I thought it would be interesting to stack the past several years of drought maps next to one another for comparison. I selected one of the first maps of each new year dating back to 2010. I’m not really certain what conclusion you would like to make, but form my perspective we are starting off 2017 with drought like conditions somewhat surrounding key production areas. There’s no real scientific way of forecasting the exact weather or soil conditions from now to June, but if dry conditions start to expand the trade could start taking a much closer look.
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January prices in 2016 started just above $3.50 per bushel, made a high in June just under $4.40 per bushel, then tested the lows near $3.00 per bushel in September. Finished the year just above $3.50.
January prices started just under $4.00 per bushel, by July we had rallied to a high just over $4.40 per bushel, but ended the year back down closer to $3.50.
January prices started out around $4.25, by April they had traded north of $5.00 per bushel only to end the year back sub-$4.00 per bushel.
January 2013 prices started above $7.00 per bushel, by year end the drought breaking rains and good good growing season had driven prices back down to near $4.00 per bushel.
January of 2102 prices started near $6.00 per bushel, by August we ere trying back north of $8.00 on the heels of a severe drought across most of the entire Midwest.
January of 2011 prices traded around $6.25 per bushel, by June of 2011 prices had exploded to nearly $8.00 per bushel. Only to fall back to sub-$6.00 by year end.
January thru July of 2010 prices were trading between $3.25 and $4.00 per bushel. By the end of the year corn prices had pushed north of $6.00 per bushel.
*Fnd more information and detailed maps at The National Drought Mitigation Center