Angie Setzer: Russia a Big Challenge to Grain Prices in 2018

As FarmLead expands its content channel in the weeks ahead, we will speak with thought leaders across the agricultural space to provide our readership unbiased access to read actionable insight. Following the Executive Women in Agriculture Conference in Chicago last week, I had a chance to catch up with Angie Setzer, Vice President of Grain for Citizens Elevator in Charlotte, Michigan.

As the vice president of grain, Setzer manages five grain elevators along with an on-farm program. She is involved with helping farmers get the best price for their crop. She writes the “Cash is King” column for ProFarmer and was featured on other outlets, including AgDay and the Weather Channel. She’s also known for her popular Twitter page @Godessofgrain. In our conversation today, Setzer gave us her insight on the markets, and what people can expect in the grain complex heading into the new year.


FarmLead [FL]: Where do you see the markets headed in 2018 for the corn, soy and wheat crops?

Setzer: We know that here in the United States we have a good amount of supply on hand for the pipeline to be more than adequate. At this point in time, barring some sort of surprising factor developing in the market structure over the next few months, we’ll likely remain in somewhat of a tight range until we have a reason to trade out of it. Until we feel confident that there is an issue with production [we] will likely continue to trade pretty flat just because there is no reason for the market to move as strongly in any one direction.

FL: What are the three factors that will influence the prices of corn, soy, and wheat the most?

Setzer: There’s been talk that we would need to see some inflationary pressure. Whether or not we see the outside stock market start to trade lower and the money go back into commodities. And there [are these] overall geopolitical developments; What we’ve seen happen out of Russia, if anything, we’re going to have to change. Russia is one of the largest suppliers. They’ve cut into our ability to export into the global market so much. We’ll be watching the overall supply potential as we move ahead, money flow, and then anything developing from a geopolitical standpoint will definitely have an impact on the market structure.

FL: What do you think needs to happen to see an increase in prices?

Setzer: It has to be some kind of Brazilian weather issue or dips of increase in demand. And the likelihood of a significant increase in demand happening without a big issue in South America, production wise, it’s pretty limited.

FL: If people were going to focus on one thing for their marketing plan, what should that one thing be?

Setzer: Take] advantage as soon as they’re able to lock in black ink on their P&Ls.

FL: Have you noticed any differences in how women market their grain compared to men?

Setzer: Men sometimes will wait or roll the dice on something to see what happens and what can change. [Women] just don’t have the emotional attachment to their decisions, so they make decisions based on what they feel is best or what they have determined. And they seem to be a little bit more decisive. Of course, I don’t want to paint with a broad brush. But, in my experience, women are much easier to work with, from a point of making a decision and sticking with it, than a lot of the men that I’ve worked with.

About the Author
Megan Perrero

Megan Perrero is the financial editorial intern for FarmLead. She is currently a junior at Columbia College Chicago. She is working towards her BA in journalism with a concentration in magazine writing. She also has a minor in public relations. She grew up in central Illinois.

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