Corn ETF Traders Hedge Bets After Rally
August 14th 2012 at 9:46am by John Spence
Recent trading in options based on the corn ETF suggests some large investors are looking for a price pullback or are hedging their positions following the drought-driven rally.
After establishing a floor around the $35 a share area in May and June, Teucrium Corn Fund (NYSEArca: CORN) surged all the way up to a new record high of $52.14 as recently as last Thursday, according to Schaeffer’s Investment Research.
“However, options players on Friday took an interest in bearishly oriented contracts on the ETF,” it said, pointing to elevated trading in put options. [Corn, Agriculture ETFs Rocket on Supply Concerns and Drought]
“Given the stellar run-up in CORN, it’s quite possible that the recent crop of put buyers could be shareholders looking to hedge their bets,” Schaeffer’s added. “Heading into Friday’s session, the fund had gained an impressive 48% from May’s annual low of $35.23.”
Corn prices have stalled in August following the big spike. “It does seem likely that the corn bubble is about to burst,” says technical analyst Abigail Doolittle at Peak Theories Research.
Most investors missed the start of the grain rally that pushed corn and soybean prices to record highs, the Financial Times reports.
“It caught most people off guard,” a hedge fund manager told the FT. “We fought the corn market for a while.”
At the $101 million corn ETF, shares outstanding were at their lowest level in 18 months as of June 27, according to the report. Shares outstanding then rose 64% in a month, reflecting heavy inflows.
“The corn market was extremely bearish until late June until people realized it wasn’t raining,” Sal Gilbertie, Teucrium president and chief investment officer, told the FT.
“It was like a switch flipping. It was a major macro event unique to crops, primarily corn and soybeans, that literally turned you from extreme bearishness to extreme bullishness in a matter of weeks,” he said.
Teucrium Corn Fund
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