rwin, S. and D. Good, “Some Perspective on the USDA’s August 1 Corn and Soybean Yield Projections.” farmdoc daily (6):153, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, August 12, 2016.
This Week in Geopolitics
Is Brexit the End of the EU?
By George Friedman
June 27, 2016
The vote has come and gone. A major European nation has chosen to leave the EU. The markets have had their obligatory decline. A weekend has passed. It is time to think about what exactly has happened… and what it means, if anything.
The soybean rally has been driven by two primary factors – South American production concerns and Chinese demand. Today’s piece will be heavy on the data and light on the dialogue. However, I do want to tie into last week’s article on new Chinese commodity traders and the effects of Chinese governmental policies on free markets as well as the impact of our own crop insurance programs. The sum total of the analysis justifies the tremendous amount of producer selling we’ve seen and makes a strong case for selling soybean production ahead of the coming US seasonal peak.
The Chinese government repeatedly attempts to micro-manage the lives of its citizens. The effects of which continue to be unintended consequences both socially and economically. This week, we’ll discuss the citizens’ pool of money that the government continues to hold hostage and the mechanisms the Chinese government has employed thus far that have created a predictable ripple effect, visible to everyone but their own government. Somehow, they seem to be continually surprised by the unintended consequences of their own actions. We’ve watched Chinese investors’ money run from property to the stock market and now, to commodities. We’ll look at some of the massive scale of fairly predictable rookie trader outcomes that have been their unintended consequences.
The farming industry in the United States has been under considerable pressure as the gains of years’ past were quickly washed away by modern technology and agronomy practices. The record prices achieved in soybeans just last year now seem like a lifetime ago to farmers who bought land and equipment based on the increasing average prices of corn, soybeans and wheat over the last decade. Today, we’ll take a long-term look at the soybean market and see what has farmers so anxious to sell.
The Canadian Dollar is primarily a commodity based currency. Whether the commodity is being extracted, processed or exported, the commodity itself touches a lot of Canadian hands on its way out the door. As such, it’s not surprising that the recent commodity rally has sparked a bid in the Canadian Dollar just as the oil and grain washout contributed to its oversold condition at the beginning of this year. This week, we’ll look at some fundamental background, then illustrate the current situation and the setup we see coming on the included Canadian Dollar weekly and daily charts.
Tech issues with my charting platform sent me to my list of non-chart critical backup topics. Before breezing past a non-market topic piece ask yourself, “Am I a discretionary or, mechanical trader?” This isn’t a gray area. Mechanical trading involves following a specific set of rules that has garnered a positive expectancy over the course of time. Discretionary trading is any trading that makes the trader a variable, whether through the interpretation of the signal’s rules, asset allocation and weighting to chart pattern and fundamental data interpretation. Most traders fall into the discretionary category when looked at honestly. This makes the trader the biggest variable in a given investment sector. We’ll take a look at the frailty of the human psyche as well as a perspective that’s ameliorated more than twenty years of trading for a living stress.
There are two situations that lead to big events in the markets and they represent psychological mirror images of each other. The first issue is overconfidence. Whether this is overconfidence in a market, a strategy or one’s self, overconfidence leads to carrying the largest position at the most inopportune moment. The second issue is indecision. There are times when a market approaches critical levels yet; the trading population appears uninterested or, scared. Either way, indecision leads to fewer participants while overconfidence leads to too many. Therefore, our focus today is the examination of a very bullish net commercial trader position in the face of the lowest commercial participation rate since the economic collapse of 2008-2009.
We’re swing traders, rarely holding a position more than two weeks. Even so, it’s important to understand the macro environment of the market being traded. The idea is to predict volatility expansion and market surprises in the correct direction, thereby providing a profit taking opportunity. Given the tremendous disagreement on the Federal Reserve Board’s expected actions by the general public and within the Board itself, it makes the likelihood of volatility expansion following next week’s unemployment numbers much more likely. Furthermore, it’s possible that the market could be handed consecutive reports pushing the market in the same direction, rather than instantly reversing course as has been the recent case with any two reports. This combination could push the Dollar through the last year’s resistance making the current weakness an opportune buying moment.
Has the commodity rally that began just before the New Year ran its course? We posed the argument in early January that the technical breakout in interest rates would point towards the general economic activity of 2016. The interest rate breakout higher, towards lower rates would ultimately show itself in the form of deflation, which would in turn, weaken the commodity sector. I believe we are at a major inflection point for the year’s trading.