February 06, 2018 | Coach’s Corner | Greg Martinelli | Views: 1466

Making Pre-Call Plans

Even professional athletes practice before the big game

Making Pre-Call Plans

Imagine the Philadelphia Eagles spent the two weeks prior to the Super Bowl resting, recuperating, cleaning equipment, sending a few emails and doing TV interviews!

After winning the conference championship game in January, Doug Pederson got the team together and said, “Hey guys, it’s been a long season and you are all experienced players. Many of you played in youth leagues, high school, college and finally, many years in the NFL. So, for the next two weeks, just relax and enjoy yourselves! We’ll go out in the Super Bowl and just wing it.”

          Do you think this happened or ever will happen? Of course not. This is the big event. No matter how long the players have been playing or practicing — no matter how experienced the players are, you practice for the game.

          That is what I want you to think about when making your sales calls. Sure, you know how to sell. Sure, you know the customer and the products you plan to present. Sure, you can “get by” without doing a pre-call plan. However, your customer and your company want you to do it anyway. Why?

Why your customer wants you to pre-call plan. Because you will:

  • Be more focused (waste less of their time).
  • Ask better questions (finding more ways to help them).
  • Have a purpose for the sales call (reduce the social visit selling).

Why your company wants you to pre-call plan. Because you will:

  • Be more focused (waste less of your time and sell more).
  • Be more effective at uncovering other areas to help the customer (sell more).

Why YOU want you to pre-call plan. Because you will:

  • Be more focused (waste less of your time and sell more).
  • Keep yourself from slipping into the social rut. This gets worse the longer you are in sales and the longer you work with a customer.

Best Practices

  1. Use a Checklist!

Pick any one of the many that are out there, but have an actual form or checklist. You can email me at Greg@GregMartinelli.net and I will send you one that I use. A checklist makes sure you are covering all the bases before driving onto the farm or walking into the agribusiness. Quick note: assembling administrative documents is not pre-call planning. While it might be necessary, that’s more of an administrative task than an actual pre-call plan.  

  1. Schedule it!

Often, while coaching sales people and discussing their pre-call planning process, they tell me how busy they are and they simply didn’t have time to do it. Through dialogue, we always arrive back at the same conclusion. It wasn’t because they didn’t have the time. It was because they didn’t take the time. Everyone has the same amount of time (24 hours/day) and we all fill it with what is important to us. When you tell me, you didn’t have time to pre-call plan, you are really saying, “I didn’t think it was important enough to actually do it”. If so, refer back to the reasons you, your customer and your company want you to pre-call plan.

If we truly dig into the reasons we don’t do pre-call planning, we would find a combination of laziness, over confidence and “Not wanting to be Salesy”. Pre-call planning or bringing an agenda to a sales meeting might seem like you are turning your call into a cold or strictly business-like meeting. Fear not! You can still spend some time on the social visit. However, a pre-call plan will make sure you don’t spend the whole time socializing and not selling.

February 06, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 699

Stock Markets Tumbled Worldwide as Investors Fled from Equities

Grains Were Mixed in the Overnight Session

In the overnight session the grains were mixed with March corn down 1/4 of a penny, March soybeans up 5 3/4 cents, March Chicago wheat down 1/4 of a penny and Kansas City wheat up 1/4 of a cent.

 

The latest South American weather model showed little change from the previous days forecast. Thunderstorms and showers will move from southern Argentina into the central production region starting Wednesday and more widespread precipitation is expected between Friday and Sunday. The Brazil forecast expects conditions to stay favorable to crop development.

 

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On Sunday, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced an Anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation on Sorghum imports from the United States which could result in tariffs. The reaction in the US was a sharp decline in basis values between 20 and 80 cents on Monday as a result of the news. The news from China was released only a couple weeks after the US announced that tariffs will be added to solar panels and washing machines from China. The action by both the US and China has analysts concerned of a US and China trade war.

U.S export inspections released on Monday showed that wheat met expectations with 428,557 metric tons inspected for export. Corn and soybeans both beat analyst expectations with inspections totaling to 1,073,868 metric tons for corn and 1,303,723 metric tons for soybeans. Some analysts see the possibility for demand to shift into corn if tariffs are applied to sorghum.

 

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February 05, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 597

Light Snow in the Central Plains early This Week

Grains Lower in the Overnight Session

In the overnight session the grains are lower with corn down 3 ¾ cents, soybeans down 7 ¼ cents, Chicago wheat down 6 ½ cents and Kansas City wheat down 7 cents. Weather forecasts show rains are expected in Argentina for the second half of this week and temperatures in the central Plains in the U.S should not be enough to cause winterkill.   

 

Exporters sell 130,000 metric tons of corn for delivery to South Korea during the 2017/2018 marketing year - USDA

 

Exporters sell 198,000 metric tons of soybeans to unknown destinations of which 132,000 metric tons for 2017/2018 delivery and 66,600 metric tons for 2018/2019 - USDA

 

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Last week was hot and dry in Argentina which depleted topsoil moisture throughout the country and triggered price volatility in the futures market. Over half of the crop production area is now experiencing crop stress with serious stress occurring from La Pampa into western Buenos Aire, Northwest Santa Fe and southeast Santiago del Estero. Precipitation is expected in Argentina in the second half of this week bringing scattered thunderstorms and showers to around 20% of the growing region. More rain is expected from Friday to Sunday which is likely to cover some of the driest areas and bring between .3 and .8 inches of precipitation. Temperatures are also expected to cool into the 70’s and 80’s in the southern growing regions. Despite the forecast for moisture in the second half of the week, Argentina crops will still be under stress over the next couple days and there is no guarantee that the forecast will materialize in the regions that need it most.  

 

Last week’s commitment of Traders report showed that for the week ending January 30th managed money reduced their net short position to 130,942 from 219,676 in the previous week. The latest COT report showed one of the largest week of short covering outside of the growing season. Soybeans also saw significant short covering moving from a net short position of 81,538 to 21,849 contracts short. Money managers also decreased their net short position in wheat from 15,962 to only 1,897.  

 

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February 02, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 368

US Soybean Export Sales Fell to a Seven Month Low Last Week

Grains Down in the Overnight Trade Session

Grains were down in the overnight; March corn was down ¼ of a cent, March soybeans were down 6 ¼ cents and March wheat was down 4 cents.

 

Exporters sell 195,000 metric tons of corn for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2017/2018 marketing year. Exporters sell 170,000 metric tons of corn for delivery to Egypt during the 2017/2018 marketing year. Exporters sell 108,860 metric tons of soybeans for delivery to Mexico during the 2017/2018 marketing year. -USDA

 

Chicago wheat and soybean futures slid for a third session on Friday, with abundant supplies and stiff export competition tempering concern about harsh crop weather in the US and Argentina. Concern about drought damaging the US winter crop, which drove prices to a multi-month high this week, were still underpinning prices, but analysts said it was too early to assess potential damage.

 

US soybean export sales fell to a seven-month low last week, according to government data, as stiff competition from rival exporter Brazil and concerns over lower US crop quality dented demand from key buyers such as China. The poor weekly sales tally has raised concerns that overseas shipments could contract further than expected, sending futures prices down sharply at the Chicago Board of Trade.

 

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The world sugar market is set for a larger surplus than previously expected in the 2017/2018 season, followed by another year of oversupply, according to a Reuters survey of 12 traders and analysts. Sugar prices are seen remaining roughly unchanged in the first quarter of 2018 and recovering slightly by the end of 2018, though still posting a yearly decline.

 

Egypt’s state grain-buyer, GASC, has lowered the minimum required protein content for Russian, Romanian, and Ukrainian wheat to 11.5 percent from 12 percent, a tender document seen by Reuters on Friday showed. Egypt, the world’s largest wheat buyer, is set to hold a purchase tender today for March 5-15 arrival with results expected later today. Egypt requires various protein content levels from suppliers it considers in its tenders based on origin.


 

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February 01, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 610

No Break in Plains Dryness for Next Two Weeks

Grains were Down in the Overnight Session

Grains were down in the overnight session with March corn down 3/4 of a cent, March soybeans down 9 1/2 cents and March wheat down 5 1/2 cents.

 

Chicago wheat futures slid for a second session on Thursday as investors booked profits after a recent rally and set deteriorating US crop conditions against high global supply. Soybeans and corn also lost ground, with forecasts calling for less severe crop weather in major exporter Argentina from next week encouraging the markets to consolidate.

 

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US pork demand is strong, but trade disputes could hit exports. American consumers are snapping up plentiful low-cost pork, but US farmers are worried that trade spats with key export markets in China, Mexico and Canada could hurt a lucrative part of their pork business. The domestic demand outlook remains bright thanks to the strong US economy, upcoming spring grilling season and Easter Holiday ham purchases. US goods in general are attractive to foreign buyers thanks to the recent drop in the dollar.

 

Weekly Export Sales came in high for wheat and corn this week; but soybean numbers were down against expectations.

 

Weekly Export Sales-

 

Actual

Estimated

Wheat - NC

289

0-100

Corn - OC

1,850

1,000-1,500

Soybeans - OC

359

600-1,000

 

 


 

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

January 31, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 554

Plains Dryness to Persist the Next Two Weeks

Grains Down in the Overnight Session

In the overnight session the grains are trading lower with corn down ¾ of a cent, soybeans down 5 cents, Chicago wheat down 4 ¾ of a cent and Kansas City wheat down 5 cents. Chicago wheat futures turned lower on Wednesday as a short-covering rally linked to concerns over poor winter crop conditions in the US ran out of steam.

 

US winter wheat is not in good shape according to new data from the US department of Agriculture. Although drawing final conclusions based on midwinter crop conditions is premature, the chance that the US harvest will achieve even average levels is dwindling, especially since weather models have not yet indicated a reliable shift to a widespread wet pattern in the Southern Plains.

 

Late on Monday, many of the USDA’s state statistics offices released monthly crop progress reports that include the condition of winter wheat. The status in top producers, Kansas and Oklahoma, was nothing short of alarming and implied that at least 30 percent of the national winter wheat crop is in the worst condition in well over a decade.

 

Exporters sell 145,000 metric tons of corn for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2017/2018 marketing year. -USDA

 

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Argentina’s corn crop will suffer yield losses due to drought this year and the estimated planting area may drop further because dry weather in the northern part of the country has blocked late-season planting. Regarding the country’s main cash crop, soybeans, no more planting area losses are expected for the 2017/2018 season and the size of the harvest hinges on February rains, which will be crucial after three consecutive months of near constant sun.

 

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January 30, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 525

KC March Wheat Gapping Higher for a Second Straight Session

Grains Were Up in the Overnight

Grains were up in the overnight session with March corn up 1 ¼ of a cent and March soybeans up 1 cent. KC March wheat gapping higher for a second straight session, early trade wires putting the spotlight on yesterday’s USDA state crop ratings.

 

Chicago wheat rose for a fifth session on Tuesday to touch a four-month high on concern that dry conditions in parts of the US Plains are damaging crops. Condition ratings of US winter wheat declined in January in several southern US Plains states hit by drought including top US producer Kansas, the US Department of Agriculture said on Monday.

 

Exporters sell 132,000 metric tons of corn for delivery to Spain during the 2017/2018 marketing year. -USDA

 

The USDA rated 14 percent of the Kansas winter wheat crop in good to excellent condition, sharply down from 37 percent at the end of December. There is close market attention on the state of US winter wheat, with concern about dryness and cool temperatures in parts of the US Plains in the past few weeks. The market seems to expect the dryness in the US Plains to cause further deterioration of winter wheat crop ratings and this is reflected in firm prices today; however the actual impact will not be visible for some time yet.
 

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US Export Inspections numbers; 1,104 for soybeans, 579 for wheat and 993 for corn. Wheat came in above estimations of 250-450; corn was in line with expectations as were soybeans.

 

 

The dollar reversed earlier gains on Tuesday and turned lower as US Treasury yields pulled back from their recent move higher while the euro strengthened after economic data confirmed the euro zone economy is growing at a healthy clip. The greenback is set for its biggest monthly decline since July 2017 against the euro as the combination of strong global growth and slow inflation encouraged investors to add bearish bets.

 

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January 29, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 528

How About That Market Rally

Grains Up in the Overnight Session

In the overnight session the grains traded higher with corn up 2 1/2 cents, soybeans up 12 cents, Chicago wheat up 6 1/2 cents and Kansas City wheat up 7 cents. Grains are moving higher on crop stress concerns in Argentina and dryness in the US Plains.

 

Exporters sell 115,000 metric tons of corn for delivery to Egypt during the 2017/2018 marketing year. -USDA

 

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The latest forecast for Argentina weather has many traders worried that the minimal subsoil moisture in the central and southern parts of Argentina combined with the hot dry weather will damage yield potential. A high pressure ridge will move into Argentina this week and temperatures are expected to rise into the 90’s and low 100’s. Crops will see stress over the next 8 to 10 days and it is likely that production potential will be damaged.

 

Brazil weather is expected to be wetter and possibly slow soybean harvest and corn planting. Rains are expected to continue in the southern part of the country throughout the week.    

The average corn basis across the US slipped by a penny last week while soybeans fell by 1/2 a cent. The rally in the futures market has brought more willing sellers to the table which has helped originators book more grain without becoming more competitive with basis. In fact, many western corn belt soybean plants dropped their basis by 5-10 cents. Basis along the river terminals also saw pressure as barge rates increased with soybean basis down 4 cents and corn basis unchanged.

  

The commitment of traders report for the week ending January 23rd showed that wheat speculators increased their net short position by 2,480 contracts to 166,064. Both corn and soybeans had a decrease in the net short position during the same period. The net short position in corn shrunk by 10,043 contracts to 248,041 and soybeans net position shrunk by 19,629 to 117,023.    


 

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January 26, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 401

Weekly Cash Comments

Weekly Cash Commentary for Week Ending 01/26/2018

Grain basis was mostly stagnant this week as average US values were unchanged from last week.

 

A rally in the futures market helped increase pipeline supplies this week as end users found dump lines backing up. Corn plants were down as a group this week by 1-cent a bushel with only one small plant in NE IA boosting basis by a dime, but most of the action at ethanol plants was on the downside.  For soy plants they were down 0.5 cents a bushel on average. There were some modest gains in IN/OH plants but plants in the Western Corn-belt were off 5 to 10 cents in some case, helping erase much of the positive gains in the board.

For river terminals, they fell under the same pressure but had the added back draft of higher barge freight. Rates along river terminals were generally higher this week which put more pressure on basis levels. Soybeans basis at river terminals gave up nearly 4 cents a bushel while corn basis was unchanged on average.

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January 26, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 544

Corn Surpassed USDA Weekly Export Sales Expectations

Grains Trading Unchanged to Higher in the Overnight Session

In the overnight session the grains are trading unchanged to higher with corn up ¾ of a cent, soybeans up ¾ of a cent, Chicago wheat up 2 ¾ cents and KC Wheat up 3 ¼ cents this morning. Chicago wheat was able to break through both the 20 and 50 day moving average and is now at the recent high January 3rd. Soybeans trade action during yesterday’s session could be seen as concerning after it was unable to hold onto it intra-day gains and closed near the days open. The March soybean contract briefly traded above $10.00 before closing at 9.91 ¼.

 

Exporters sell 125,000 metric tons of corn for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2017/2018 marketing year. -USDA

 

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Yesterday the Argentinian Agricultural Ministry revised their corn plantings estimate from 8.8 million hectares to 8.7 million hectares in their latest crop report. Soybean plantings were also revised to 16.75 million hectares, down from 16.8 million last month. The revisions were made after dryness throughout Argentina delayed plantings and in some cases prevented planting altogether. Concerns are now that the dryness in central and southern Argentina will damage yield potential.

 

South Africa is also expecting to see plantings lowered due to hot and dry conditions in the western part of its growing region. The country’s Crop Estimates Committee is expected to revise its corn acreage forecast from 2.629 million hectares to 2.159 million acres. The western part of South Africa’s growing region produces a large amount of white corn.  


 

Wheat sales were reported at 427,200 metric tons which was an improvement from the previous week and meeting trade expectations. Corn sales were reported at 1,445,900 metric tons which was down 22 percent from the previous week but above the trade expectations. Soybean sales only reported 616,300 metric tons which was below expectations and down 50 percent from the previous week.

 

Weekly Export Sales-

 

Actual

Estimated

Wheat - NC

427

200-500

Corn - OC

1,445

900-1,250

Soybeans - OC

616

850-1,200

 

 

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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