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  • morpheusmeyers morpheusmeyers Jul 25, 2009 5:31 PM Flag

    recession resistant

    The WSJ reported in Friday's edition that lower corn prices will increase ethanol makers margins.

    It's the obvious, sure, but it bears repeating.

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    • I just searched for the article. Here it is, from July 23rd in the WSJ, not the 24th as I mentioned in my previous post...

      Corn Prices Decline Amid Ideal Weather

      CHICAGO -- Corn futures dipped briefly to the lowest levels in 2¾ years, as ideal crop-growing weather in the Midwest continued to fuel expectations of a bumper crop.

      The September corn contract settled 3.5 cents lower at $3.08 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier in the day, it dipped to $3.0425, below the December 2008 bear-market low of $3.06 and the lowest for front-month corn since October 2006. The most-active December corn contract, which represents the fall harvest, fell 2.75 cents to $3.1925 a bushel.

      Corn prices were hovering around $4.47 a bushel as recently as June 11, when traders turned their attention from the season's late planting to the weather. Conditions since then have been mostly cool, with ample rainfall mixed in -- an ideal recipe for the crop, analysts say.

      With the steep price drop, even some traders and analysts who have been bearish on corn for months are now saying the market is oversold. But minor rallies as traders move to buy back previously sold positions have been short-lived.

      "You've got a negative psychology, and there are not many things that overtly bullish," said John Kleist, broker/analyst for Allendale, a brokerage firm in McHenry, Ill. "And 'oversold' is not necessarily ever a reason to be bullish." He added that there are concerns the government will decline a request to increase the amount of ethanol blended in gasoline to 15% from 10%.

      The drop in corn prices is good for users such as the ethanol industry, which has had improved margins recently, and is helpful to the livestock industry, which relies on corn for feed.

      Traders noted the market is still reeling from a Monday report by University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Darrel Good, who said current models project a yield of 161.9 bushels an acre, up from the 2004 record of 160.4 bushels an acre and well above the government's most recent projection of 153.4 bushels.

      Drew Lerner, a meteorologist and owner of World Weather Inc., said sunspot cycles, the onset of El Nino and arctic air-flow patterns have combined to create the prolonged cool conditions in the U.S. corn belt. This cooler "bias" could remain for at least another four to six weeks, he said. But too much cool weather could keep crop development slow, which could prompt a loss in yield if the crop hasn't finished growing by the time the first frost arrives.

      Here is a link for the article, which also shows a chart for corn future prices...

33.30-0.77(-2.26%)Feb 8 4:00 PMEST