June 05, 2018 | Supplier’s Side | Steven Kilger | Views: 510

Three Messages for the Grain Industry

Hani Almoghrabi from NORD DRIVESYSTEMS shares what the company offers the industry

Three Messages for the Grain Industry
Photo by: NORD DRIVESYSTEMS

Hani Almoghrabi, product manager – large industrial drives (Photoby: NORD DRIVESYSTEMS)

In 1965, Günter Schlicht and G. A. Küchenmeister cofound Getriebebau NORD in Bargteheide, Germany. The company supplied geared motors, building the gear unit housings, shafts and flanges in-house. As the company grew across the world, it started to build the other components for geared motors. In the 1980s, NORD became a complete drive solution supplier. Today, the company’s largest subsidiary is NORD DRIVESYSTEMS in the United States, with headquarters in Waunakee, WI, and two other plants. Last year, NORD posted double-digit sales growth and is repeating again in 2018.

Hani Almoghrabi, product manager – large industrial drives, spoke with Feed & Grain about NORD DRIVESYSTEMS. He discussed the company’s product/service offering for the grain handling industry.

“First, the NORD Endurance Package is designed specifically for the grain industry,” says Almoghrabi. “This predictive maintenance package is aimed at increasing operational reliability, and simplifying maintenance/preventative work.”

Standard features of the package include a Desiccant breather keeping dust and debris out of the oil, a 3D Bullseye sight glass for ease of checking the gear reducer oil level and an oil sampling port for ease of sampling. This makes basic maintenance tasks easier and reduces downtime. 

NORD DRIVESYSTEMS' MAXXDRIVE on a bucket elevator. (Photo by: NORD DRIVESYSTEMS)

Over the course of the equipment’s lifetime, the NORD Endurance Package will save grain facilities countless maintenance hours and most importantly — keeps grain flowing. 

“Second is integrated direct drive mounting,” explains Almoghrabi. “The belts and sheaves that are all too often used are considered old technology.”

Direct mounting offer users higher efficiency, easier installation, increased safety and ease of maintenance.  NORD offers a complete package solution that includes the gearbox, motor and electronic drives.

“Third is NORD’s global presence,” says Almoghrabi. “With manufacturing facilities in 35 countries, we stand ready to serve our global customers in all regions of the world.” In the United States, NORD is known for responsive service, shipping more than 300 motors and 600 gearboxes/day. On average, NORD ships nearly 85% of all orders received in three weeks or less.

With manufacturing facilities around the world, NORD can save customers money and ensure they get the best service no matter where they are located or the location of the facility being built.

“We worked with a U.S.-based company on a project destined for the Czech Republic,” Almoghrabi explains. “NORD was able to save the customer on shipping costs by dispatching product from our facilities in Germany, and supported start-up with NORD staff based in the Czech Republic.”

(Photo by: NORD DRIVESYSTEMS)

NORD offers complete drive system packages for industries across the spectrum with special features and attention to the grain industry says Almoghrabi.

“NORD offers a wide range of power transmission products, gearbox line covering up to 2,000 horsepower in addition to motors and electronic component (fully designed and manufactured by NORD),” explains Almoghrabi. “NORD has a solution for any need in the grain industry, no matter how big or small.”

For more information on NORD DRIVESYSTEMS, visit the Feed & Grain Buyer’s Guide. Contact them at 608-849-7300 or info.us@nord.com, and follow them at LinkedIn.com/nord.


The Suppliers Side is a biweekly blog that dives in-depth into the companies that service the feed manufacturing and grain handling industries. For any questions or comments please contact Steven Kilger at steven.kilger@feedandgrain.com.  

June 01, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 407

Solid Week for Export Sales

Grains mixed in the overnight session

Solid Week for Export Sales

Tariffs on EU, Canada and Mexico Imposed

The White House announced on Thursday it would enact tariffs on steel and aluminum against the EU, Mexico and Canada. The tariffs, originally proposed two months ago had been on hold, but the surprise announcement yesterday said they would be enacted today caught the global economy off guard. Canada and Mexico retaliated with levies on billions of dollars of U.S. goods from orange juice to pork and the EU Union was set to tax bourbon whiskey and Harley motorcycles after Washington risked a global trade war by imposing steel and aluminium tariffs. Lean Hog futures plunged 3% yesterday on the news as Mexico buys $1.5 billion in US pork products.

China Bought US Beans

China’s state controlled trading firm COFCO was said to have bought US soybeans in recent days, but the future outlook is muddied by rekindled trade issues. Earlier this week the White House announced tariffs on $50 billion of imports from China unless it addressed the issue of theft of American intellectual property.


EU cuts wheat crop forecast

European Commission cuts monthly forecast of 2018/19 EU common wheat production to 140.3 MMT from 141.5.
More South Korea Corn Activity

The Korea Feed Association (KFA) purchased about 60,000 MT of corn to be sourced from optional origins in a tender which closed on Friday.

Export Sales

A solid week for old-crop corn coming in just below 1 MMT on the week, which was just slightly below the upper end of expectations and seasonally strong for this time of year. OC beans were light, falling below the bottom of trade expectations, but NC was slightly higher than the upper range at 771,600 MT. Nonetheless, we need to see 1 MMT of NC bean sales per week to see biz start to normalize towards historical standards.  

 

 

   Actual

Estimated

  Last Week

Wheat-OC

   29.5

(-100)-100

  112

Wheat-NC

   270.9

150-450

  340

Corn-OC 

   993.1

700-1,000

  854

Corn-NC

   149.3

150-350

  273

Soybeans-OC

   273.4

300-600

 -139

Soybeans-NC   

   771.6

350-750

     6

Soymeal-OC

   140.7

100-400

  239

Soymeal-NC

      2.3

0-50

 

 

The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

May 30, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 501

Corn Crop Score

Grains were down in the overnight session

Corn Crop Score

Corn Crop Score

In their first corn condition score of the year, USDA rated the corn crop at 79% good-to-excellent. That was well above expectation of 72% by the trade. It is also well above last year’s rating of 65% at this time of the year and a long-run average rating of 70%.

Nonetheless, early season ratings can & do change markedly during the growing season, but the trade overnight was weaker on the better than expected scores. Corn planting neared competition with 92% in the ground while soybeans are 77%

China Trade War Heats Up Again

China hit back at the US on Wednesday at renewed threats from the White House on trade, warning that it was ready to fight back if Washington was looking for a trade war. On Tuesday, the White House took an about-face on its tone, saying it would impose tariffs on $50 billion of imports from China unless it addressed the issue of theft of American intellectual property. The trade escalation came after the two sides had agreed during talks in Washington this month to find steps to narrow China's $375 billion trade surplus. "We urge the United States to keep its promise, and meet China halfway in the spirit of the joint statement," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing, adding that China would take "resolute and forceful" measures to protect its interests if Washington insists upon acting in an "arbitrary and reckless manner".


Weather Outlook

Rain from Alberto will bring needed moisture to IL/IN today. Another system is expected on Fri/Sat in the Northern Plains, Upper Midwest and WCB. Latest model shows no relief from hot, dry conditions in SW Plains. Heat to return to the forecast, especially in the 6 to 10 day period.

 

The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

May 30, 2018 | Coach’s Corner | Greg Martinelli | Views: 849

“No” is Just the Beginning

"No" is not the end of the sales call ... it’s the real beginning

In the last edition of Coach’s Corner, we gained an understanding of how “Yes” is just the beginning. Once a customer agrees to buy, we have our work cut out for us to make sure we live up to everything we promised and more.

In this week’s Coach’s Corner, we discover how “No” is not the end of the sales call. It’s when the selling process changes course and the excitement begins.

Imagine driving down the gravel driveway to your sales call with a farmer you have been wanting to meet for some time. Introductions are exchanged and everything is congenial. Everyone is behaving. You know your role as the salesperson and are admiring the operation, asking some questions and making initial small talk. The prospect farmer is playing his part by answering your questions nicely, telling you about his operation and allowing the sales appointment to progress. However, he soon tires of this conversation or is busy and needs to keep moving. He has had many salespeople call on him before and knows the game. So, he throws out that one line, “So, what have got for me today?” You jump right on it and go into your latest presentation. Wrapping up your PowerPoint presentation, you ask a precise closing style question.

However, it’s not your lucky day as your prospect replies, “No, I don’t think I’m interested.” In my early years, I would reply, “Thank you for time and if anything changes, please call.” And the phone never rang. So, I waited weeks or months until I felt it was appropriate to follow up to see if anything changed. This time, it was a quicker “No” than the first time. So, I again waited the weeks or months until I felt it was appropriate to check in. This time, I didn’t even get a meeting. The “No” came out loud and clear over the phone. So, now I waited months or years before following up.

Sound familiar? Let’s learn a few things about the sequence of these sales calls and how we can improve things for this salesperson

NO as a defense mechanism: Chief hostage negotiator and author of “Never Split the Difference”, Chris Voss tells us he wants to quickly get to a “No” when negotiating with a hostage taker. Why? Because it gives that person the feeling of control and calms them down. Once they feel in control, they drop their defenses and open up. Prior to that first “No”, the hostage taker is very nervous and the dialogue is tense. The “No” gives them a feeling of control and they feel safer in expanding the dialogue. The same can hold true for your prospect. They know why you are there and they have many sales people calling on them every day. All them not taking No for an answer. Your prospect farmer gets really good at turning down sales offers with only one No.

Mistake #1: Biting on the bait of “So, what have got for me today”. I call it bait because it’s so easy to get caught in its trap. It’s tempting to jump right in when you are hit with this question. However, you have to stop and think about what your job is. Most salespeople think it’s to sell their prescribed products. You figure the best way to do that is to call on prospects and show them your products. Your real job is to solve customer’s problems through the use of your products. To do that, you have to know their problem. You can’t find out their problem, diagnose it and make a recommendation when you jump right in with a presentation. As hard as it is, and as much as you want to give the prospect what he just asked for (your sales pitch), DON’T DO IT. I have gone so far as to recommend a sales person not take company brochures or PowerPoint presentations on their first call on a prospect. This recommendation was for those salespeople that just couldn’t help themselves. The minute they got in front of a prospect, they wanted to dump all the latest marketing material on them. When your prospect asks you, “What have you got for me today?” Respond with, “I’d love to learn a little more about your operation to see how I could best be able to help. We have a lot of products and services. Learning a little about you will help to determine which is best.” Then you have to have some specific questions for this prospect based off your pre-call planning.

Mistake #2: Following up with a check-in and not bringing anything new to the table. I made this mistake frequently. It sounded like this, “Hello, this is Greg. Just checking in to see if anything has changed and if you might be interested in my products.” While this is better than not checking in at all, I had greater success if I brought something new to the discussion. That “something new” can be anything that is relevant to this prospect: an industry occurrence, a trend, a new product or new use for one of my products.

The next time you are out there on your call and you get the dreaded “No” reply, rethink your view of it. Instead of discouragement, think to yourself, “Now we are getting somewhere. Now that I know what the prospect doesn’t want. Let’s talk about what he does want. My mistake, I should have started there in the first place.”

Join us at coach’s corner every other week, where Greg Martinelli offers sales coaching tips for the Ag Sales Professional.

May 29, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 363

Plains Heat Up Over Memorial Day Weekend

High temps sweep over the Plains, soil moisture dwindles down

Plains Heat Up Over Memorial Day Weekend

Headlines

 

USDA reports 231,248 metric tons of corn for delivery to unknown destinations, of which 28,048 MT for 2017/2018 delivery and 203,200 MT for 2018/2019

 

China Strikes Out Finding U.S. Sorghum

 

Chinese buyers have returned to U.S. markets looking to source sorghum after a trade dispute was lifted. But there are limited supplies to be had

After US suppliers had diverted much of the early Chinese sorghum deals to other countries, US grain merchants are mostly stocked out of sorghum.

Furthermore, US farmers are not willing to sell limited supplies with China returning to the market as they expect prices to increase. The added drought concerns in the Southern Plains is also limiting farmer’s appetite for selling sorghum.

 

Memorial Day Weather Turns Hot & Dry

 

Temps reached the 90s in the Central Plains this weekend and in the 100s in the Southern Pains, further zapping soil moisture.

Subtropical Storm Alberto will bring some partial relief to parts of Illinois and Indiana’s driest areas, That storm will also block rain in the western Corn Belt over the next 5 days.

The odds are not high that sufficient rain will fall to counter evaporation during the next two weeks except in the northern Plains and a few upper Midwest locations. The central Plains will see some rainfall, but southern Plains into the southwestern Corn Belt will not likely get enough rain to counter evaporation and further drying is likely.

 

CFTC Shows Cut in Soy Positions

 

Hedge funds and other money managers cut their net long position in CBOT soybean futures and options to 98,228 contracts from 108,061 in the prior week. This is well below the 170,000 to 210,000 contracts that the funds had maintained all throughout March and April.

In the week ended May 22, money managers expanded their bullish stance in CBOT corn futures and options to 199,970 contracts from 191,672 in the previous week.

 

The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

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May 25, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 585

Weekly Cash Comments

Commentary for week ending 5/25/2018

Weekly Cash Comments

Soybean basis garnered more upside as export trade winds turned favorable helping bolster US average soy basis by 2.3 cents on average, while corn was fractionally higher on average with a 0.5 cent improvement.

In corn, some of the recent gains due to planting were erased as farmers returned to market grain, which pushed some basis lower at key end users in NE/IA/IL/IN. But in the Upper Midwest where planting is still in full force corn plants were slightly higher to try and meet needs. In the week corn plants were unchanged.

Around the river markets, barge rates have mostly stabilized in recent weeks. Gulf basis for corn was off a penny which kept corn river markets mostly flat to lower, while soy basis at the Gulf was up 7 cents which put upstream river markets higher by a nickel. Soy crush plants continue to hold firm advancing 2.3 cents on the week as May crush margins were the highest for this time of year.

 

The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

May 25, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 551

Brazil Ends Trucker Strike

July wheat up this morning by 5 cents; KC wheat is up over 6 cents

Brazil Ends Trucker Strike

Headlines

Private exporters reported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture export sales of 20,000 metric tons of soybean oil for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2017/2018 marketing year.

 

Brazil Ends Trucker Strike

Brazil's government struck a deal with truck drivers on Thursday to suspend a four-day protest. Truckers agreed to immediately suspend the strike for 15 days. Under the deal, a 10% price cut for diesel will be extended to 30 days. But normalization of trucking & logistics will take weeks to recover because of the magnitude of disruptions across numerous industries. At Paranaguá port, Brazil's second-largest grain export hub, the protests impeded 1,000 trucks from delivering goods over two days, Brazil's largest cooperative Coamo Agroindustrial said on Thursday.

 

South America Crops Continue to Slip

Brazil’s AgroConsult pegged the 2nd season corn crop at 57 MMT, down from their previous estimate of 60 MMT based on their ongoing crop tour. If realized it would be a 10 MMT shortfall relative to last year. They also estimate the country will only export 24 MMT of corn, a far cry from USDA’s estimate of 30 MMT. In Argentina, the Ag Ministry lowered their latest old-crop soybean production estimate to 36.6 from 37.2 MMT and off from USDA at 39.0

 

Argentina Government May Renege on Export Taxes

In a political bait-and-switch, Argentina may halt the gradual lowering of soybean export taxes to bail out the government ballooning budget woes.

President Macri was elected in 2016 on a populist support from ag by promising to gradually reduce the 35% export tax on soybeans and outright elimination of the tax on corn and wheat. The soybean tax currently stands at 27.5% and was expected to be eliminated by the end of 2019. It’s not clear that the budget coffers would benefit much in the short-run as the country has been crippled from drought creating limited excess supplies to export. Nonetheless, if the tax policies are rolled back it will likely lead to aggressive selling by Argentina farmers to front-run any new enacted taxes

The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

May 24, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 406

Weekly Ethanol Production Declines

Still on pace to meet USDA expectations

Weekly Ethanol Production Declines

Headlines

  • Weekly ethanol production declines
  • Export sales mostly within expectations
  • Grains continue higher in the overnight  
  • Export sales of 264,000 metric tons of soybeans for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2018/2019 marketing year
  • Cancellations of export sales of 132,000 metric tons of grain sorghum for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2017/2018 marketing year

 

Grains are higher in the Overnight

December corn closed above its previous high on Tuesday and is trending. November soybeans are at the high side of the trading range and may test the April high today. If soybeans close through $10.60 prices, it could impulse higher as short positions established due to trade war concerns are covered.

  

Ethanol Production

Weekly ethanol production declined to 1.028 million bpd from 1.058 million bpd LW. Weekly production was 1.8% ahead of LY pace during the same week. Ethanol production is still on pace to meet USDA expectations.

Ethanol stocks rebounded last week to 929 million gallons from 903 million gallons the week before. Ethanol stocks have been trending lower since mid-March, and will likely return to that trend as we move through the summer driving season.

 

U.S. seeks better access for GMO crops in China

According to a Thomson Reuters article this morning, the United States is looking for better access to import GMO crops into China as a part of the trade deal under discussion.

 

Brazil oil company Petrobras temporarily cuts diesel prices

Petrobras cut diesel prices by 10 percent in an effort to resolve the trucker strike that is disrupting the movement of newly harvested grains to export facilities. The cut in diesel prices will only be in effect for 15 days, and the government has struggled to reach a lasting solution.

Export Sales

Export sales were on the low side of expectations for soybeans this week with the large 894,500 MT cancellation announced last week showing up in the report.   Despite the net cancellations in soybeans it is a positive development that China’s Sinograin is back in the U.S. market and that the first cargo of U.S. soybeans was purchased by a Chinese importer yesterday. Corn sales were down 13 percent from last week but above the 4 week moving average. Wheat sales were up 78% from last week and were on the high side of expectations for both old and new crop.   

 

  

   Actual

Estimated

   Last Week

Wheat-OC

   112

(-100)-100

   63

Wheat-NC

   340

100-400

   131

Corn-OC

   854

700-1,100

   985

Corn-NC

   273

100-250

   129

Soybeans-OC

  -139

(-200)-400

   281

Soybeans-NC

      6

200-400

   224

Soymeal-OC

   239

100-400

   376

Soymeal-NC

 

0-100

    45


 

 

The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

May 23, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 546

Dock Workers in Argentina Planning a Strike on Thursday

Grains up in the overnight session

Dock Workers in Argentina Planning a Strike on Thursday

Headlines

  • China looking at U.S. soybeans again 
  • Trucker protests in Brazil expand  
  • Optional origin sales of 140,000 metric tons of corn for delivery to Saudi Arabia.  Of the total 70,000 metric tons is for delivery during the 2017/2018 marketing year and 70,000 metric tons is for delivery during the 2018/2019 marketing year.  An optional origin contract provides that the origin of the commodity may be the U.S. or one or more other exporting countries.

 

Trump Says “Not Satisfied” with U.S. China Trade Talks

On Tuesday, President Trump said that he was “not satisfied” with how trade talks went with China. The president's remarks triggered selling in the U.S. equities market toward the end of the session on Tuesday. The comment was made during an Oval Office meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and contrasts sharply from his message on Monday.   

 

Is China Back Buying Soybeans from the U.S.?

Chinese state grain buyer Sinograin has inquired about soybean prices in the U.S. for old and new crop. Sinograin has not purchased U.S. soybeans since April. The interest in U.S. soybean prices is a positive sign and comes after last week’s trade negotiations between the U.S. and China. No sales to China have been confirmed.

 

Brazil Trucker Strike Day 3

Truck drivers in Brazil will extend the protest a third day after the Government's proposal to cut a fuel tax was seen as unsatisfactory. On Tuesday the Government proposed to eliminate the CIDE fuel tax, and put additional revenue from payroll taxes to reducing fuel prices. The trucking group ABCAM said that the CIDE accounted for only a fraction of the taxes on diesel fuel. On Wednesday, the Brazilian government proposed a reduction of the PIS/Cofins tax on diesel in an effort to end the trucker strike. Diesel prices have risen nearly 50% in less than a year. Thousands of trucks were obstructing major roadways used to ship soybeans in Mato Grosso. The protest has grown to include 23 states and around 300,000 drivers on Tuesday. Pork and chicken producer Aurora said on Tuesday that it will halt work in fifteen plants across four states due to the disruption in road transportation and a lack of storage space.

Argentina Dock Worker Strike

Dock workers in Argentina are planning a 24 hour strike on Thursday, demanding better working conditions. The strike is also to protest government talks with the International Monetary Fund.  

 

FOMC Minutes Released Today

FOMC minutes will show the policy meeting in May. Traders will be looking for any hint on the pace of U.S. monetary tightening and look for confirmation for a rate hike in June.

 

The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

May 22, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 546

Soybean Planting Makes Strong Advance

USDA Planting Progress shows big jump for beans

Soybean Planting Makes Strong Advance

Headlines

  • Planting Progress Speeds Along
  • Weather Expected to Turn Hot and Dry
  • Brazil FOB Prices Mixed Relative to US
  • Brazil Truck Strike

USDA Planting Progress

  • Corn was 81% planted vs 62% last week and 81% on the 5-year average
  • Soybeans jumped 21% on the week hitting 56% and well above the 44% 5-year average
  • Both Minnesota & South Dakota had big jumps in corn planting getting to 77% and 66% respectively, so the threat of a late planting is waning
  • Early crop condition ratings in some states show a solid start to the crop. Illinois was rated at 88% good-to-excellent and Indiana at 83% with Missouri faring slightly worse with 71% rated good-to-excellent

Weather Models Point to Hot/Dry Conditions

Latest GFS weather model shows temps rising into the upper 80s/low 90s for much of the U.S. plains over the next 10 days.

Major portions of the grain belt from Iowa to the East should see more moderate temps in the 80s.

Major rain events stay mostly in the Southeast over the next 10 days.

 

Brazil Beans Weaken Relative to US

Brazil’s soybean prices continue to erode relative to U.S. soy export prices

Latest quotes show Brazil at an $11/MT discount relative to the US versus $7/MT discount mid last week.

However, in corn Brazil prices moved higher on Monday to be on par with US FOB values, after trading at a $5 discount last week.

 

Brazil Trucker Strike

Brazil truckers blocked major roadways in the largest grain state, Parana, to protest rising fuel costs.

Santos Port Authority says protests have slowed loading and unloading at export terminals.

 

The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)


 

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