Elaine Kub

Contributing Analyst
Elaine Kub

Elaine Kub is the author of Mastering the Grain Markets: How Profits Are Really Made -- a 360-degree look at all aspects of grain trading, which draws on her experiences as a futures broker, market analyst, grain merchandiser, and farmer. She grew up on a family farm in South Dakota and holds an engineering degree and an MBA.

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  • Country elevator bids for new-crop corn went from generally 40 cents under the December 2020 futures contract in mid-August to stronger levels once the crop was actually harvested. (DTN ProphetX graphic)

    Kub's Den

    New-crop corn basis bids throughout the state of Iowa have strengthened by an average of 15 cents since the derecho storm damaged fields in mid-August. Strong basis bids at harvest are contra-seasonal, but in 2020, there are...

  • Some of the recent rally in soybean futures was likely influenced by a surge in "managed money" (fund investors) buying interest. (Graphic by Elaine Kub)

    Kub's Den

    "Sustainable" investing -- with an eye to environmental, social and governance concerns -- has taken over the stock markets. Even though commodity supply and demand evolves somewhat independently of such concerns, our markets...

  • The timing of recent big "up" days in soybean futures seems to coincide with days when large chunks of export business were being conducted by commercial traders ... but that's pretty much every day lately. (Chart by Elaine Kub)

    Kub's Den

    Futures buying has accompanied the recent swift pace of soybean export sales activity. Dangerously, traders tend to behave with more excitement and optimism the higher markets go.

  • On average over the past five years, front-month soybean futures have been valued at 2.6 times the price of front-month corn futures. (Chart by Elaine Kub)

    Kub's Den

    Demand indicators in the fuel sector -- including crude oil, ethanol and corn prices -- appear to have plateaued somewhere below a full recovery of late-2019 levels.

  • Despite a summer recovery, crude oil prices, ethanol production figures and cash corn prices remain down from end-of-2019 figures. (Illustration by Elaine Kub)

    Kub's Den

    Demand indicators in the fuel sector -- including crude oil, ethanol and corn prices -- appear to have plateaued somewhere below a full recovery of late-2019 levels.

  • Estimated costs of production will vary for individual fields. This example uses a benchmark $8.72 cash price per bushel, using Iowa State University Extension's "Estimated Costs of Crop Production in Iowa -- 2020" for soybeans following corn, assuming $219 per acre cash rent and 56 bushels per acre, then adding a 28-cent processor basis bid to reach $9.00 futures. New-crop soybean basis bids from central Iowa cooperatives may be more like -80X, implying the futures price would need to reach $9.52 before the market would be profitable for average producers. (DTN ProphetX Chart by Elaine Kub)

    Kub's Den

    FOMO -- or "Fear of Missing Out" -- on imagined better pricing opportunities in the future tends to be the worst impediment to farmer marketing practices, especially when there are a few bullish arguments floating around.