Another Volatile Day Ahead?
As you go through the day today, keep in mind that the minutes of the latest FOMC meeting will be released at 2:00 pm EDT. Recently, they been releasing "headlines" at 12:30, too, so stay sharp. The pattern of 2012 has been to sell PM whenever anything gets posted by The Fed or The Bernank. Therefore, be cautious.
What I hope to do while I attempt to take some down time is to rehash some "Greatest Hits". I plan to re-post daily a blog/thread from the archives, both from TFMR and ATW. We'll get to that in a moment but first...
Following along on yesterday's theme, the USDA issued a crop report earlier this morning and it was a doozy.
If you don't want to pour through it, here's what ZH has to say:
And, of course, our own Grain Man "Art Lomax" is all over it, too. He's currently lurking in Pailin's Corner:
The weather in The Corn Belt is only forecast to deteriorate over the coming weeks and the heat wave is expected to begin anew next week. Yikes!
OK, so here is your re-post of the day. This one was originally filed at ATW back on 3/29/11. I must admit that the food price surge that I was writing about never quite materialized...yet. I was also incorrect in my theory that overt QE would continue past June. Regardless, it contains several points that are still relevant today. Namely:
- "Let's start with the grains because rising grain prices cause all sorts of inflation. Not only are grains the raw input to countless consumer goods, grains are also the primary foodstuff for cattle ranchers and hog finishers as they prepare their herds for slaughter."
- "OK, so how about corn? Corn is extremely important in food production as it is used not only as a primary ingredient but as a sweetener, as well."
- "Have you ever heard the term "corn-fed beef"? Most of the best steakhouses proudly champion corn-fed beef because, frankly, its tastes a helluva lot better than grass-fed. The high sugar content of the corn gets converted into fat. The fat makes its way into the muscle and you, Mr. Steakeater, get yourself a beautiful, marbled "prime" steak. Fat cows are also desirable at slaughter because, well, they weigh more and cattle are sold by the pound. OK, so now, pretend for a moment that you're a cattle rancher. As your cattle are growing and being prepared for market (the term is "finished"), you want to feed them as much corn as they'll eat and you can afford. Corn at $7.00/bushel really cramps your business plan. Your first reaction is to control costs by thinning your herd, i.e. you sell some prematurely, before they are "finished". You might also simply want to sell some of your herd to take advantage of today's high prices. Either way, this extra supply in the short term has actually worked to keep cattle prices from soaring at the same rate as the grains. But this is temporary. By this summer, supply will decrease as cattle that would have been coming to market just then have already been slaughtered."
Here's the full post. You'll likely enjoy reading the comments section, too:
That's it for today. Have fun and stay alert.