Todd Hultman

DTN Lead Analyst

Todd Hultman is a DTN grain market analyst, and has worked in the commodity futures industry since 1985.

 

Todd began his career as a broker with Delta Futures Group in Omaha, where he relied on DTN's news and market quotes. In 1997, he left the brokerage business with a desire to spend more time researching the futures markets and educating others. The move led to the creation of an online educational resource for futures traders. That same strong interest to research and teach brought a Todd to DTN where he enjoys commenting on the grain markets. Todd is a 1981 graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and has lived in the Omaha area for most of his life.

Recent Blogs by Author

More From This Author

  • In May 2023, spot soybean oil prices found support near their half-off sale price, a topic discussed in DTN's closing market video on June 2. Prices have recently fallen back from last summer's high and are once again slightly below their 50%-off sale price of 45.70 cents. Will support near 45 cents hold again in 2024? (DTN ProphetX chart)

    Technically Speaking Blog

    Spot soybean oil prices are testing long-term support near 45 cents at a time when the moods for corn, soybean and wheat prices remain bearish. Can the half-off sale in bean oil generate demand a second time?

  • By the time President George W. Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act into law on Dec. 19, 2007, the bullish response in corn prices was already evident, anticipating the positive effects the law was about to have on corn demand for years to come. (DTN ProphetX chart)

    Todd's Take

    The U.S. Treasury is about to announce a decision regarding the specifications of fuels eligible to earn a tax credit in the production of sustainable aviation fuel. Friday's announcement could eventually give U.S. corn and soybean...

  • (Photo Jim Patrico, photo illustration by Barry Falkner)

    Inside the Market

    After harvesting the smallest U.S. soybean crop in four years, it looked like soybean prices would have bullish potential in early 2024. That hope was quickly extinguished in January.

  • As of Thursday, Feb. 15, March corn prices are on track for their ninth lower weekly close in ten weeks. March soybeans are headed for their fourteenth lower close in 15 weeks. March KC wheat prices haven't had three consecutive higher weekly closes since July. In early 2024, specs continue to be rewarded for holding large short positions (DTN ProphetX chart by Todd Hultman).

    Todd's Take

    For the growers of the country's major crops, this was another tough week of declining spot prices and specs likely added to short positions already at record levels. Is that much bearish confidence really justified?

  • USDA will release its latest Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports Thursday, Feb. 8. (USDA logo)

    USDA Reports Preview

    When USDA releases its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report Thursday, most traders' attention will likely be on South American crop estimates for corn and soybeans.

  • As of Jan. 30, commercials are holding their largest net-long positions in corn and soybeans on record. But, so far, both July prices are under bearish pressure, not showing any sign of support yet (DTN ProphetX chart).

    Technically Speaking Blog

    July contracts of corn and soybeans are off to a bearish start in 2024 and, although cheap, have yet to find support.

  • USDA's first export sale announcement of China buying U.S. soft red winter wheat took place on Oct. 3 and was for 8.1 mb. Since then, China has shipped 2.2 mb home and is holding 57.6 mb of U.S. purchases, not yet shipped. The price of March Chicago wheat is a nickel higher on Feb. 1 than it was on Oct. 2. (DTN ProphetX chart)

    Todd's Take

    Chicago wheat prices have chopped up and down, largely on Chinese buying rumors, which started in early October, some of which were true. Four months later, prices are up a nickel.

  • Following a record harvest in 2023, March corn prices have been chopping lower in November and December, weighed down by the anticipation of higher corn supplies in 2024 and the bearish bias of trend-line new-crop estimates. (DTN)

    Inside the Market

    Winter price outlooks are especially bearish when preceded by a record harvest, but anything can happen between a hopeful winter and the realities of markets beginning in May.

  • A comparison of March FOB soybean prices in Paranagua, Brazil, versus New Orleans, Louisiana, shows a sharp drop in Brazil's prices since late December, coinciding with increased rainfall in the country. Brazil's much lower price suggests a big harvest is just getting started (DTN ProphetX chart by Todd Hultman).

    Todd's Take

    Looking ahead in 2023-24, there are both bullish and bearish possibilities for soybean prices. Here in late January, the bearish possibilities are getting more attention.

  • The seasons from 2014-15 to 2019-20 were bearish years for corn, but that didn't keep prices from offering decent selling opportunities at times. In previous bearish years, market uncertainty has been procrastinators' best friend (DTN ProphetX chart).

    Todd's Take

    Along with a record corn harvest, corn prices took the dive many of us were concerned about last February. If you missed the first chance at a good price, will there be a second?

  • February live cattle prices continue to recover from the Dec. 7 low of $162.40, but the recovery has been slow and specs are losing patience. Winter storms disrupted slaughter in the week ending Jan. 12 and bitter cold conditions are stressing livestock. (DTN ProphetX chart)

    Sort and Cull

    The week ending Jan. 12 saw winter storms, bitter cold conditions, reduced slaughter, higher boxed beef prices, but lower prices of cash cattle. Specs are growing impatient, but cattle numbers aren't getting any bigger.

  • USDA will release its latest Crop Production, World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE), Dec. 1 Grain Stocks and Winter Wheat Seedings reports on Friday, Jan. 12. (USDA logo)

    USDA Reports Preview

    What to expect on Friday, Jan. 12, when USDA releases its latest Crop Production, World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE), Dec. 1 Grain Stocks and Winter Wheat Seedings reports.

  • After six months of trading in a sideways range, July soybeans broke below support on Jan. 2, a bearish change in trend as beneficial rains showed up for central Brazil. Similarly, bullish behavior in July soybean meal has been eroding since Nov. 8 and turned bearish in December as prices fell to a new two-month low (DTN ProphetX chart).

    Technically Speaking

    For six months, bulls and bears in soybeans have been in a standoff, weighing the anticipation of tight U.S. supplies in 2023-24 versus another year of big production from South America. In the first days of January, the bears won.

  • Crude oil prices have had a volatile history since President George W. Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 into law, establishing an ethanol industry that provides an important source of low-carbon energy for the country and profitability for corn producers. (DTN ProphetX chart)

    Hultman's Favorite Story of 2023

    DTN/Progressive Farmer writers were asked to think back on 2023 and choose a favorite story they wrote. DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman said using corn to make ethanol is an old story he already lived through once. Revisiting the...

  • From a trader's viewpoint, March KC wheat prices have been falling for a year and a half, and show little sign of turning higher yet. From a fundamental perspective, prices are down over 50% from the 2022 high and are cheap enough to attract commercials to the long side of the market -- a possible sign support could be near. (DTN ProphetX chart by Todd Hultman)

    Todd's Take

    KC wheat prices have been on a bearish slide for a year and a half, and there is little sign of prices turning higher yet. There are, however, reasons to suspect long-term support is near.

  • Following news of the rail closures into Mexico on Dec. 18, March corn futures fell to a new 2023 low and lost a dime on the week. March soybean meal also was down on the week but shows more signs of support for its limited supplies. (DTN ProphetX chart).

    DTN Technically Speaking

    On Monday, Dec. 18, U.S. Customs closed two rail lines into Mexico and markets took note. The prices of two important feeds for Mexico's livestock industry were briefly affected in different ways.

  • The chart above shows declining export market share for the big three U.S. crops during the past few decades, a trend that is not likely to change anytime soon. (DTN ProphetX chart)

    Top 10 Ag Stories of 2023: No. 5

    No. 5 on DTN's list of the Top 10 Ag Stories of the Year looks at how U.S. corn exports came in second place to Brazil for the first time in 2022-23, another sign of declining export market share in a world that is becoming...

  • This 2023 chart from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations shows an increase in global hunger since 2020, the year COVID-19 became a global pandemic. COVID has not been the only factor contributing to increased hunger. (Source: UN FAO chart from  https://www.fao.org/3/cc3017en/cc3017en.pdf)

    Todd's Take

    This 2023 chart from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations shows an increase in global hunger since 2020, the year COVID-19 became a global pandemic. COCID has not been the only factor contributing to...

  • March corn prices in the U.S. are so weighed down by increased supplies that they have only challenged the 100-day average once in four months. July corn in Brazil, on the other hand, has been climbing higher since October and is priced at the U.S. equivalent of $6.39 per bushel. (DTN ProphetX chart by Todd Hultman)

    Todd's Take

    March corn prices in the U.S. are cheap and trending lower, while July corn in Brazil is expensive and moving higher. What gives?

  • CFTC data show the recent selling in feeder cattle came largely from specs holding short put options and not from the insurance companies participating in USDA's Livestock Risk Protection program or other commercial interests. (DTN ProphetX chart by Todd Hultman)

    Sort and Cull

    Rumors are flying around social media, trying to explain the sharp sell-off in cattle and feeder prices. CFTC data on trader positions help us understand which rumors have merit and which don't.

  • USDA will release its December World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports Friday. (USDA logo)

    USDA Reports Preview

    What to expect on Friday, Dec. 8, when USDA issues its Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports.