No Bull | The Five Spot

Corn - Large cornfield with rows of crop by vicvaz via iStock

#5 | Wheels up!

Air travel has never been HOTTER as a record number of Americans are taking to the skies.

TSA set a new single-day record on Sunday as more than 3 million passengers passed through US airport security closing out a long Independence Day weekend.

We are only at the beginning of this story but green initiatives and an increase in air travel makes our pivot to sustainable aviation fuel more important now than ever before - especially to agriculture.

Through May, the Unites States' sustainable aviation fuel supply is up almost 400% year-on-year and the party is just getting started as SAF is set to soon transform the biofuels landscape in a monumental way.

#4 |  Hot streak

Soybean oil has been on a hot streak as of late, rallying 14% off its late June lows to a high near 49 in a matter of days. The party ended this week, however, closing down nearly 1% Monday followed by a 4% collapse Tuesday and down another 1.3% Wednesday.

For starters - a 14% gain in less than two weeks is just begging for a correction. Plus, energies took an early-week nosedive as production sites and refineries in Beryl’s path escaped with only minor damage. Diesel futures were down more than 3% to start the week and soybean oil has followed:

#3 | Kick the can

Adding to the pressure on soybean oil, late Monday we got word from the EPA that they will NOT be finalizing highly-anticipated Renewable Fuel Standard volume requirements for years 2026-2028 by the November 2024 deadline.

Instead they have kicked the can down the road until March 2025 (leaving the next administration to deal with it/avoiding it until after the election). This isn’t the first time this has happened, nor the first time the market reacted negatively.

Uncertainty can bring two things to a market:

  1. 1. You can rally on uncertainty - like weather or war.
  2. 2. Markets can also fall on uncertainty - especially when it comes to soybean oil which is extra sensitive to policy as biomass-based diesels and other renewable fuels can be heavily dependent upon subsidies (tax credits), mandates and RINs.

Soybean oil is NOT a fan of what could be another Trump EPA who was keen on RFS waivers and exemptions during the first term.

Buckle up, buttercup because we have some interesting times ahead in the soy complex as the transition from 40B (blender’s) to 45Z (producer’s) tax credit effective January 1 should put the brakes on biomass-based diesel imports while increasing the demand for domestic (& imported feedstocks). Plus, domestic meal remains on a high-priced island, old crop beans are in tight hands and August is just around the corner with what is set to be record maintenance downtimes amid an already-tight oil stock situation.


Funds have dumped more than half a million CONTRACTS across corn, all three wheats and the soy complex over the past month.

To put it in terms that hit home - managed money has sold more than ONE BILLION bushels of corn, 633 million bushels of beans, 4.5 million tons of meal, 1.2 billion pounds of bean oil and 550 million bushels of wheat from the tail end of May through July 2.

In that time, nearby corn fell 55 cents, beans lost more than a buck, meal fell $26 and wheat had a fall from grace like only wheat can do.

#1 | Ouch

As December corn continues to grind into new lows, this one is becoming painfully accurate:

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On the date of publication, Susan Stroud did not have (either directly or indirectly) positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article. All information and data in this article is solely for informational purposes. For more information please view the Barchart Disclosure Policy here.