Doane Cotton Close: Weather Forecast Has Futures on Defensive
Here’s the week in review: Cotton planting Monday came in at 30%, down only 4 pts from the 5-year average after closing last week’s 9 pt gap. A little rain fell in west Texas, but barely enough to moisten the topsoil. But planting progress is running at or ahead of normal pace everywhere else and other than for California, yield prospects good.
This week’s clear topping action began when the old-crop/new-crop spread in futures began to tighten via weakness in old crop. But now the December contract shows a significant downside reversal in the low 80s. These prices actually represent a near “worst case” scenario for 2014/15 yield-wise and that means substantially more downside risk than upside potential. Thus, our advice to have half your expected production priced; unusually aggressive for this early in the crop year.
Some Grain Belt analysts question USDA’s latest 2016 farm income estimates as overly optimistic. They doubt growers were able to shed as much in input costs this season as USDA’s