Kub’s Den

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Elaine KubDTN Contributing Analyst“There are only 8 cents of carry out to the May futures contract; how am I supposed to go to my banker and justify putting up new grain bins just to get another 8 cents per bushel? That math doesn’t work out!”This question came up at a recent market outlook meeting, and the economic instincts behind the questioner’s details were spot on. He was considering funding a project with borrowed money based on the returns offered to him in the current market environment. He was looking at the actual carry in the futures spreads, which can be locked in as real income, instead of looking at some unreliable expectation that grain prices “might” tend to be higher in the spring than they were at harvest when the grain went in a bin.However, I would encourage anyone considering the construction of new grain storage facilities in 2019 (and I imagine there are many such people, after the scramble to store both corn and soybeans in late 2018) to base their decisions on longer-term expectations. The 8 cents of carry currently offered between the March and May 2019 corn futures contracts (which is still a relatively generous 65% of the full cost of commercial carry) doesn’t mean much. Few market participants come into possession of some corn in March that they only intend to store for a couple of months. More typically, someone comes into possession of some corn at harvest time. As an example, this marketing year on Nov. 1 there was 20-plus cents of carry between the December and May futures contracts that could have been used to justify an investment in grain storage. There was 30-plus cents of carry available from the December 2018 to September 2019 contracts for those who were willing to commit to storing the grain for so long.An expectation of being able to lock in an extra 20 or 30 cents per bushel for one’s grain … now, that’s something a person could take to a banker and make a grain storage facility sound like a good investment. But how confident should that expectation be, year after year after year?Let’s look at recent history. There were those wild years — 2011, 2012 and 2013 — when corn supplies were extremely tight and nearby futures spreads actually inverted during the spring and summer months (near-dated corn futures were priced higher than far-dated corn futures). That experience jolted many corn producers’ internal calibrations about how corn prices are expected to behave seasonally. But, since that time, nearby corn futures have inverted only rarely, briefly and mildly — in mid-2014 and mid-2016. Mostly, we’ve been living back in the “normal” world where there is plenty of grain to go around, and the futures markets are structured so that future prices pay more for far-dated grain and reimbursing owners for the costs of keeping the grain in storage and off the physical market.Since the 2013 corn harvest, if we took a market snapshot on Nov. 1 of any subsequent year to illustrate the harvest-time storage decisions of a farmer with newly harvested grain, we would see that the December-to-May futures spread has offered fairly generous “carry” spreads in each of these past six years: 18 1/2 cents for the 2013 corn crop, 21 1/4 cents for 2014, 14 1/2 cents for 2015, 16 cents for 2016, 22 1/4 cents for 2017 and 20 cents most recently on Nov. 1, 2018.This is cash money that the futures market offers to owners of grain. If, for instance, a farmer owns some harvested bushels already hedged with a short December corn futures position (perhaps hedged months earlier at a very favorable price), the farmer can choose to “roll” that futures position forward. That is to say: buy back December futures and simultaneously sell May futures. Then the farmer will pocket the futures spread (let’s assume 20 cents or so) as cash in a futures brokerage account. Alternatively, a farmer can roll a hedge-to-arrive contract forward within the same marketing year and receive the 20-cent advantage. Alternatively, if the grain hasn’t been hedged or sold yet, the farmer can simply choose to sell the grain, at harvest, for a timeframe six months in the future and receive a subsequently higher price in return for agreeing to store the grain until spring delivery.Note that this opportunity is different from the opportunity to store unpriced, unsold, unhedged grain in the blind hope that prices may be higher in a few months’ time. Lots of people do this; lots of people justify their investments in grain storage facilities based on that seasonal expectation for better flat prices in the spring or summer, and lots of people generally succeed most years with this strategy. Over the past six years, the flat price improvement of the National Corn Index from Nov. 1 (harvest time) to the following May 1 (six months later) has been 66 cents in 2013 from $4.03 to $4.73, 10 cents in 2014 from $3.33 to $3.43, 6 cents in 2015 from $3.50 to $3.56, 31 cents in 2016 from $3.06 to $3.37, 61 cents in 2017 from $3.07 to $3.68 and 16 cents, so far, from $3.28 on Nov. 1, 2018, to $3.44 on Feb. 12, 2019.So, you see, sometimes it works really well. But it’s never guaranteed cash-in-hand paid for carrying the grain. Instead, it’s a speculative gamble based on pretty sound seasonal market expectations.There are less reliable opportunities in soybean futures spreads, and of course even less reliable opportunities in storing unhedged soybeans for months past harvest. But if we continue to experience years of overabundant soybean inventories, that math may also change. In any case, a look at the history shows us that — in a world that expects continued years of abundant grain supply and normal “carry” futures spreads — yes, it is possible to look at grain storage investments and opportunities with some confidence.Elaine Kub is the author of “Mastering the Grain Markets: How Profits Are Really Made” and can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @elainekub.(BE/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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The 3 Cornerstones of Indie Film Marketing

first_imgMaking your film is just the beginning. Eventually you’ll need to market it. Here are some important things to consider when it comes to indie film marketing.All images from ShutterstockMarketing your film might not get you as excited as deciding which camera to shoot on, or how to write your script – but at the end of the day, none of your hard work will matter if no one can see your film. If you haven’t already considered a marketing plan for your next project, I strongly urge you to read through the points below. Let’s take a look at what you absolutely must know when it comes to indie film marketing.1. Marketability is ParamountAvoid empty theaters by making sure your film is marketable.There has never been a more opportune time for indie filmmakers as there is today. Production costs are going down, great gear (both for production and post) can be bought or rented at very low prices, and there are more platforms than ever that are seeking content. Even so, the market competition is incredibly stiff as more and more talented filmmakers come out of the woodwork every year. So how do you make your film stand out from the crowd?Knowing who you are as a filmmaker and the type of art you want to make is hugely important, but a steadfast understanding of marketing (and marketability) is just as crucial to your success.Before you spend a year (or more) making your next film, take some time to really assess the marketability of your project, and then set your expectations accordingly. Does your film have a shot at a theatrical run? Or is going to be a YouTube release? Is the film’s topic or subject matter interesting to a wide range of people or will it only appeal to a small subsect? There is no right or wrong way to go here, as this isn’t only about making the most money or getting the biggest release. In fact, sometimes it’s often easier to market a project that is geared torward a particular niche. You can speak directly to this crowd without having to appeal to everyone. A recent article from Forbes sums it up:However, the future of the movie business lies in niche markets – not in generalized mass appeal. Audiences are growing tired of the recycled, bloated, arbitrary, homogenized movie franchises to which their cinematic taste buds have become numb. Furthermore, movie budgets for niche and genre films (as opposed to tent-poles like Batman, Transformers, The Avengers, etc.) are rapidly dropping, as producers and executives realize that the film financing ecosystem is unable to support the outrageous budgets that were commonplace just a few years ago. Additionally, even mass market appeal movies are now choosing to set their marketing cross hairs on very targeted niches. Film website The Wrap recently shed light on the market research being done by production companies to insure they are maximizing their marketing budgets on the right audience:[Using] envelope-pushing digital research firms, Hollywood has more insight than ever about what movies are going to work, and with whom. The narrowly focused campaigns are saving marketing money and the box office results have been mainly positive. Those are developments that couldn’t come at a better time for a movie biz increasingly challenged by foreign competition and increasing entertainment options for U.S. moviegoers.Thanks to social media, today’s psychographic research measures not only potential moviegoers, but their interests, attitudes and opinions. That opens up new realms for marketers.Note: if you’re looking to to market your film to a Facebook audience based on their interests, get the scoop on how to create targeted ads here.It’s about setting a realistic goal and getting as much exposure as possible for your film and for yourself. Always make sure that your film is marketable – whatever that may mean within the scope of your project. If you have any doubts about the viability of your film (commercially speaking), then you need to address those concerns very early on.2. Don’t Wait Until Production is Over To MarketA common mistake (and a costly one) that many indie filmmakers make is waiting until they have a finished product before they set out to market their film. If you actually want to make a dent with your project, you need to begin selling your film the moment you decide you’re going to make it.From a marketing perspective, it’s extremely important to generate momentum by getting people interested in your film every step along the way. If your film has a following that seems to be growing by the day, this piques the interests of potential audiences as well as buyers.If your bottom line is important to you, and you intend to create a film for the purpose of selling it, then consideration must be given to marketing from the get-go. This should be reflected in your budget. You’ll want to allocate somewhere between 30-50% of your film’s budget to marketing alone. It seems like a lot, I know…but it will give your film a better chance at succeeding commercially. If your budget is severely limited, look for cheap or free marketing solutions (such as blogging or reaching out to existing publications) in order to create and maintain a buzz around your film without breaking the bank.3. Social Media is Your Most Powerful ResourceGet the word out. Utilize your social networks to market your film.Plain and simple, the marketing power of social media is infinite, and those who don’t utilize these platforms to generate interest and buzz for their film are at a great disadvantage. Quite obviously – social media marketing costs little to no money, especially if you’re the one executing that leg of your marketing strategy.For the purpose of understanding just how impactful social media can be to your film’s success, I want to focus on why to use it instead of reiterating the fiscal advantages.Fundamentally, one of the reasons that social media marketing is so powerful is because of how dynamic it is by nature. For an easy example: Imagine you release a film trailer on television, and then release that same trailer via your Twitter account. Depending on your following, the Twitter release may get far more exposure than the television spot – but more importantly, it will get feedback. While you may not love to hear that someone didn’t like your trailer, feedback of any kind is extremely valuable.This is especially applicable in the early days of your film’s development and pre-production process. If you use social media to tap into the minds of your potential audience (whether it be through kickstarter backers, existing social media followers, or otherwise), you will be getting extremely important feedback from the people that should matter most to you – your core audience.You might not want to change your script or recast your film just because you got a bad Twitter comment, but if you develop an online audience and treat them respectfully, they will be your biggest supporters once your film is actually complete. They can genuinely help you to make a film that is strongly positioned for commercial success. In fact, this is the approach that many big budget studios are now using, after facing mounting film marketing costs over the last few years. The Hollywood Reporter states:Twitter and other social media sites increasingly are influencing moviegoers’ choices at the multiplex. In a new study by Twitter and Nielsen, 87 percent of Twitter users over 13 said tweets influenced their movie choices. It also showed that 62 percent of moviegoers used the Internet or mobile apps to learn about films.Final ThoughtsMost filmmakers have a pipe dream. They want to direct or produce exciting films that they are passionate about, have fun throughout the process, and then receive commercial and critical acclaim for their work. The reality is that wanting and achieving these things are very different, and in order to actually realize these types of goals, a staggering amount of work needs to go into every part of the process – including marketing. Just because your favorite director gets to solely focus on the creative parts of their film doesn’t mean that you have earned that privilege yet.If you want to get to that point, you’ll need to do some heavy lifting in areas in which you may or may not be that interested. So if you’re serious about making a dent in this industry and are willing to work harder at it than those around you, start focusing on marketing – it is one of the most frequently overlooked keys to success in the indie film world. A few additional film marketing posts worth checking out:Marketing Your Indie Film: Q&A with Mark Steven BoskoCreate a Video On Demand Strategy For Your Film3 Free Resources for Film MarketingHave any tips for marketing an indie-film? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

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Zinedine Zidane praises Real Madrid’s fighting spirit in Europe

first_imgReal Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane praised their battling display against Sporting Lisbon as they claimed a place in the Champions League knockout stages with a scrappy 2-1 win on Tuesday.Karim Benzema’s 87th minute header gave Real victory after they let 10-man Sporting back into the game following Joao Pereira’s red card – the third time in five Champions League games this season a late goal has got them out of trouble. (Also read: Dortmund break Champions League record, Real and Leicester advance to last 16) “We had difficult moments but that’s what you expect and what we knew could happen, but once again we refused to give up,” said Zidane.”We kept playing after conceding and scored a great goal thanks to Karim. It’s obvious that playing every three days is not easy and we lacked a bit of energy.”Real also beat Sporting 2-1 back in September with two late goals and drew 3-3 at Legia Warsaw with an 85th minute equaliser from Mateo Kovacic.The win stretches Real’s unbeaten run in all competitions to 30 games, two short of a club record of 32 matches without defeat set by Leo Beenhakker’s side in 1989.”These 30 games are an extra motivation for us to keep working as we are. We want to keep doing what we’re doing, while being aware that there will always be moments in games when we suffer,” added the Real coach.”We’re going to keep going like this but I don’t know for how long because it’s not easy for us physically.”advertisementCOENTRAO ERRORReal defender Fabio Coentrao was critical of himself after throwing his hands up to appeal for handball against Sporting’s Joel Campbell and in the process handling it himself to concede the penalty Adrien Silva scored in the 80th minute.”It was a very serious error, I messed up really badly,” he said. “I appealed for handball but I shouldn’t have done, I should have been more concentrated.”Real are second in Group F, two points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund, and will battle it out with the Germans in a fortnight’s time for top spot.Spanish newspaper AS pointed out on Wednesday that finishing runners-up in the group could serve Real better than coming top as they could potentially avoid sides such as Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City and Bayern Munich.If Real finish second, they would also avoid fellow Spanish sides Barcelona and Atletico Madrid and could be paired with the likes of Leicester City or Monaco.Real defender Raphael Varane, however, said they were fully focused on topping the group.”We don’t think about who we could get in the next round, we only think about winning and finishing first in the group.”last_img read more

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HMM Eyes Stake in Two More Hanjin Terminals

first_imgzoom South Korean shipping company Hyundai Merchant Marine has signed a deal with Hanjin Shipping and Marine Terminals Investment Limited (MTIL) to acquire Hanjin Pacific Corporation’s terminals in Tokyo and Kaohsiung.Total acquisition price is about KRW 15 billion (USD 13.1 million) including a purchase and security deposit on the lease of the Tokyo port.Hanjin Pacific Corporation (HPC), 60-percent owned by Hanjin Shipping and 40-percent owned by Marine Terminals Investment Limited, operates terminals at ports in Japan and Taiwan.With this acquisition, HMM will secure a stake in four Hanjin terminals, including a 20 percent stake in terminal operator Total Terminals International LLC (TTI), a 100 percent stake in the Spanish Algeciras terminal, and now the 100 percent stake in each Tokyo and Kaohsiung terminals.HMM said that it plans to complete the acquisition of Hanjin Pacific’s stake followed by detailed due diligence and regulatory approvals for each port.“This acquisition of Hanjin Pacific’s stake will work to expand HMM’s port network and strengthen our sales competitiveness,” HMM said.Additionally, the company informed that it expects that the acquisition will have “a synergistic effect with HMM+K2 consortium,” which starts on March 1.In a separate announcement, Krishnapatnam Port Container Terminal (KPCT) informed that Hyundai Merchant Marine launched a direct weekly ASC service, which connects the Far East and South East Asia, from the terminal on February 17, 2017.Inaugurated with a maiden vessel call by MV Hyundai Prestige, the service has a port rotation of Krishnapatnam (India) – Port Klang (Malaysia) – Singapore (Singapore)– Pusan – Ulsan (South Korea) – Shanghai – Hong Kong – Yantian (China).last_img read more

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