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  • Pearson: This is the Friday, September 23, 2016

  • version of the Market Plus segment.

  • Joining us now is Sue Martin.

  • Sue, welcome back.

  • Martin: Thank you, Mike.

  • Pearson: While we were on the program I rudely, Sue,

  • and I apologize, had to cut you off as we were

  • discussing the pork market.

  • You had led in by saying October is pork month, we

  • have a ton of animals being processed here over

  • the next six to eight weeks or a year, depending

  • on how you look at it.

  • Can the demand soak up all of those critters?

  • Martin: Well, I think we have good demand and the

  • retailer continues to use pork and poultry to

  • feature, to draw, and cheap price to draw in the

  • consumer and while he's in there then the hope is he

  • buys a little bit of beef.

  • That is being kept pretty much at the same price or

  • not much less.

  • So the retailer is making good margins, the packer

  • is making good margins on both pork and beef.

  • And I think that when I look at the pork market,

  • this seems to be an old fashioned traditional kind

  • of a year where we have so much protein, just so much

  • protein, even eggs, just huge.

  • But on the same token of course like I say the

  • retailer is moving it as far as the pork and he's

  • moving the poultry too.

  • But the cold storage report showed supplies

  • down, which was a good sign.

  • So that might help us be a little firmer as we start

  • the week.

  • But the bottom line is what rally we get I don't

  • think lives because I think ultimately we will

  • move back down into November.

  • So October is pork month, that might help us a

  • little bit, get a little reprieve.

  • Usually the beef choice select does better usually

  • through the last week of September on through the

  • third week or so of October.

  • So in general we might get a little bit of a lift

  • here and part of that also comes off of the fact that

  • producers are busy, hopefully, combining corn

  • and beans and so we'll see.

  • But of course any more so many hogs are integrated

  • that when they're ready to go they just load them up.

  • And so I think that we have a market here that

  • still tips back down into November.

  • Pearson: How far down?

  • Sue, as I was on the road I hear people getting

  • nervous that we've taken out, we're now in, I

  • believe we're back into life of contract lows as

  • of Friday.

  • Are we looking at the same setup we saw in '98 where

  • we run out of capacity?

  • Martin: No, I don't think so.

  • I think that we're using this beef and pork

  • industry, we're using the production that we're

  • getting, and the poultry.

  • The one thing we have to keep in mind is we have a

  • good Hispanic population that we didn't have back

  • in '98 and on top of it we may be having other

  • populations coming in as well.

  • Pork and poultry are products that they like

  • and therefore the Hispanics are big users of

  • pork.

  • And so I think -- and they use cuts that we wouldn't

  • maybe normally have used.

  • So I think we're going to use it.

  • Our export market this past week was down, which

  • was a little disappointing.

  • My biggest concern would be China, if China becomes

  • the world's largest exporter, which it seems

  • like they're trying to gear towards, and yet they

  • also are a little tight supplied right now for

  • supplies of protein or meat for their consumer.

  • They're in the process of making huge changes in

  • China and they have a huge sow herd now that we're

  • under the understanding that by the middle of next

  • year they'll have their full cycle complete and be

  • full swing into production.

  • But they're trying to gain back the consumer

  • confidence.

  • Things have gone on in China that probably

  • weren't the best.

  • So now they're in the process of cleaning up

  • their act and getting things better but they're

  • also talking about becoming the world's

  • largest exporter of pork.

  • That would not be a good thing for us.

  • It makes you wonder why Shuanghui bought

  • Smithfield.

  • Pearson: Well we've got a couple of other questions

  • here.

  • This one is from Scott in Barrington, Illinois.

  • Scott wants to know, if we plant 3 million less

  • winter wheat acres how do we plant less corn acres

  • next year?

  • Martin: And he's right on that, although sorghum

  • could pick up some of those acres, and milo.

  • Beans I think pick up some of those acres.

  • It depends on the price too.

  • Right now you've got your producer thinking about

  • next year's acres and laying the groundwork for

  • that.

  • But we also know that the farmer, I believe the

  • farmer is in better shape at this time than he would

  • have been back in the mid-80s.

  • I don't think we have producers in trouble like

  • we had back then.

  • Yeah, they're not making money and they're strapped

  • a little bit, but on the same token it's not like,

  • you'll have some who maybe go out of business, you

  • have that always where it's an efficiency thing.

  • But the bottom line is, I think that it depends on

  • how bad the price is.

  • And with us putting in an 84 year cycle low I still

  • say you're going to have something better next year

  • than what we're looking at.

  • I'm not sure a year of a 7 tends to be usually

  • dynamic, they don't seem to be over history, but

  • we'll know for sure when I finish my research on

  • that.

  • But I think that when I look at corn prices

  • they're more intensive, input intensive, that

  • might be something that helps make these decisions

  • because this is not your first year, this is going

  • into at least your second year of pork prices and

  • that might be what plays a hand in that.

  • Pearson: And it's interesting you mention

  • that, I was speaking to a group of lenders and they

  • had all, not all of them, but a lot of them had

  • talked about how maybe they've done a refinance

  • or a restructuring already with some of their

  • borrowers and that one was okay.

  • They had the equity, they had the working capital,

  • they had the business in decent enough shape to do

  • it once.

  • Their concern is can we do it again?

  • And that's the answer that I guess we'll be getting

  • as we get into December and January and renewal

  • season.

  • Martin: Yes, and I'm kind of concerned too because

  • we still see piles of corn that never moved at some

  • of these larger elevator groups and that has to be

  • farmer owned corn and that's a concern.

  • Pearson: They're just hanging onto it.

  • Now, this time we've got a question from Phil in

  • Ontario, Canada.

  • He's got a couple of questions.

  • He wants to know, why does the USDA consistently

  • overestimate soybean stocks?

  • Or, another way to look at it is, why do they

  • underestimate soybean demand?

  • Martin: Well, first off, demand in any market is

  • usually hard to really quantify.

  • It seems easier after you look backwards and you see

  • what we've done.

  • If you look at our exports, we're running

  • behind the five year average, and even China's

  • imports for the month of August was down about one

  • and a half percent, or one and a half million metric

  • tons I should say, from what it was a year ago.

  • So it seems like we should be -- and yet we've seen

  • good demand.

  • But it makes you wonder are they front end

  • loading?

  • And they might be.

  • But on the same token, if they're going to cut or

  • try to dissuade DDG imports of corn that

  • competes against soy meal, well then that would say

  • that they're probably going to have to have more

  • soybeans or soybean meal down the road.

  • That would be a little bit supportive I think

  • underneath the bean market.

  • When I look at the beans, if you look at the

  • production we continue to do and yet our carryouts,

  • yeah they're growing, but they don't get burdensome,

  • so to speak.

  • It doesn't seem to take long if the right things

  • happen.

  • And we're the only game in town between now and

  • February to March.

  • So that's a lot of time.

  • And the one thing that I will say is, yes, weather

  • in Brazil is very important.

  • But I also think Argentina is the country we really

  • need to keep an eye on.

  • Argentina is very dry right now in the western

  • and northern part of the country.

  • So that's an area like Santiago del Estero,

  • Cordoba, those are areas that are big producers and

  • we need to keep an eye because their planting is

  • not going to take off real nicely as it should timely

  • for corn and what have you.

  • Their wheat crop also in that area is struggling

  • and being stressed.

  • So Argentina in a La Nina year and the southern

  • portion, southern half or whatever, at least the

  • southern third of Brazil, that area usually tends to

  • turn more hot and dry in a La Nina.

  • And while they say that we don't really have a La

  • Nina yet even in a weak one I'm looking at

  • Argentina's weather and it doesn't look real spiffy.

  • And if you look at the bean, they haven't lowered

  • the taxes for that next five percent -- Pearson:

  • And they decided they weren't going to, is that

  • correct?

  • Martin: The government has been talking that and the

  • farmer is not real pleased about that.

  • And that's why he's tilted more towards more corn and

  • wheat acres because there's zero taxation and

  • he's going to hang onto his beans.

  • And so I think that you give a weather issue to

  • the corn and the wheat in Argentina, keep in mind

  • Argentina is either second or third largest exporter

  • of corn and we have to keep that in mind, where

  • Brazil oversold their hand and so they need to

  • rebuild their supplies for their livestock industry.

  • I think the corn market has a story underneath it.

  • I think wheat might too.

  • Pearson: When do you think we'll start shipping corn

  • to Brazil?

  • Martin: Well, I think that we already have started to

  • send some in.

  • I think we were unloading as they were shipping some

  • out just a week ago.

  • And so I think that we already have.

  • Of course Argentina is going to be the main one

  • sending stuff.

  • But I think that when I look at South American

  • weather the northern side of the country should see

  • ample rain and better crops than they did this

  • last year.

  • But that's going to be a big market player as we go

  • down the road.

  • Pearson: Alright.

  • Well, Sue Martin, thank you so much for taking the

  • time to join us this week.

  • Martin: Thank you.

  • Pearson: Oh, we've got one final question for you,

  • Sue Martin.

  • Forgot about this.

  • Martin: 30 seconds, Mike.

  • Pearson: Yes, 30 seconds.

  • So we've got, we ask our analysts to define terms

  • that are used a lot and you used this one today.

  • What does it mean when a market is oversold?

  • Martin: Oh.

  • When a market is oversold it means that a market has

  • been prolonged to the downside, pretty much most

  • of the fund money is tilted to the short side,

  • for example, and when a market is oversold you

  • don't seem to follow through to the downside

  • because as the market