Here at DTN, market analysts take a lot of pride in the work we do and put a lot of effort into bringing our customers the most helpful market information each day. I don’t want to brag or whine, but it is not easy to keep up with markets that don’t sleep. Sometimes when writing Early Word Grain comments at 4 a.m., it doesn’t feel like we sleep much either, but we continue to search through the latest news, weather and market information in an attempt to understand the latest forces, driving prices.
The one silent partner in this work for our analysts is DTN ProphetX. It’s a powerful software designed with traders in mind, but which is so rich with market information that I literally cannot imagine doing market analysis without it.
I typically start each morning looking at the current U.S. weather radar and check other weather resources to get an idea of what happened the past 24 hours. I have custom news screens set up, which quickly get me up to date on the latest market topics.
Of course, it’s not long before I get to the quote screen where all my high priority quotes are listed to help me quickly get a handle on where prices are trading. The quotes are also connected to a chart screen where I can see how the latest prices relate to where they have been.
I literally have access to thousands of quotes at my disposal. Futures quotes, options quotes, cash grain bids from all around the country. USDA grain and livestock reports, each of which is full of daily and weekly data. Financial markets are a whole other segment with thousands of their own quotes. The list goes on and on.
In addition to the usual U.S. cash and futures prices, ProphetX also allows me to follow international grain quotes. Often we hear news about something happening in Brazil, for example, but the sources might be unknown or unreliable. A quick check of Brazil’s prices can help us determine if the news is likely true or not.
Sample of data used to help analyze commodity trends.
Foreign prices also tell us a lot about supply and demand in other countries. In 2020, FOB soybean prices in Brazil made new highs in July and were good clues about how strong China’s demand was that summer. A corresponding rally in China’s soybean prices on the Dalian exchange also painted a picture of unusually strong demand in late 2020. Meanwhile, we in the U.S. were largely uninformed, watching USDA estimate much larger supplies of corn and soybeans than the season actually ended with.
I am not sure if a picture is worth a thousand words, but I find a lot of value in the charts we are able to create in DTN ProphetX. If you have ever seen DTN closing market videos or visited one of our WASDE webinars, you know that I am a fan of creating charts to help explain markets in ways that no other medium can.
Once you get the basics down, DTN ProphetX charts are easy to create and there is no end to the useful information that can be charted. Early in my career at DTN, I was able to look at the history learn a lot about the different trading behaviors of commercial interests and noncommercial interests and how they each respond to different price environments.
Of course, charts are also appreciated most by chartists, a subset of traders that make decisions based on price movement. For technical chartists, DTN offers a wide variety of charting tools that can be tailored to your preferences. Over the years, the tools I have found most useful have been the basics: moving averages, weekly and monthly statistics, prior highs and lows, etc… the DTN technical menu goes way beyond those choices and offers traders an easy way to learn about different trading approaches.
There is a lot more to DTN ProphetX that I could keep writing about, but instead of overwhelming you with more information, I suggest you request a demonstration or free trial. After marking my tenth year at DTN, there are still new features and packages of quotes being added that I have not yet seen. If you want to understand markets, I suggest adding DTN ProphetX to your daily routine.
Learn more about ProphetX at https://www.dtn.com/agriculture/agribusiness/prophetx/