In Depth: Chicago ag markets summit

I was in Chicago in early December attending DTN’s Ag Summit 2014. I have been covering the event since 2011 and it is always takes place in Chicago, which has become my favorite city in the United States.

At this year’s event Darin Newsom provided a bullish outlook for old crop corn, soybean and wheat prices, Bryce Anderson said we’re already experiencing El Nino weather, which should result in big crops in the western hemisphere in 2015 and Brian Schouvieller said North America will add six million tonnes of annual urea fertilizer production capacity by 2018.

You can read about those topics and more in the articles listed below.

Video: Views of a market contrarian:

Grain market fundamentals are ugly, but the technical charts paint a completely different picture, says a leading analyst.

That’s what prompted Darin Newsom to title his annual grain industry outlook, “Here Comes the Sun.”

“My way of looking at things is in complete contrast to everything that we think we know about the markets at this point,” DTN’s senior analyst told the 770 delegates attending the company’s annual summit. (Full story)

Video: New U.S. fertilizer plants may spark cheaper prices in Canada:

New nitrogen fertilizer plants will put a dent in North American imports starting next year, says one of the companies building a facility.

A dozen plants either under construction or nearing the construction phase will add six million tonnes to North America’s annual nitrogen fertilizer production from 2015-18.

That should put downward pressure on fertilizer prices because of cheap North American natural gas and reduced transportation fees. (Full story)

Canal expansion good for U.S. trade:

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One of the world’s most efficient grain shippers is about to get better.

The third lock of the Panama Canal will transform the way U.S. corn, soybeans and wheat moves to export markets when it opens for business.
 (Full story)

Argentine presidential candidate pledges to overhaul export taxes:

One of the frontrunners in Argentina’s presidential election campaign is promising to reform the country’s export tax on crops.

Sergio Massa, head of the Front for Renewal party, says he would eliminate taxes on wheat, reduce the duty on corn and sunflowers and gradually decrease the tax on soybeans.

It would have a profound impact on the competitiveness of Argentina’s grain and oilseed exports, said an expert in the field.
 (Full story)

Trouble brewing for U.S. transportation system:

The U.S. grain transportation system that has been the envy of the world for decades is suddenly in trouble, according to two experts.

“It’s very vital to the agriculture industry that this transportation system works smoothly, and most years it does,” said Brian Schouvieller, senior vice-president for agricultural business with CHS, the largest agricultural co-operative in the United States.
 (Full story)

Russian agriculture doing fine despite global sanctions:

Economic sanctions do not appear to be hurting Russian agriculture, says a John Deere official.

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“They’re planting, they’re producing and we don’t see a decline right now,” Derek Boudreau, country manager for John Deere Russia, told the DTN Ag Summit 2014.

A number of countries imposed sanctions on Russia this spring after it annexed Crimea.
 (Full story)

15% ethanol mandate puts cart before horse:

E15 blends will not break down the ethanol blending wall, says an energy analyst.

The wall was erected last year when the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard required oil companies for the first time to blend more ethanol than could be consumed in 10 percent (E10) blends.

Blenders bought Renewable Identification Number paper credits instead of actual ethanol to comply with the federal mandate.
 (Full story)

Video: El Nino’s warming expected to bring mild winter, ease drought:

There is a growing consensus that El Nino has finally arrived, which means another good year for crop production.

“We think El Nino has been in place probably since August,” said Bryce Anderson, DTN’s agricultural meteorologist. (Full story)

Rainfall forecast looks good for South American producers:

South America’s corn, soybean and wheat crops should benefit from a weak El Nino that is already in place, says a meteorologist.

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“There is an 86 percent correlation between El Nino and above average rainfall in southern Brazil and Argentina,” said Bryce Anderson, DTN agricultural meteorologist.
 (Full story)