Though end-users are welcoming some of the lowest feed values in years along with sharply reduced levels of price volatility, such sentiments are not being shared by many of the world's largest grain companies such as ADM, Bunge and Cargill as in an era of large if not burdensome world grain and oilseed stocks, trading opportunities have been fleeting.
The accompanying graphic shows the monthly price ranges for October going back to 1977 for December corn and November soybean futures in $/bushel and that range as a percent of the month's settlement price.
For instance, last month December corn had a high of $3.56 and a low of $3.42 for a mere 14 cent trading range and that is 4.0% of the October 2017 settle for the December 2017 corn futures of $3.46 per bushel.
November soybeans last month had a high of $10.03 and a low of $9.53 for a range of 50 cents and that was 5.1% of the November 2017 settle of $9.74 per bushel for the month of October.
For corn, the 14 cent trading range is the lowest range for October since 2005 when it was also 14 cents with the range in 2004 at 13 cents.
The range as a percent of the October 2017 settle at 4.0% is the lowest for that figure since 1994's 3.2% when the trading range was seven cents with a settle of $2.16 per bushel.
As for soybeans, last month's trading range for November futures of 50 cents is the lowest since a 46-cent range was seen also in 2005.
This year's range as a percent of the $9.74 settlement price is the second lowest since 1994, though in 2013 a 57-cent range as a percent of the October 2013 settlement price at $12.80 is even lower at 4.4%.
Regardless, the narrow trading ranges and those ranges as a percent of the October settlement price are far different vs. the extreme price volatility seen during the 2007-2013 period.
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