Illinois grower/grain market analyst Jason Moss is always looking for marketing opportunities. He strives to make early marketing decisions based on early USDA and foreign-crop reports. Unlike recent years, where 25¢ price shifts were the normal, he pays more attention to 5¢ market moves, knowing that profit margins will likely be tighter than ever.
“In August 2012, I used December 2014 corn futures to market about 20% of my ’14 crop. I marketed another 20% in May of 2013. The contracts are at $5.80-$6.10," says Jason Moss, west-central Illinois farmer.
Lehman says that the MPC eliminates the risk of price decline for both basis and futures, while not restricting upside futures potential. Also, the minimum price is guaranteed and paid in full upon delivery. No up-front charges, fees or margin money are required, and it may cost less than commercial storage rates.
Broders says that MPCs or other elevator contracts can be just as efficient for soybeans. “We have guys doing straight cash contracts, basis contracts or futures contracts,” he says. “A fair number of guys have priced 10% of their soybean production at near $11. We expect to see more of these moves using a variety of contracts.”
Moss says even with pressure from the 2013 crop, price rallies can’t be ruled out. “The large 2013 crop is dog wagging the ‘14s tail,” Moss says. “For sales on the first 20% of the crop, I wouldn’t be overly selective.
“Everyone wants corn to start with a $5 corn and $12 on the beans. It’s way to early to rule those out. So I don’t think there’s reason to move on more than 20% in the near term.
“I frame my marketing decisions on what’s the most objective percent I would like sold when early crop reports come in. I wouldn’t choose to market a lot of corn or beans right now, but I wouldn’t want to be 0% sold.”