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Oliver Sloup is Vice President of Blue Line Futures. Oliver has been a guest on CNBC and Bloomberg, among others. Oliver has over a decade of trading experience. Prior to Blue Line Futures, Oliver worked as the Director of Managed Futures at iiTRADER.

Blue Line Futures

January 21, 2020

Grain Express: Jan. 21, 2020

March corn futures rallied hard on Friday, erasing all of Thursday’s losses and then some. Rumors that China secured multiple cargoes of US corn helped offer support, but there hasn’t been confirmation on that yet.

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Blue Line Futures

January 15, 2020

Grain Express: Jan. 15, 2020

Corn futures were mute yesterday as the market ran out of new news to break prices out above technical resistance. Today is the signing of the highly anticipated Phase-1 trade agreement. It will be nice to get some clarity on the “trade deal”, but I wouldn’t hold your breath for something magical to happen. My guess is that Phase-1 is largely an agreement to proceed to Phase-2.

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Blue Line Futures

January 9, 2020

Grain Express: Jan. 9, 2020

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Export Sales Report for the week ending Jan. 2 will be published at 8:30 a.m. EST on Friday, Jan. 10, instead of Thursday, Jan. 9, due to the weather-related closure of Washington, D.C.-area federal offices on afternoon of Jan. 7. Corn (March) – If it hasn’t yet, attention now turns to tomorrow’s USDA report, out at 11am CT.

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Blue Line Futures

January 6, 2020

Grain Express: Jan. 6, 2020

Corn futures took a dive on Friday, muting the momentum that had built up in the first half of the week. Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have sparked concern that it may derail the signing of Phase-1 with China next week, because China and Iran recently completed joint military exercises.

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Blue Line Futures

December 16, 2019

Grain Express: Dec. 16, 2019

March corn futures rallied hard in the back half of last week which has carried over into early morning momentum. Much of the relief has come on the back of broad-based buying in the grain sector as US and China have come to an agreement on a Phase-1 trade deal, yet to be signed and implemented. This news has sparked a round of short covering from funds.

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Blue Line Futures

December 11, 2019

Grain Express: Dec. 11, 2019

Yesterday’s USDA report lived up to the expectations, a total snoozer. The USDA left US carryout unchanged at 1.910 billion bushels. The only noticeable change came in an increase in world carryout, 295.5mt to 300.5mt, this came on the back of a 6.7 mb increase of Chinese corn production.

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Blue Line Futures

December 4, 2019

Grain Express: Dec. 4, 2019

March corn futures finished yesterday’s session little changed as market participants continue to look for new news on the wires. Those wires will probably be pretty bare until we get to next week’s USDA report, out on the 10th. Until then, our focus will be on crop developments in South America, along with money flow and technicals.

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Blue Line Futures

November 5, 2019

Grain Express: Nov. 5, 2019

December corn futures were softer to start the week as the lack of bullish headlines coupled with harvest pressure was too much for the bulls to overcome. Crop Progress was released after the close, showing corn conditions unchanged at 58% good/excellent. Harvest is said to be 52% complete, this is 2% behind expectations and 23% behind the five-year average.

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Blue Line Futures

November 4, 2019

Grain Express: November 4, 2019

Last week, corn futures traded both sides of unchanged but finished fractionally higher. Crop Progress will be out this afternoon, after that, much of the attention will turn towards Friday’s WASDE report. We will continue to compile estimates and have those for you by mid-week. Friday’s Commitment of traders showed that funds sold 9,322 contracts from October 22nd to October 29th, expanding their net short position to 85,337.

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Blue Line Futures

October 24, 2019

Grain Express: October 24, 2019

December corn futures managed to stage a rather constructive session, despite prices being little changed at the close. Export sales this morning came in at 491,500 metric tons, up 15% from the four-week average. Yesterday’s weekly ethanol report showed production rose 25,000 barrels per day.

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Blue Line Futures

October 18, 2019

Grain Express: October 18, 2019

The market chopped around yesterday thanks to a slow news day. The weekly EIA ethanol report showed production increase 8,000 barrels per day to 971,000 bpd. Export sales this morning came in at 368,600 metric tons. We remain optimistic on prices but really need to see the demand side of the picture brighten up.

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Blue Line Futures

October 14, 2019

Grain Express: October 14, 2019

December corn futures went bid on Friday as shorts rushed to cover ahead weekend uncertainty. That uncertainty came from the weather and trade talks. Weather ended up being within the realm of expectations which is why you’re seeing futures little changed this morning, this was a classic, buy the rumor sell the news situation; something we wrote about last Wednesday.

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Blue Line Futures

October 3, 2019

Grain Express: October 3, 2019

December corn futures finished yesterdays session on softer ground on the back of a light wave of profit taking. We would not be terribly surprised to see this continue today, ultimately it is healthy and would likely set up as a better buying opportunity. Export sales this morning came in at 562,600 metric tons, within the range of estimates. Weather and yield reports will become increasingly important over the coming weeks.

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Blue Line Futures

September 26, 2019

Grain Express: September 26, 2019

Export sales this morning came in at 494,000 metric tons, a bit of a disappointment from last weeks number. There hasn’t been much new news to move the market, but we expect to start hearing more on yields as harvest ramps up over the coming weeks. Corn has been a stick in the mud at 375 +/- a few cents.

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Blue Line Futures

September 17, 2019

Grain Express: September 17, 2019

Corn futures sprang higher yesterday on the back of a few headlines revolving around the energy sector. The first headline was the attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil production facility, spiking oil prices which trickles down into strength in ethanol and corn. The wheels are also in motion for the Administration to increase the required bio-fuel blends for refineries. That news is now behind us and crude and corn are both coming off the highs in the early morning trade.

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Blue Line Futures

September 11, 2019

Grain Express: September 11, 2019

The USDA announced another sale to Mexico yesterday, this time for 278,200 metric tons. Reports out yesterday that National Security Adviser, John Bolton is out of the white house put a pop in the Ag commodities. Bolton was a notorious hawk and a headwind for a trade deal with China. Bolton’s departure will likely change the tone going forward, evident right away as a headline from China was released shortly after saying that they would purchase more US agricultural products to sweeten the pot.

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Blue Line Futures

September 3, 2019

Grain Express: September 3, 2019

December corn futures finished Friday’s session on softer ground, spilling over into early morning weakness to start the new month. We are taking the light volume overnight/early morning trade with a grain of salt, as usual. Weather continues to be watched closely, bulls want to see cooler temps stick around longer. Friday’s Commitment of Traders report showed funds sold 37,696 contracts through August 27th, expanding their short position to 94,137 contracts.

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Blue Line Futures

August 9, 2019

Grain Express: August 9, 2019

Export sales yesterday morning came in at 239,500 metric tons, below the low end of expectations. Weather has turned hot and dry for some areas (Surprise, it’s August), causing some concern for late planted corn, there’s a lot of it. Estimates for Monday’s USDA report have been rolling out and that has helped put some premium in the markets this week. Below are estimates from Reuters.

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Blue Line Futures

July 29, 2019

Grain Express: July 29, 2019

Corn futures softened up last week as better weather started to appear on intermediate term forecasts. This is undoubtedly good news for what is in the ground, but there is still an enormous amount of uncertainty regarding how many acres got in the ground. The wild card that is starting to garner more attention is the possibility of an early frost, this is a real scenario, but not one to hang your hat on. Friday’s Commitment of Traders report showed funds sold 34,0444 contracts, trimming their net long position back to 153,216 contracts. Crop Progress will be out later this afternoon, we would not be surprised to see good/excellent ratings steady with last week (57%).

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Blue Line Futures

July 24, 2019

Grain Express: July 24, 2019

Corn traded both sides of unchanged in yesterday’s sessions as traders and other market participants try to digest known information while weighing looming question marks (yields and planted acres). We continue to believe that the lingering question marks will provide some sort of a floor in the market.

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Blue Line Futures

July 8, 2019

Grain Express: July 8, 2019

There were fireworks in the corn market last week (couldn’t pass up the layup pun). Weather patterns for the next 2 weeks have shifted towards hotter and dryer conditions, which has sparked some concerns. If the hotter and dryer weather persists and becomes a trend, we would expect to see that stress the immature crop.

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Blue Line Futures

June 27, 2019

Grain Express: June 27, 2019

Export sales this morning came in at 294,900 metric tons of old crop and 110,100 metric tons of new crop. Focus will remain on tomorrow’s USDA report, out at 11am cst. Estimates for corn acres are coming in near 86.66 million, down from 89.80 in the June WASDE report.

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Blue Line Futures

June 24, 2019

Grain Express: June 24, 2019

Corn futures were choppy in the back half of last week as July option expiration likely played a role in price action. All eyes will be on the weekly Crop Progress report, released today at 2pm cst. Expectations are for corn to be 98% planted; keep in mind that this number is a huge gray area as it represents planting intentions as of this week, not original planting intentions.

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Blue Line Futures

June 20, 2019

Grain Express (June 20, 2019)

Corn (July): Yesterday’s Close: July corn futures finished yesterday’s session down 8 ¼ cents, trading in a range of 13 ½ cents. Funds were estimated sellers of 26,000 contracts. Fundamentals: The market pulled back on a round of profit taking and position squaring ahead of the weekend and Friday’s option expiration (July options).

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Blue Line Futures

June 10, 2019

Grain Express

Corn futures are softer to start the week on the back of some better weather over the weekend, allowing some planting to get done in areas that are far behind. Crop progress will be released this afternoon, expectations are for the crop to be 80-85% complete, a big jump from 67% last week.

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Blue Line Futures

May 20, 2019

Grain Express

All eyes are on weather this week as planting delays persist throughout the Midwest. Expectations are for the crop to be 40-50% completed, well shy of the 5-year average, 80%. Expectations of less acres and/or decreased yield have put a premium into the market and will likely continue to as the heavily short funds look to cover and potentially flip long. Friday’s Commitment of Traders report showed funds with a net short position of 282,918 futures/options, little changed from the previous week. Keep in mind that that data is collected through Tuesday, estimates for the back half of the week show funds reduced another 73,000 contracts, putting the real time estimate closer to -210,000 futures/options.

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Blue Line Futures

April 29, 2019

Grain Express

Friday’s Close: July corn futures finished Friday’s session up 5 cents, trading in a range of 6 ½ cents.Fundamentals: The market has moved well off last week’s lows. Crop progress will be released after the close today, expectations are for the U.S. corn crop to be 15-17% planted, in line with last year’s pace, but lagging the 5-year average of 25%. Weather throughout the Midwest will continue to be a big factor over the coming weeks and the market will likely respond to the ever-changing forecasts.

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Blue Line Futures

April 22, 2019

Grain Express

Fundamentals: Weather will continue to be monitored closely for the next few months. Crop progress will be out after the close, expectations are for the U.S. corn crop to be 8% planted, lagging the 5-year average.

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