Market to Market - June 24, 2022

Market to Market | Episode
Jun 24, 2022 | 27 min

Opening one more gate towards price transparency. Bayer is turned around at the courthouse door. Getting old racing dogs new homes. Market analysis with John Roach.


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Yeager: Coming up on market to market opening. One more gate towards price transparency. Bayer is turned around at the courthouse door. Getting old racing dogs, new homes,

Roach: But we're not gonna be able to get that done because of the weather.

Yeager: and market analysis with John Roach. Next

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Announcer: This is the Friday, June 24 edition of Market to Market the weekly journal of rural America.

Yeager: Hello, I'm Paul Yeager slowing sales of existing homes has failed to keep a lid on prices. The national association of realtors said this week's sales were off 3.4 percent for the month of May. The national median home price reached an all-time high of 400, $7,600. The movement of new homes did rise last month by 10.7 percent. According to the commerce department, both types of buyers are being impacted by the rising mortgage rate mortgage buyer. Freddie Mack reported the 30 year level ticked up to 5.81 percent. The highest since November of 2008, the Senate agriculture committee announced the full chambers approval of the keep kids fed act. And by weeks in the bill was headed to the president's desk. This extends funding for free summer meals and increases the number of students who qualify for free universal lunch. This fall, the agriculture committee also advances two bills aimed at the livestock industry. John Torpy opens the gate to our coverage.

Torpy: This week. Two pieces of legislation aimed at providing a more even playing field in the cattle market made their way through the Senate agriculture committee.

Fischer: The goal of the legislation is to ensure that every segment of the beef supply chain can succeed by ensuring robust price discovery and market transparency.

Torpy: The pair of bills shared bipartisan support as both sides of the aisle found common ground over cattle market consolidation concerns.

Bennet: One thing we do agree on is that we've had too much consolidation in the meat packing industry. It's been bad for consumers and it's been terrible for independent cattlemen.

Marshall: And I wanna make it very clear. I'm concerned with the level of concentration in the packing industry, not to mention the amount of foreign ownership in the industry as well. This is harming Cal calf operations and small feeders. No matter the industry, if you have three or four companies controlling 80 or more percent of any link in the supply chain problems can arise.

Torpy: The first bill, the meat and poultry special investigator act of 2022 will establish a special position within the department of agriculture to investigate and prosecute violations of the Packers and stockyards act of 1921. Some committee members believe the legislation is redundant,

Boozman: Creating a new office to focus on something USDA can already do. Doesn't seem like the best course of action. In my mind,

Torpy: The second piece of legislation, the cattle price transparency act of 2022 creates a library of contracts between Packers and producers for the U S D a. The bill also requires processors to create a 14 day slaughter report, giving producers a method for projecting the needs of Packers.

Grassley: Well, I wanna compliment the family, farmers, those that have cattle operations and know how bad it is to know if you get a fair price, cuz there's not enough price discovery. And number two, maybe not to, if you get a price, not to be marketing your cattle for another 30 days and feed 'em $8 corn during that one month, when they're already fat,

Stabenow: If none, all those in favors say, aye, aye,

Torpy: Both measures received approval via voice vote and passed out of committee for debate by the full Senate

Torpy: Passage of the legislation was met with mixed reactions from the cattle industry, the National Farmer's Union applauded the passage of the bills while the National Cattlemen's Beef Association strongly opposed them for market to market. I'm John Torpy,

Yeager: The Supreme Court ended their 2021 term with decisions and rulings to impact generations. But it was a case of inaction that reverberated in rural America, here's Peter Tubbs

Tubbs: This week, the US Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Bayer AG over lawsuits challenging the safety of glyphosate. The primary ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, the German pharmaceutical and life sciences company is facing thousands of legal actions from plaintiffs who claim the chemical carries unlabeled health risks and causes cancer. The company has been struggling with the issue since acquiring Monsanto in 2018. The court specifically kept a 25 million judgment in place from a California lawsuit

Tubbs: With potentially billions in the balance. Bayer, the world's largest seed and agricultural chemical company has set aside $4.5 billion to pay for future litigation and judgment costs. However, Bayer has recently won four trials in state courts over cancer cases brought by glyphosate users. The world health organization has classified glyphosate as probably carcinogenic to humans, but the us environmental protection agency has repeatedly ruled glyphosate to be safe, which removes the requirement to place a cancer warning label on the packaging. The company plans to replace glyphosate with other active ingredients for the residential market, but the chemical will still be available for agricultural and commercial uses. For market to market. I'm Peter Tubbs.

Yeager: Chris Stapleton's Maggie song limits the number of dry eyes for animal owners. The run Maggie run line has a higher meaning, but the literal sense of dogs racing also creates an emotional and nostalgic reaction for some, an era ended for Greyhound racing in Iowa this spring. Josh Bitner reports on the future of the animals off the track. It's our cover story

Buettner: Greyhound racing hit its final stretch in the Midwest. This spring as Dubuque's Iowa Greyhound park, the state's last remaining track ended over 35 years of live races. A strong kickoff in the 1980s paved the way for a casino gambling boom, which took the financial lead.

Announcer: Everything we do from now on is pure profit,

Buettner: Less than 10 years ago, casinos, local business and governments parlayed their influence into a deal with the Iowa legislature to phase out millions in state gaming subsidies, which had kept tracks afloat. Even as dog racing declined nationwide this year, the well ran dry.

Carpenter: It's a great sport to bring your family and kids up and enjoy watching it. But it just financially, we just can't hold up anymore.

Buettner: General manager, Brian Carpenter began his career as a teenager leading out racers to the starting box. He's seen other tracks rise and fall in additional forms of gambling peel off market share.

Carpenter: Florida kind of was the dagger in the heart. When Florida closed, there was a lot of tracks for people to be able to run down there. And when you bred, it didn't run very well. One of the bigger tracks you could go down to Florida to get your money back

Buettner: Carpenter estimates. The Dubuque closure will impact local veterinarians, dog food and other suppliers. And over 70 track and kennel workers,

Carpenter: It's gonna be hard for a lot of the employees. I have many of 'em that have been here as long as I have been 37 some years. And it's something that you work and do. And it's part of your life.

Buettner: A surge in attendance during the Park's waning days made for a bittersweet final run.

Rasnake: All of us coming up here and weighing our dogs in. I mean, you know, we, we put on a good game face, but believe me it's to, to look at the dogs because the dogs do love this.

Buettner: Now retired trainer Vera Rasnake says public misconceptions about how dogs are treated, have hounded the industry.

Rasnake: I don't think there was enough done to really educate on what Greyhound racing really is. And you know, you, a lot of it, you just hear bad.

Buettner: Rasnick says Iowa Greyhound parks eight kennels are easy to regulate. And she designed conditioning around intensity of schedule and each animal's individuality. But animal rights groups like grey2K say greyhound racetrack conditions are inhumane. And that dogs are subject to a host of potential athletic and career ending injuries, poor diet and drugs. The Iowa racing and gaming commission's 2021 annual report revealed of nearly 1700 greyhounds tested eight were positive, mostly for muscle relaxants. By next year, West Virginia will house the only two remaining dog tracks in the country. And while congressional action to ban Greyhound racing has stalled. A majority of states have already made it illegal.

Announcer: This is a day that we all knew was coming

Buettner: Iowa hasn't taken that step. And in fact, just passed House File 2497, which could expand simulcast betting options to more tracks outside the U.S. The Humane Society had requested a veto, but the bill was signed into law mid June,.

Moore: Particularly of our concern is in Vietnam and, and in Tijuana, Mexico, some tracks that have some long history of, of animal welfare concerns. Uh, but this bill that was passed, uh, is worded in a way that the commission shall grant simulcasting licenses.

Buettner: Dubuque ran an abbreviated final season in part due to a shortage of new dogs as national interest subsides. But breeders like Gary Reicherts are soldiering on and rebuke activists for taking credit for racing's downfall saying a proliferation of convenient sports gambling options is the biggest culprit.

Reicherts: Every once in a while, there's, you know, in any occupation, there's a person that just doesn't do what they should be doing and that's the ones they dwell on. And then they lump us all together. They have so much money that people are donating to those groups. And none of us going to the greyhounds, nothing

Buettner: Reicherts turns out about 50 racers per year and says his pups are raised in sanitary conditions, given ample space, freedom to move about a solid diet and plenty of love. For him, It's paid dividends.

Reicherts: There're supposed to be the best dogs in the United States to come there to race and, and, uh, we want it, they run all day long. They just love to run. Why would I want to abuse my dog? And I'm trying to make money off a dog. We love our dogs and our dogs are almost like our kids and stuff. You know, and kid, these are like family

Buettner: Drawing the ire of the greyhound trade in the us is the notion that once canines stop racing they're euthanized. While extreme trauma or debilitation could lead to such outcomes, Reicherts champions, wildly successful adoption programs that find good homes for former racers.

Petersen: We fell in love with Lucy. When we met her the first time. She showed up for a home visit and we were in the kitchen and she came around the corner and she had one of my slippers in her mouth. So she said this was hers and that we were gonna be her family. So yeah,

Buettner: Critics argue Greyhound racing creates a population that needs to be rescued, but many who've adopted them and gone on to foster more find the's demeanor fits right into domestic life. Lucy

Petersen: They're so gentle

Phelps: I have had so many of our members come out wanna foster, you know, help transport. And that was a really good feeling, particularly since the dub track was ending.

Buettner: Jody Phelps is president of Iowa based Heartland, Greyhound adoption, one of many such groups in over 40 states in Canada endorsed by the national Greyhound association dogs come to Phelps aged 18 months to five years old. She works with vets to determine any necessary rehab and tailors, a suite of options to mesh with new homes.

Phelps: They're just great pets to have. We'll still work with the breeders in Iowa that are running in other tracks,

Buettner: Phelps dismisses euthanization rumors. Adding her organization has relocated nearly 4,000 greyhounds. Though. Numbers are dwindling.

Phelps: We'll be here until the last dog is ready to retire

Buettner: For Market to Market. I'm Josh Buettner.

Announcer: Next, the Market to Market report.

Yeager: The adage of up the escalator down the elevator shaft could apply to any number of commodity markets. This week, as long positions were vacated. For the week, the nearby wheat contract plummeted a $1.11 or 11 percent while July corn dropped $.34 cents. Crude oils drop recession, fears and favorable growing conditions weighed back in the soy complex. The nearby soy contract fell $.91. July meal shed five 50 per ton, December cotton plunge, $20.24 or 17 percent. Over in the dairy parlor, July class three milk futures lost $.78. The livestock sector was down. August cattle declined $3.20. August feeders dropped $.45 in the July lean hog contract fell $.07. In the currency markets. The U.S. Dollar index dropped by 54 ticks. July crude oil weakened by $1.06 per barrel. Comex gold lost $5.30 per ounce. And the Goldman Sachs commodity index fell almost 21 points to finish at 733.70. Joining us now to provide some insight, John Roach. Hi, John.

Roach: Hi Paul.

Yeager: I wish you had a week where you could, you know, smile about some things,

Roach: You know, I always hate coming in when the markets are down so sharply it, uh, it, uh, makes it a little frustrating.

Yeager: We had a quiz about there's only one market that we track on this show that was up this week. So, and that was the Euro. If you're paying attention at home. Let's start with wheat. Normally not the most, uh, headline grabbing thing, but we're talking 11 percent drop, why?

Roach: Well, I think you have to look across all the markets and, and there's a, the same, uh, cause, uh, for a decline raising interest rates in the potential of putting the country into some sort of a recession or a worse recession. And, uh, uh, so we, we seem to go back and forth. We cycle from, we're worried about inflation to we're worried about recession and this was the recession week. And, uh, with wheat and harvest, uh, you had a double reason then for the price to go down, you were in a bad environment. The water was all going down under the, you know, all the boats. Uh, and, but you had wheat in harvest. And so, uh, putting weed away in storage doesn't make any sense at these price levels. And so it makes a reason for farmers to sell.

Yeager: Yeah. Even when you're over $9.00 Yeah. That's not a price you normally get. And so you're saying makes some sales,

Roach: Well, farmers did this week. I mean, uh, we were pretty heavily sold. We came into this harvest season with an idea that we didn't wanna store any wheat at all. And so we're pretty heavily sold. And so, um, uh, hopefully our people that, uh, follow us, uh, didn't have much that they needed to be selling now, but, uh, uh, but that was what a lot of people did. I wouldn't sell the decline that we have right now. I, I think that, that we'll go back to the other side and we'll talk inflation again. And so, uh, I'd, I'd rather wait until we get, uh, uh, uh, back on that side of the, of the, uh, story rather than, uh, making sales this week.

Yeager: Well, wheat was the, one of the commodities that was not green today on Friday, uh, across the board, uh, corn soybeans kind of rallied back this corn market though. Uh, you're having the heat dome is gone. Uh, the, the crop is there, you just did a big tour of all sorts of areas here in the "I" states. Is it all because there's a crop out there?

Roach: Well, I think it's a, another situation where we had prices up at a very high level and, uh, and we didn't really have a fundamental justification to push on higher. We had a weather change. So last week when we had 95 degree temperatures across Illinois and, and a wind and the wind blowing that was very worrisome when we put prices up up at a peak. And, uh, we generated a sell signal. And, uh, uh, and, and then this week when the temperature started to cool, uh, the prices came, uh, back under pressure again. And when we looked at the crop ratings report, the, the ratings are, are actually better than normal. So, so we do have a good crop in the field, but we still have to get through the most critical time of the, of the year, which is directly ahead. And nobody's gotten a general relief. Well, a few there's some people to the north that have, but nobody, most areas have not had the general relief of a two or three inch rain.

Yeager: There's also a thought that maybe there's some technical movement here. Is this anything technical driven on corn?

Roach: Well, clearly when then when the trend turns down and you have spec funds holding very large, long positions, net long positions, the adage of the market is trend is your friend and the professional traders that manage those funds, certainly got sell signals with almost any program that they're using, they got sell signals. We, it didn't show up so much on today's commitment to trader's report. In corn, we were down about 12,000 contracts in the spec fund category, but you can imagine through the balance of this week, uh, that was as of Tuesday, the balance of the week, you know, they, they made more sales with this decline.

Yeager: I think Mitchell and orange, county's been paying attention to a lot of, uh, strategy that you've talked about and others have talked about, he's wondering if this is what's going on. His question came in via Facebook. He says, John, was this an end of month sell off or a permanent down trend?

Roach: I think at, at, at the moment, it's an end of the month sell off. Uh, we won't really know weather's going to, uh, stay down at these kind of price levels until we see what the weather brings. Uh, we can make an argument, uh, next week that the, that stays dry and the forecast is dry. And we can talk about very exciting, uh, prices, or we can get the general rain that makes the crop come home. And, uh, in which case we'll look backwards and say, why, why, why were we so optimistic at $8?

Yeager: Well, are you optimistic right now in soybeans at all?

Roach: Uh, we have buy signals in soybeans and wheat and corn. And, uh, and so what we're suggesting to people is that if they've made substantial sales along at the higher price level, this is a place to buy call options, to cover the upside risk of the unknown weather and the unknown inflation. And so, uh, no, we're not really, uh, sellers here at this lower price. We've had several of these cycles during '22 where we broke down. And particularly since the spring of '22, where we've broke down to this price level and rallied all the way back up and then back down again. So this isn't the first time that we've acted like, uh, the market's over. It could be, it could be, but, uh, but not until the weather says it's over.

Yeager: Well, if you extend Mitchell's question a little bit, there's also an underlying theory at the end of June, we're talking acreage. In your driving that you've done this week. Did it appear to you that there's more bean acres out there thus driving that November contract lower?

Roach: Well, I think that, that, that's maybe part of it that we, uh, we got more crop planted, uh, a few more acres of beans, cuz we got delayed on the planting on corn, uh, because of wet weather, particularly up north. Uh, I don't think we're gonna see the amount of prevent plant that uh, we thought we might see. I think farmers got the crop in, uh, but another problem is happening in, in soybeans. Probably the lead is that the Palm oil market fell apart. Uh, and uh, I think last week alone Palm oil was down 9 percent. And see that's been a big catalyst underneath the soybean oil market as we look at biodiesel increasing. And, and so when the energies fell, soybeans were an energy that were also impacted. And so, uh, the, uh, the price of soybean oil was the, the leader to the downside in the soybean complex and it was falling Palm oil. Uh, so now today we saw, uh, crude start to bounce back again and I'm of the opinion that the crude oil market and, and the energy market, uh, is still very much alive. And, uh, and so I think we can get some help from that sector, plus the weather

Yeager: Plus the weather, uh, real quick on cotton. I, I can't ignore a 20% drop what's going on.

Roach: You know, it, uh, uh, one of the things that happened in, uh, coming out of 20, uh, the retailers made decisions on what kind of clothing to have to, to, to, uh, to stock and so forth. And, uh, and they made a mistake is they continued with casual clothing when we went back to work. And so, uh, so they got caught. And I think that, uh, the, uh, what we saw happen is demands slowed at the mill level. And I think it goes all the way back to the retail level. I think people are afraid with a, a recession. Uh, and remember that's what we talked about this week. And so the market that got hurt the most was one that's the most, I, I would say the closest related to consumer demand cotton, uh, what, what will people do as energy prices, uh, move up, uh, what will they back off on, uh, what will they not buy? And new clothes, uh, might fit that category. And I think that's what will, what, what the, the mills we're afraid of

Yeager: Is the consumer buying beef?

Roach: Consumer continues to buy beef. Uh, that's, that's one market where a consumer, uh, uh, has a, a, a, uh, liking for beef and they have about so much of it. And so that demand is actually held fairly well, even though the prices on live catalyst this week, where's the highest that they've been, uh, you know, this year. So we're, we're, uh, we're seeing the demand hold together strong enough to be able to hold the price up. And now we have a cattle on feed report. That's actually a little bit friendly. We had smaller placements that were anticipated, uh, and smaller numbers on feed, not a lot about a point less, uh, but, uh, but it's a, it's a friendly situation there. The cattle market though, is, has been really unusual this week. I mean, we've had the futures falling apart while the cash market's printing new high.

Roach: And so that's unusual basis levels are extremely, uh, unusual that the futures, uh, uh, uh, to cash relationship cash is much stronger than the futures. Uh, that's caused people to move cattle out of the feed lot quicker. The temperatures had something to do with that and the death losses and so forth. Uh, and, uh, so, uh, and we've got a complete difference in, uh, in prices between, uh, feed lot cattle in the south and feed lot cattle in the north big range of difference in transportation is involved there. So cattle market's really unusual right now, as I talk to cattle traders that know a lot more than I do, they're all a little bit baffled.

Yeager: Cash was higher too in the hog market.

Roach: Uh, hog market, uh, is kind of a steady go. Uh, and we're worried about the demand on, on hogs or demand on pork. The, uh, we should have been seeing some late spring demand perk in the market, and it didn't really show up the way people expected. Uh, we've got plenty of, uh, of cold storage, uh, inventory. And, uh, and so we're, we're a little bit concerned that that may be where the consumer is, uh, is blocking a little bit, uh, and trying to save a few dollars.

Yeager: Well, I'm gonna save a few seconds and say, thank you, John. We're gonna keep going in a minute, but thanks for the time.

Roach: Thank you very much, Paul. All

Yeager: Right, that's John Roach. That's gonna do it for our installment of the TV show. We call Market to Market. We're gonna keep going in Market Plus got all sorts of great questions from you right here. You can find market plus on our website of market to and all of these resources are free. And here's the thing we want to hear from you. Our email inbox is always open, send a note to market, to And you can talk directly to us about your story ideas, comments on our program are just an old hi and an old fashioned email next week. The impact of pending legislation on cattle feed lots. Thank you so much for watching. Have a great week.

Announcer: Market to Market is a production of Iowa, PBS, which is solely responsible for its content.

Announcer: What's the most complex industry on earth. It's not genetics or meteorology or logistics. It's a business that involves them all. It's farming. Thank you, farmers from pioneer

Announcer: Sukup Manufacturing Company, providing equipment and buildings to store and condition grain to help farmers adjust to market swings. We build drying, moving and storage equipment designed to preserve the quality of their crops, Sukup Manufacturing store. Now profit later

Announcer: Tomorrow. For over 100 years, we've worked to help our customers be ready for tomorrow trust. And tomorrow information is available from a Grinnell mutual agent today.