Friday, July 26, 2013

A Potentially Very High Risk, Very High Reward Agricultural Commodity Trade

In Tuesday's "Ideal weather sends corn, wheat prices to new lows" I promised: "We'll have the ultimate W.A.G. (wild ass guess) trading scheme later this week, in the meantime the operative phrase is 'Ideal weather"'.
That was followed by yesterday's "Risk: 'The Most Dangerous Volcano in North America"'.

If you haven't noticed there are a hell of a lot of volcanoes waking up, three in Kamchatka, seven in Indonesia, six in Central and South America and the above ref'd most dangerous in North America.

What all this means is there is a lot of ash and sulfuric acid  going into the atmosphere and quite possibly setting up some cooling effects for this fall.

So far this year both corn and soybean prices have been driven down so far that any hint of a yield reduction, say from an early freeze, could pop the futures 15% which, depending on your leverage could be worth some serious money.

Unfortunately I'm not the only person thinking freeze.
From the Hightower report:
A Look At Potential Soybean Production Losses
Since this year’s planting progress is far behind the average pace, concerns about soybean production loss due to an early fall freeze have begun to surface. We decided to research potential soybean freeze loss at different probability levels, based on various average first freeze dates for the 5 major soybean planting states: Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.

We determined the starting point of first freeze occurrence for each state, based on historical data of the earliest first fall freeze dates from 1950 to 2012, which were recorded at over 1,110 weather stations across those 5 states in the Utah Climate Center Database. We then broke down those first freeze dates into 3 probability ranges: 0-10%, 10-50%, and 50-90% according to the NOAA’s 1981–2010 U.S. Climate Normals. These percentages represent the chance of a first fall freeze occurring on a specified date or earlier. For instance, a September 10th first freeze falling in the 0-10% probability range means that there is 0-10% probability that the first fall freeze will occur by September 10th....MORE
And from AgWeb:
Early Freeze Could Nip Corn Yields in the Bud

Note the downgaps on both the charts, filled in the case of beans and not filled for corn (via FinViz):

Here's one of the Russian volcanoes earlier this week:
Plosky Tolbachik