Fall: favorite time of year -- usually
John Cripe is director of MID-CO Commodities
Posted on: 9/2/2011 9:31:00 AM
Having grown up on a farm, fall is still one of my favorite times of the year. I loved the smell of harvest, the excitement of driving the machinery, and the better mood Dad was always in once the combine started.
My folks still like to tell the story of when I was 10 years old, driving a International M into the barnyard in road gear pulling wagons of ear corn and five of my cousins hanging on for dear life.
My relatives from the city were on the porch and nearly fainted in fear. It was never proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the cat with tire marks on it was my fault.
However, I am not really looking forward to this harvest, and that’s unusual for me. The crop seems to be showing signs of deterioration by the week.
The weather (while not terrible) has been hot at the wrong times and dry at the wrong times. There are a few weather issues starting to develop in China and a few other countries. Nothing big yet, but we need to keep an eye on world weather.
Ending stocks on corn are at one of the lowest levels in history. We need a bin buster, or it’s going to be a wild winter. You don’t need a Ph.D. in agronomy to know it is not going to be a bin buster, at least not in corn.
That makes it hard on the livestock guys, and even corn producers need a steady long-term bull market -- not a price explosion that gets the whole world’s attention and kills the long-term outlook.
The U.S. economy is weak and the European economy is on life support. Fear of another meltdown has kept the funds quiet lately.
That will change if we don’t have decent weather over the next 30 days. Buying dips in prices is what the Chinese have been doing all year. China, the world’s second-largest corn consumer now, may boost corn imports 10-fold by 2015 to feed livestock, according to sources in Asia.
So all this could make prices even more volatile this fall than normal, and then a wild winter. Better bring the cat inside.
John Cripe is director of MID-CO Commodities. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.