Friday, July 25, 2014

"U.S. Corn Farmers Face a Cash Crunch"

Probably time for a little bounce when the Journal starts paying attention.
Corn in storage-Sept. contract-$3.59'6 down 1'6, new crop-December-$3.68'4 down 1'0.
From the Wall Street Journal:

Prices Have Fallen Nearly 30% in Past Three Months

Tumbling corn prices are sowing fears that many U.S. farmers will suffer their first losses in years and the agricultural economy could face its first sustained slump in a decade.
Corn prices have plunged nearly 30% in the past three months to their lowest point since 2010 as near-perfect weather in the Midwest fuels expectations of a second consecutive bumper harvest. Prices of other crops have fallen sharply as well, with soybeans trading near 2½-year lows and wheat near four-year lows.
Iowa farmer Doug Adams said he and his partner likely will try to renegotiate their rent on about 400 acres 
they added to their operation last year. Stephen Mally for The Wall Street Journal
The price-depressing glut of corn is benefiting companies that depend on grain for animal feed and other uses, including meatpackers, livestock farmers and ethanol producers. Shares of Tyson Foods Inc. TSN -1.23% have soared 47% in the past 12 months, while rival chicken processor Pilgrim's Pride Corp. PPC +0.19% has gained 95%. Shares of Archer Daniels Midland Co. ADM -0.81% , which processes grain into ethanol, corn syrup and other products, are up 34%.

Lower global grain prices are helping consumers as well, especially in countries where the cost of bread and other staples accounts for a large share of spending. A monthly food-price index published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization declined for a third month in a row in June to the lowest since January, largely due to a marked drop in grain and vegetable-oil prices. 

The lower commodity costs could temper inflation in U.S. grocery aisles for cereal, cookies and other products containing grain and soy, though few packaged-food companies are likely to cut prices, analysts said.
But the slide in corn prices is expected to cut sharply into overall incomes in the U.S. Farm Belt because corn is the country's largest crop, grown on 350,000 farms and yielding about $60 billion in farmers' revenue last year.

Now 57% off its record high in 2012, corn is trading well below the $4-a-bushel threshold generally required for farmers to earn profits. That means many growers this year likely will fail to cover their costs for the first time since 2006, according to agricultural economists....MUCH MORE 
HT: The Big Picture's 10 Friday AM Reads

Among hundreds of posts:
Iowa State's Worst Case Corn Prices: $2.89 By 2017