June 16, 2017 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 223

Grains Continue to Advance in the Overnight Session

July Wheat Reaches its Highest Mark in Six Weeks

Grains continued to advance overnight led by the wheat complex which saw July wheat reach its highest mark in 6 weeks.

 

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The corn market took a wild ride yesterday with Dec corn trading down to $3.88 in the morning opening bell where underlying support is just below at $3.85 but posted a 12-cent rally back to $4. Yield forecasts from private analysts continue to suggest below-trend yield potential and yesterday’s mid-afternoon weather model run produced more warmth and drier weather than previous models.

 

The condition of French soft wheat declined slightly in the week to June 12, with 74% of crops rated good or excellent compared with 75% the previous week, farm office FranceAgriMer said on Friday. The corn crop was rated 86% good-to-excellent down 1% from last week.

 

The latest US model runs continue to show good precip coverage from IL to the East for the next two week period while the Central Plains, Northern Plains and WCB will see limited rainfall. Temperature patterns should follow the rain development with the same areas expected to be dry should see above normal temp readings in this two-week period.

 

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June 15, 2017 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 294

Crude Oil Down this Morning Following Sharp Sell Off

Grains Lower Heading into Morning Break

Grains were lower heading into the morning break with spring wheat continuing its leader role with nearly double-digit losses. Crude oil was also down following yesterday’s sharp sell-off.

 

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Private consultant Strategie Grains cut its forecast for the EU wheat crop to 141.6 MMT, down 1.1 MMT from last month, but still 4% above the 136.1 MMT in 2016, when output was curbed by a poor French crop. For corn, they noted a slight cutback of 0.1 MMT to 60 MMT which would be unchanged from last year. But they noted the weather is set to remain dry in most of the primary corn growing countries and the condition of the crop could deteriorate rapidly.

 

In international deals, the Korea Feed Association (KFA) purchased about 65,000 MT of corn to be sourced from optional origins in a tender that closed on Thursday. South Korea's Korea Corn Processing Industry Association (KOCOPIA) also purchased about 60,000 MT of corn to be sourced from optional origins in a tender that closed on Thursday. Meanwhile, Japan bought 162,000 MT of wheat, of which 98,500 MT was from the US.

 

Weekly Export Sales-

 

 

  Actual

Estimated

Wheat - NC

  373

350-550

Corn - OC

  600

500-700

Corn - NC

   13

100-300

Soybeans-OC

  340

250-450

Soybeans-NC

  314     

100-300

 

 

 

Crude futures edged lower again Thursday, following sharp declines in the prior session, but investor sentiment continued to be battered by data showing that the market remains awash in surplus oil. On Thursday, oil prices tanked by nearly 4% to their lowest level since November, following U.S. Energy Information Administration data that showed the decrease in crude stockpiles last week was smaller than anticipated. Compounding the woes was the unexpected increase in gasoline stocks, surprising many traders and analysts who expected much of the excess gasoline to be mopped up during the U.S. summer driving season. Data show gasoline demand has fallen for three weeks straight.
 

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June 14, 2017 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 150

Spring Wheat Catapults to a New 2 Year High Mark

For the US, weather looks to be hot for the Central Plains and Midwest with temps 3 to 5C above normal for the next several days

Grains continued to move higher overnight with Minneapolis wheat adding 12 cents to yesterday’s 25-cent advance.

 

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Spring wheat prices hit a 2 year high as the market braces for cutbacks from key growing areas in the High Plains. Weather forecasts for ND show no real relief in the 14-day period. Minor storms bringing limited rain are expected this coming weekend and again in another 10 days.

 

For the US, weather looks to be hot for the Central Plains and Midwest with temps 3 to 5C above normal for the next several days. Rainfall is expected in most key growing areas but the WCB rains are expected to be somewhat limited.

 

In China, the government there approved two new GMO varieties - Dow’s Enlist Corn and Monsanto’s Vistive Gold soybeans. China has dragged its feet on permitting new GMO varieties, generally taking 6 years to approve while other countries are more on par with 3 years. In May, Beijing promised to speed up the evaluations of eight US varieties of GMO crops by the end of the month under a trade deal with the US.

 

The Fed will make an announcement today on interest rates, with a widely expected quarter-point interest rate hike. This would push the Fed funds target rate above 1% for the first time since 2008. Market participants' focus will be on signals on the frequency of further hikes and how the Fed plans to unwind its huge Treasury bond stockpile over the years ahead.
 
 

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

June 13, 2017 | Kevin McNew | Views: 142
June 13, 2017 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 369

Spring Wheat Catapults Higher

USDA Crop Progress Report show Spring Wheat Conditions Plunged

Grains were bolstered overnight led by spring wheat which catapulted higher following USDA’s crop condition scores on Monday showed further deterioration.

 

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USDA’s crop progress report showed spring wheat conditions plunged to only 45% good-to-excellent, well below market expectations of 53% going into the report and a 55% reading last week.  For corn, the conditions did slip to 67% as compared to 68% last week. For soybeans the first reading of the year came in at 66%, off of the 70% expected.

 

In export news, the Taiwan Flour Millers association bought 92,400 MT of US milling wheat overnight. In France, the Ag Ministry there pegged corn sowing at 1.37 million hectares, down 3.3% from last year and 15% below the 5-year average. It also trimmed its estimate of wheat acres to 5.15 million hectares off 0.5% from last year.

 

Egypt received offers on Monday’s tender for wheat with the lowest offer on an FOB basis being Ukraine with Russia, Romania and French wheat also being offered up. No US offers were presented in the tender.

 

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

June 12, 2017 | Kevin McNew | Views: 318
June 12, 2017 | Tech Talk | By Greg Martinelli | Views: 858

CRM: A Love/Hate Relationship

Part 1: What agribusinesses can’t stand about Customer Relationship Management programs

CRM: A Love/Hate Relationship

Is it Facebook for business or a powerful sales tool?  Is it Big Brother or a new way to serve customers?  Is it here to stay or just a passing fad?  I’m talking of course about Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programs that are sweeping through our industry.  Join me in a series on the Love/Hate Relationship that we all have with CRM and find out how we can learn to use it effectively.  Launching it with three different sales teams, I can tell you from first-hand experience, that much of your success is in your hands.  Find out how to make it an effective tool for your team.  Not just your sales team, but your entire business team as they serve your customer. 

Why Do We Hate CRM?

Relies too much on Technology

When the program comes to your company, it is unpopulated with customer info.  Hopefully, you have it auto populated from your accounting/order entry software so someone doesn’t have to hand enter all this information.  Even with the customer basics entered, the program doesn’t seem very useful.  There are no notes on the history of sales calls.  That info is in your notebooks or maybe a file folder in your office.  “Now, my company wants me to plug in every time I have a phone call or send an email” “I don’t see the point of putting it all in there, when I have what I need in my notebooks”

Feels like Big Brother

This complaint comes out frequently from sales people.  They may not openly say it, but it is there.  A big reason is the way we promote the value of CRM.  When the CRM software company sells the product to the VP of sales or General Manager or whoever is buying the software, they often sell it on the value of continuity during sales person turnover.  “If a sales person leaves your company, you will have all their sales call history in the CRM program.  The next sales person will have the info to pick up where the last sales person left off!”  While very true, that sales pitch is to you (General Manager or VP of Sales).  It should end with you.  Please don’t promote this feature/benefit to your sales team.  I say this because I have heard it said several times.  Trust me, it doesn’t sit well with your current employees. What they hear in this message “If you leave, we have all your information” or worse “We can replace you and not miss a beat with your customers.”

Too time consuming

By far, the biggest complaint that comes up with CRM is the time commitment to keep it updated.  “I’m on the road selling all day.  I’m not going to sit at home all evening and enter every phone call made and email sent.”  Ok, I get it – you’re a busy guy or gal.  You have a life outside of work.  First, there are ways to make the data entry faster and easier.  You don’t need to sit around all evening entering a thesis on your sales calls.  Secondly, learning what to put in the program and what to leave out is an important part to making the program useful.

Uderstanding how to use the program 

I put this complaint in here because I’ve see teams struggle in the beginning of a CRM launch.  Often, the software company sales person puts on the first training sessions for you on how the program works. At first glance, the program looks overwhelming.  During this presentation, the CRM sales person displays all the bells and whistles of this program working flawlessly in synch as territory info is sliced and diced several different ways.  Check marks are used, status updates are connected to your Outlook calendar, connections to your contacts are interwoven to seamlessly make this program your new personal assistant.  Like most of us, you finally get the program on your computer and you struggle to remember your password to log in, let alone all the different tabs, links and tools it has. 

So how can we love CRM?

When I talk with customers and prospects, I always ask if they are using a CRM program.  Typically, I get an exasperated response.  Either they launched it and it’s not going well or they are thinking of launching one but struggling with some of the complaints listed above. 

It begs the question – “What’s to Love?”  There’s plenty.  A competitive advantage, organization beyond the human ability to achieve and much more.

Join me next time as I go through the reasons we Love CRM.  We’ll learn how to mitigate the parts we hate and expand on those we love to make CRM an effective tool for your team.

 

Greg Martinelli, Ag Sales ProfessionalGreg Martinelli is a sales coach, consultant and trainer who works with agriculture companies to dramatically increase sales productivity, profits and ultimately dominate their market. He spent the last 25 years developing sales teams across the Midwest that focused on the feed and grain business for both national and international markets. He runs Ag Sales Professionals, focusing
on high engagement and high productivity. He can be reached at Greg@GregMartinelli.net or 608-751-6971.

June 12, 2017 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 258

Export Activity Perks up this Morning

Northern Plains over the weekend saw Modest Rains

Rains over the weekend combined with a forecast for cooler temps and more precip helped push the grain complex lower to start the week.

 

USDA reported the sale of 130,000 MT (old crop) of soybeans to unknown destinations this morning.

 

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Over the weekend the Northern Plains saw modest rains of mostly 0.25” but not a drought buster. Highs on Friday in the Plains were 90s to low 100s. The outlook for this week is warm for much of the Midwest but showers will develop later in the week bringing cooler temps. Overall, there is little in the two-week forecast to cause concern about crop losses with most areas seeing some moisture and temperatures oscillating between hot and cool as storms track across the grain belt.

 

Export activity has perked up a bit to start the week. Late on Friday Egypt announced a tender to buy wheat, the results of which should be announced soon. Saudi Arabia bought 805,000 MT of hard wheat to be optional origin from the EU, North America or South America. And, a group of Israeli private buyers issued a tender for 850,000 MT of corn and 30,000 MT of feed wheat.

 

China's soybean futures hit three-month highs on Monday, as talk that the the government has ramped up checks on imports of GMO beans. China allows imported beans to be used by crushers to make soymeal for animal feed but none of the beans, are permitted for use in food products.

 

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

June 06, 2017 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 268

Minneapolis Wheat Lead the Gains in Grain in the Overnight Session

USDA Crop Progress report shows Spring Wheat Conditions Dropped Sharply

Grains were higher overnight led by Minneapolis wheat which had double digits gains going into the morning break.

 

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Yesterday after the close USDA’s crop progress report showed spring wheat conditions dropped sharply to 55% good-to-excellent, down from 62% last week. Winter wheat conditions also turned lower, slipping to 49% good-to-excellent vs 50% last week. Corn, on the other hand, managed to improve 3% to 68% good-to-excellent.

 

In international news, Iraq was tendering for wheat and the lowest offer was from the US. But the final results of the tender have not been announced yet. Algeria was also tendering for wheat. Overnight, Palm Oil futures in Malaysia fell about 1% on strength in tandem with rival oils.

 

The US Dollar sank to its weakest since mid-April against the yen on Tuesday, as economic data drove U.S. government bond yields to lows not seen since Donald Trump's election last year and investors sought refuge before big events on Thursday.

 

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

June 05, 2017 | Kevin McNew | Views: 468

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More Articles

Weekly Cash Comments

October 13, 2017 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew

In the cash market this week there was a bit of buoyancy as river barge markets reverted to more normal pricing and corn harvest ground to a near halt. On the week, soybean basis was up 2 cents while corn basis posted a modest 1-cent advance.

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