CURRENT MARKETS
SOYBEANS
PreviousLastChange
NOV '179.70759.84250.1350
JAN '189.81009.94500.1350
MAR '189.902510.03500.1325
MAY '189.985010.11500.1300
JUL '1810.050010.17750.1275
AUG '1810.052510.17500.1225
SEP '189.962510.07250.1100
NOV '189.88759.98500.0975
JAN '199.947510.04000.0925
CORN
PreviousLastChange
DEC '173.50253.53500.0325
MAR '183.63003.66000.0300
MAY '183.71253.74500.0325
JUL '183.78003.81500.0350
SEP '183.84753.88000.0325
DEC '183.93503.96500.0300
MAR '194.04004.06750.0275
MAY '194.09254.11750.0250
JUL '194.13754.16000.0225
ROUGH RICE
PreviousLastChange
NOV '1712.71012.365-0.345
JAN '1812.96512.620-0.345
MAR '1813.16012.805-0.355
MAY '1813.35513.015-0.340
JUL '1813.45013.110-0.340
SEP '1812.22011.880-0.340
NOV '1812.20011.860-0.340
WHEAT
PreviousLastChange
DEC '174.52504.4950-0.0300
MAR '184.72004.6950-0.0250
MAY '184.85004.8300-0.0200
JUL '184.96254.9425-0.0200
SEP '185.10755.0925-0.0150
DEC '185.29005.2800-0.0100
MAR '195.40755.4000-0.0075
MAY '195.44505.4375-0.0075
JUL '195.37505.3625-0.0125
FEEDER CATTLE
PreviousLastChange
SEP '17153.175153.4000.225
OCT '17155.875156.1000.225
NOV '17156.825157.6250.800
JAN '18153.175153.8500.675
MAR '18149.650150.3000.650
APR '18149.625150.1000.475
MAY '18149.275149.7500.475
AUG '18149.575150.0250.450
DTN

All futures and equities data is a 60 second snapshot of the below exchange delayed rules.

  • NYMEX and COMEX at least 10 minutes.
  • CBOT at least 10 minutes.
  • KCBOT at least 10 minutes.
  • CME at least 10 minutes.
  • ICEFC at least 10 minutes.
  • ICEFE at least 10 minutes.
  • ICEFU at least 10 minutes.
  • MGEX at least 10 minutes.
  • NYSE at least 15 minutes.
  • NYSE MKT at least 15 minutes.
  • NASDAQ at least 15 minutes.

Special thanks to our guest contributor and Arkansas native Scott Stiles, an extension economist with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. He provides assistance to agricultural producers in the areas of farm management, commodity marketing, and agriculture policy. For the past 15 years he has been a regular commentator and columnist on commodity markets for various radio and print media.

In a perfect world all of our corn and soybean production would have been hedged in mid-June this year at the market highs. Following the dramatic production increases in the August USDA supply/demand report, it seems unlikely those highs will be revisited anytime soon. The USDA wasted no time in August forecasting record yields and production for both corn and soybeans. The current supply fundamentals will keep any price recovery very limited.

Fortunately, the USDA also expects record corn and soybean demand in the 2016-17 marketing year. Soybean exports for 2016-17 are projected to be a record 1.95 billion bushels. Corn exports are pegged at 2.175 billion bushels—the highest since 2007. With the shortfall in Argentina’s soybean crop this year and Brazil’s corn crop, U.S. export demand will be strong at least through March 2017.

Another market driver to watch is La Nina. Current forecasts indicate the highest probability for La Nina to begin is in the November 2016 to January 2017 timeframe. In past years La Nina has generally caused drier than normal conditions in Argentina and southern Brazil.

Strong export demand and unfavorable weather could be catalysts for price strength in early 2017. One marketing strategy to allow growers to take advantage of spring price rallies would be purchasing call options. With corn and soybean futures well off their summer highs and price volatility subdued, call options are now less expensive.

For example, a May 2017 $3.50 corn call option costs 26 cents per bushel (on August 12.) A “long” or purchased call option will gain in value if futures prices increase above the $3.50 strike price and will then add value to the final crop price or help buy out any cash contracts that cannot be filled. A May 2017 call would expire on April 21, 2017. In other words, buying May calls during August gives the buyer about eight months to capture any price rallies that may result from poor South American weather. When dividing the 26 cent premium over an eight-month period, this strategy may be far less expensive on a monthly basis than storing cash grain.

The key advantage of buying call options after the crop is sold in the cash market is maintaining the ability to benefit from a futures rally. Profits can be taken on the call option at any time prior to expiration. The only disadvantage would be if futures prices did not rally more than the option premium—26 cents in our corn example. There are a number of post-harvest marketing strategies. Re-owning your crop with call options is one low risk approach to capturing futures rallies and improving your bottom line.

Arkansas native Scott Stiles is an extension economist with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. He provides assistance to agricultural producers in the areas of farm management, commodity marketing, and agriculture policy. For the past 15 years he has been a regular commentator and columnist on commodity markets for various radio and print media.