Sosland Purchasing Seminar Winter Webinar

KANSAS CITY — With ingredient prices hovering near the lowest levels in years, most analysts see a benign picture extending into the early months of 2017. Factors that could alter this outlook, including worsening winter wheat crop conditions and uncertainty caused by the election of Donald Trump as president, will be among topics explored in an upcoming Sosland Publishing Co. webinar.

The 90-minute webinar, sponsored by Commerce Bank of Kansas City, will take place Tuesday, Dec. 13, at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time and will offer updates on several topics addressed at the annual Sosland Purchasing Seminar in June.

Topics to be discussed during the webinar include the outlooks for the grain, oilseeds, bakery shortening and sweetener markets as well as the weather.

Presenters will be Steve Freed, vice-president of research, ADM Investor Services, Inc.; Matt Beeson, president, Beeson & Associates, Inc.; Craig Ruffolo, vice-president, McKeany-Flavell Co.; and Jon Davis, meteorology team lead, Riskpulse.

“If I’m a flour buyer, the price picture has been good,” Mr. Freed said. “What is it that could change this picture? Wheat prices are historically low and should remain low unless what?”

Issues Mr. Freed said could be explored include the plentiful world wheat stocks, counterbalanced by what appears to be historically low U.S. winter wheat plantings, the less than ideal condition of the 2017 winter wheat crop going into winter and questions about weather going forward.

Mr. Freed said the election clearly has been felt in commodity markets.

“The day after the election, the CME recorded record trading volume,” he said. “From a trading standpoint, it appears that having Mr. Trump could mean greater volatility and uncertainty. Clearly there is a thought that China will say something to the effect of, ‘You put tariffs on us, we won’t buy your soybeans.’”

Contrasting forces also are at play in shortening markets, Mr. Beeson said.

“The drought a year ago really cut into palm oil production,” he said. “We have really tight stocks. Against that backdrop, we have plentiful U.S. and South American supplies of soybeans and therefore soybean oil. How will these three fundamental factors come together early next year?”

Noting the unusually warm and dry weather in U.S. winter wheat areas, Mr. Davis said weather prospects for the core winter months assume heightened importance.

“And in the Southern Hemisphere, the weak La Niña event in the Pacific Ocean has drawn attention with how that may affect South American grain and oilseed production,” he said.

To register for the Webinar, contact Christina Sullivan at or (816) 756-1000. Visit the web site by clicking here.