Morning Commentary

Sept corn down 5 ½ at $4.2525

Aug beans down 1 ¾ at $8.9975

The DOW is up

USD is stronger

Crude oil up $.72 at $56.35

Good morning,

Corn  bears continue to point towards weakening demand, while U.S. crop conditions arguably improve ever so slightly on cooler temps and adequate moisture. Bulls backpedaled last week and prices tumbled more than -15 cents. Prices are now down over -30 from our most recent high. Technically, many seasoned traders are keeping a close eye on the DEC19 contract and price action between the $4.20 and $4.30 area.

Soybean  bulls continue to talk about Chinese buyers perhaps purchasing U.S. new-crop supply. I don’t know a ton of specifics, other than the fact Chinese buyers have made inquiries with U.S. exporters off the PNW. China purchased some sorghum late last week, but I’ve heard no specifics regarding soybeans.

Sorghum’s top importer in the world, China, bought 51,072 metric tons of the grain even though they imposed a 25% tariff on American shipments in July 2018 as part of the tit-for-tat trade dispute. I’m told this is China’s biggest purchase of U.S. sorghum since April, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture. From what I understand, the purchases will likely be used to feed livestock or make a fiery Chinese liquor called baijiu.

Agricultural chemical maker, Syngenta reported a 34% fall in first-half net income, showing the impact of U.S. trade disputes with China and Mexico as well as bad weather in some of its markets. First-half sales for the company also fell 7% to $6.8 billion, while net income tumbled 34% to $798 million, in part due to the bad weather and global issues. I should mention, CFO Mark Patrick reiterated ChemChina’s previously announced aim of floating at least part of the company by 2022, though he said the impact of volatile weather on Syngenta’s financial fortunes would play a role in a final IPO decision.

Producers need to maximize every dollar that goes out the door now more than ever and startup Tractor Zoom is assisting with that for those who are looking at purchasing used equipment. Founder, Kyle McMahon grew up in a small ag community in southeast Iowa and knows first-hand how badly the antiquated model of finding used equipment is from his days in the farmland private equity business. I’m told, in the course of his job, McMahon trekked to over 1,000 auctions in a four-year period, giving him some detailed insights into the inefficiencies in the market place. Recognizing the need for digital resources for finding farm equipment auctions, he set out to create a searchable database just like in the automotive and real estate industries and hopes to make some money in the process. Investors are starting to believe in the business as they kicked in $1 million late last year and I’m told the company just received an undisclosed amount from Ag Startup Engine, who works closely with Iowa State University’s Startup Factory Accelerator.  Farmers have historically browsed print media when they need to buy farm machinery, which is slow and tedious for both farmers and for the auction houses buying print ads. Keep in mind, when running a business, time is your most precious and non-renewable commodity, so use it wisely. Tractor Zoom is hoping to not only build more time into your days, but ease the financial hit that most take when it comes to purchasing needed equipment. Through its digital marketplace, both farmers and auctioneers are brought together, and from what I understand, research now shows that 89% of farmers own a smart device and have the ability to access the internet even if they have no WIFI at home, meaning there’s no reason not to try out the service.  Tractor Zoom’s software streamlines the auction advertising process in three easy steps for auctioneers by 1) uploading sales catalog into Tractor Zoom, pair specs, and equipment photos with the lot for sale; 2) post-auction results; 3) and track performance with insights about clicks and views. I’m told, users who access the platform can search equipment listings by map, state, or company as well as the type of auction, whether onsite or online. Currently, it touts 266 farm equipment auction companies, located in nearly every state, who use the platform to market their equipment as well as 97,000 subscribers and 102,000 pieces of equipment that have come through the system since it launched in 2017.  Searching for your next piece of used equipment no longer has to be a hit or miss endeavor as Tractor Zoom features recognizable and popular brands such as John Deere, International Harvester, New Holland, Allis Chalmers, and more. Also, categories of equipment include tractors, harvesting, planting, chemical applicators, hay forage, manure handling, tillage, and trailers. (Source: siliconprairienews, agfunder)


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