This week:

….Firm Dry Bean Prices

….Commodities Mixed

….Euro still sinking

….3 Weeks Til Xmas!

Happy Friday everyone! Let’s begin right away with dry bean prices and the state of the bean market. Currently, things are still quiet and steady but with some upside, pressure continuing to mount from dealers & growers who have been shipping new crop contracts in heavy volume. There doesn’t seem to be any significant price action developing organically from the bean market at the moment, everyone is now aware of this year’s supply and quality from the Big 3. Both buyers and sellers seem to be content with the current ebb and flow as pinto dealers maintain a united front against accepting less than $40/cwt. Pinto growers, on the other hand, are willing to lower their expectations because they have so much stock on hand they have come to terms with accepting a lower value based on that fact alone, but since making plenty of deals can make up for the loss of margin they are right at home in the $30’s for now. Now let’s all keep in mind that this time last year pinto beans were at all-time highs; $15 higher than where the market price is now. That market didn’t have the same supply or abundance of quality as it does this year but it’s hard for baby to stop eating candy once tasting it at $60, and one could argue growers have lowered prices too low too quickly as new crop harvest developed. Of course influences from other commodities always plays a role in dry bean prices, but it seems at the moment dry bean processors are doing their own thing and trying their best to max margins even if that means ignoring fundamental market conditions such as supply and increased competition from other countries such as China, which was reported by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association this week that China increases export dry bean market share. US dry bean growers and processors cannot expect the same premium value for their product as last year and at the same time expect to gain export market share from places like China or other countries. It seems US growers have identified much quicker where true bean values lie for themselves and are happy making more deals than developing headaches negotiating them.  Those processors & traders who still expect similar premiums the market held last crop year might have a tough time developing arguments for elevated premiums this year unless the other commodity futures tick upward convincingly and the crowd gets on board. As it stands this week, pinto and black beans have continued to show resilience and seem to be sitting firm for the moment, LRKidney dealers loss some ground this week by about $1 or $2 and all other varieties were steady. For more dry bean prices click USDA Bean Market News.

Most commodities have been mixed this week: corn still floats around $7.30-.40, soybeans have been on a good run this week climbing back towards $15.00/bu, rice remains firm above $15, WTI oil is weak at $86 while Brent carries $107 per barrel. Gold is trying to break $1700 convincingly and silver is threatening $33. Over in Euro-land, euro traders are Uber-nervous after this morning’s comments from Germany’s Central Bank cut their economic growth forecast from 1.6% to .4%…OUCH!! After digesting the unpleasant wiener-schnitzel from the Bundesbank the Euro quickly fell to another 50 pips and has been able to regain the 1.29 handle again since initial reactions. One thing is for sure though, headwinds for Europe are still very strong and things do not seem they will improve in dramatic fashion at any time soon.

Well, right about now it’s approaching the last trading hour of the week where I am and as we wait for the close, the Dow is sitting @ 13,129, Gold @ 1703 and USDJPY @ 82.38, Soybeans $14.77. It should be a quiet now that the US Non-Farm Payroll event passed earlier this morning and those who partook in the morning’s festivities either are at the golf course early or licking their wounds. Everything will reset again on Sunday evening again though as we begin a new trading week which has several event risks such as the Japan GDP, Swiss National Bank Rate Decision, FOMC Rate Decision, and US CPI just to name a few.

Bottom line: Go out and do your Christmas shopping now while you still have 3 weeks before Jesus’s birthday!