower as traders continued to liquidate length in the market, Dow Jones reported.  Overbought market conditions, improved South American crop prospects and weakening export demand encouraged further profit taking, analysts said. CBOT March soybeans were 4 1/2c lower at $13.63 1/2 a bushel; March corn 2 3/4c lower at $6.87 3/4; and March wheat 1/2c higher at $8.40 3/4.


* Cotton is still on a tear. Futures prices hit a fresh high Wednesday, only three cents from $2/lb.


* Natural-gas futures are pulling back on forecasts for mild weather and reduced heating needs.


* John Deere has given an estimate for corn acres: 92M acres, up from 88.2M last year. That's higher than 90M acres predicted by Andersons, and matches USDA's revised estimate. What's your guess on direction of corn acres this spring?


* Argentina's corn output is expected to drop by 19.5 MM tons this year from 22  tons last year.  Chinese corn prices are strong this week on state and corporate buying.


* Nebraska ethanol plants are paying  6.3750-6.6550, down 3.25-5.25. What's the trend at plants in your neighborhood?

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Veteran Contributor

Re: Markets hot news--Feb 16

John Deere now makes crop acreage forecasts?  Of course, maybe I would switch to worrying about acres too, if I had to produce that four tier engine.   I am just amazed that everyone knows what we will plant.  It makes me wonder why I keep getting all these phone calls wanting me to answer their survey questions about what I am going to plant..

I am with Red on this one, will not increase corn acres at these prices.  The spread is not worth the risk or expense to switch from beans to corn.   Corn on Corn can take such a yield reduction if the weather stresses it too much, there would have to be more money on the table for me to take that risk over planting beans.

Don't like the increase unrest in the Middle East.  Will it produce another boom, bust cycle in crude and the economy?


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