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2008 年 8 月 15 日 商品:农产品

2008 年 8 月 15 日

商品

农产品
在全球农产品供需预测报告公布后农产品价格风险仍趋于上行

维持价格看涨预测;市场对产量的乐观情绪有些超前
尽管 7 月初以来农产品价格大幅走软,但我们仍维持前景看涨的预测,并重申玉 Allison F. Nathan
(212) 357-7504 | allison.nathan@gs.com
米和大豆价格面临显著上行风险的观点。由于仲夏季节月度产量预测的准确性有 高盛集团
限,加上 2008 年气候相关的农作物灾害风险上升,我们认为市场对产量大幅增
长所持的乐观情绪有些超前,并认为需求会基本上消化供应的增长。

近期气候有利,但种植期末的产量风险仍令人担心
我们并没有轻视最近中西部有利气候条件的影响,但更关注直到收获前的气候状
况。我们对 2008 年美国农作物产量的担心主要在于春季播种被推迟而导致的霜
冻风险上升、短期降温预报(可能会导致农作物生长变得更加复杂)、以及种植
期末可能爆发的与湿度有关的农作物枯萎病。我们对目前的 2008 年高产量预测
也保持谨慎态度,因为 8 月份预测与实际产量的相关性一直较低。由于这些早期
报告有诸多不确定性,我们更倾向于听取业内人士的看法,并认为 2008 年美国
的玉米和大豆产量可能会分别降至 150 蒲式耳/英亩和 40 蒲式耳/英亩以下。

尽管产量面临不确定性,需求依然存在
近期美国乙醇生产的利润率有所改善,牲畜存栏量的降低速度低于预期,为我们
的 2008 年下半年玉米和大豆需求基本不会放缓的预测提供了支持。近期粮食价
格的走软进一步印证了我们的观点,我们预测乙醇利润率已回到零以上,而且玉
米饲料的经济效益与小麦替代产品相比有所改善。虽然美国农作物大丰收可能会
扭转严重的需求受限局面,但我们仍然预计需求紧张的形势会延续到 2009 年中
期。

高盛集团与本研究报告所分析的企业存在业务关系,并且继续寻求发展这些关系。因此,投资者应当考虑到本公司可能存在可能影响本报告客观性
的利益冲突,不应视本报告为作出投资决策的唯一因素。关于重要的信息披露,请参阅信息披露之前的部分或登陆
www.gs.com/research/hedge.html。 由非美国附属公司聘用的分析师无须参加纳斯达克/纽约证券交易所的分析师考试。

高盛集团
高盛商品研究 全球投资研究
1
August 15, 2008 Commodities: Agriculture

Commodities

Agriculture
Post-WASDE, Agriculture price risks remain skewed to the upside

Maintain bullish pricing outlook; market yield optimism premature


Despite extensive agricultural price weakness since early July, we Allison Nathan
(212) 357-7504 | allison.nathan@gs.com
maintain our bullish outlook and reiterate substantial upside price risks for Goldman, Sachs & Co.
corn and soybeans, respectively. Given the limited accuracy of mid-
summer monthly yield forecasts, along with 2008’s elevated risk of
weather-related crop damage, we regard market optimism over material (212) 902-9592 | john.baumgartner@gs.com
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
harvest upside as premature and see demand largely absorbing any
incremental supply.

Recent weather favorable, but late season yield risk concerning


We don’t dismiss the impact of recent favorable Midwestern weather, but
we’re more focused on conditions through harvest. Our concerns over
2008 U.S. crop yields are anchored by elevated frost risk on delayed spring
planting, forecasts for interim cooler weather (which may complicate crop
development) and any late-season outbreak of moisture-related crop
blight. We’re also cautious over existing 2008 high yield forecasts given
that August estimates historically have had a relatively low correlation to
actual yields. Given these early reporting uncertainties, we’re more
comfortable leveraging our industry contacts and believe that 2008 U.S.
corn and soybean yields may fall below 150 and 40 bu/acre, respectively.

Despite output uncertainty, demand remains present


Improved near-term margins for U.S. ethanol production and slower-than-
expected livestock liquidation support our expectations for minimal 2H08
corn and soybean demand moderation. Recent grains pricing weakness
further reinforces this view, given our estimates that ethanol margins have
returned to the black and the economics of corn feed have improved
relative to wheat substitution. While a scenario of severe demand
rationing may be averted with a strong U.S. harvest, we continue to see
demand straining tight carry-out into mid-2009.

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. does and seeks to do business with companies covered in its research reports. As a result, investors should be
aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report. Investors should consider this report as only a single
factor in making their investment decision. For important disclosures, see the text preceding the disclosures or go to
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The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Global Investment Research


Goldman Sachs Commodities Research 1
August 15, 2008 Commodities: Agriculture

Post-WASDE, Agriculture price risks remain skewed to the upside


Broader commodity weakness and rising yield expectations for U.S. corn and soybeans
have generated substantial downward price pressure on agricultural commodities since
early July (see Exhibit 1). Despite this recent price weakness, we maintain our bullish
outlook and reiterate substantial upside price risks for corn and soybeans. Given the
limited accuracy of mid-summer monthly yield forecasts, along with elevated risk of
weather-related crop damage in 2008, we regard market optimism over material harvest
upside as premature and see demand largely absorbing any incremental supply.

Exhibit 1: CBOT corn, soybean, wheat near-futures price history


5/1/08 – 8/8/08, Indexed at 5/1

140

130

120

110

100

90

80
5/1/08

5/8/08

5/15/08

5/22/08

5/29/08

6/5/08

6/12/08

6/19/08

6/26/08

7/3/08

7/10/08

7/17/08

7/24/08

7/31/08

8/7/08
CBOT Corn CBOT Soybeans CBOT Wheat

Source: CBOT.

Recent weather favorable, but late season yield risk still concerns
While we don’t dismiss the potential for yield upside created by favorable weather, we
remain more focused on conditions through harvest. Our concerns are anchored by two
factors; first, growth complications from delayed planting, a sudden weather reversal and
consistently wet growing conditions and second, the relatively low correlation between
August expectations and realized yields.

Goldman Sachs Commodities Research 2


August 15, 2008 Commodities: Agriculture

Even after the rapid acceleration in development over the past few weeks, U.S. crop
progress still lags normalized conditions by an estimated three weeks. Through August 10,
USDA classifies just 30% of the national corn crop as within the “doughing” phase (trailing
2007’s pace by nearly half and well-behind the 50% five-year average) and 60% of the
soybean crop as within the pod-setting stage (behind both 2007’s 79% and the 75% 5-year
average). Given current crop progress and quality estimates, the 2003 crop year most
closely resembles current development conditions at mid-August. That year, late August
and early September weather deterioration drove realized yields down to 142.2 bu/acre for
corn and 33.9 bu/acre for soybeans, respectively (see Exhibits 2 and 3). Considering USDA
forecasts for harvested acreage and abandonment rates, a return of 2003’s late yield
erosion would imply 2008E corn stocks of just 120mm bu (vs. USDA’s current 1.1 billion
estimate) and create a severe soybean shortage.

Exhibit 2: U.S. crop quality comparison Exhibit 3: U.S. crop yield comparison
Corn and soybeans, 2008 vs. 2003 at week of 8/10 Corn and soybeans, 2008 vs. 2003

80% 180
CORN SOYBEANS
70% 67% 160 155.0
65%
62% 62% 63%
60% 142.2
60% 140

Yield (bu/harvested acre)


50% 120

40% 35% 100


30%
30% 80

20% 60
40.5
10% 33.9
40

0%
20
Doughing Good/Excellent Pod-Setting Good/Excellent

2003 2008 0
Corn Soybeans

2003 2008E USDA

Source: USDA. Source: USDA.

Given the potential for an early freeze to exert material damage on corn and soybean crops,
this spring’s delayed planting elevates 2008 frost risk, in our view. Current estimates
suggest that some regions may not reach maturity until early October, potentially placing
meaningful portions of the Midwest crop in late-season danger. We note that Iowa
reported its initial freeze as early as 9/17 last year. In addition to early fall risks, we
continue to see potential complications from interim conditions. Our regional contacts
stress the rising threat from wet conditions to drive less-obvious, soil-based issues for
soybeans including root rot and other pathogenic problems as summer progresses. With
nitrogen uptake already potentially reduced by excessive soil moisture, anecdotal reports
of farmers’ reluctance to engage in follow-up fertilizer applications given rising costs
further heightens the potential for yield deterioration. Rounding out our concerns, our
conversations also suggest that the early season importance of weed control may have
been compromised as farmers rushed for the completion of delayed plantings or re-plants
and initial fertilizer applications.

Goldman Sachs Commodities Research 3


August 15, 2008 Commodities: Agriculture

In addition to our concern over fundamentals, we find little comfort in updated yield
forecasts based off current crop conditions. Specifically, our analysis of monthly WASDE
estimates since 1997 indicates that the August report holds limited visibility into realized
yields (see Exhibit 4). For corn, August estimates have overstated actual yield four times
since 1997 and during each of the last two years, with a mean absolute yield differential of
4.3 bu/acre; for soybeans, yields have been overstated six times since 1997 with a mean
absolute yield differential of 2.3 bu/acre. For soybeans specifically, even after August’s
robust yield revision from July (-260bp), the existing outlook still ranks as the third-largest
August forecast since 1997 despite this year’s flooding (see Exhibit 5).

Taken within the context of the fundamental risks since planting and through harvest,
along with our industry conversations, we continue to see downside risk to existing corn
and soybean yield estimates. We wouldn’t rule out realized corn yields closer to 150 bu
and soybeans finishing sub-40 bu, respectively.

Exhibit 4: WASDE monthly correlation analysis Exhibit 5: WASDE soybean yield estimate analysis
August-December monthly yield estimates vs. realized May-August monthly yield estimate trend

42.5
1.20
Correlation - Monthly Estimate and Realized Yield

42.0
0.977 0.977 0.996 0.995 0.996 0.995
1.00
0.879 0.888
41.5

0.80 Yield (bushels/harvested acre)


0.684 41.0

0.60 40.5

0.40 40.0

39.5
0.20
0.105
39.0
0.00
August September October November December 38.5

Corn Soybeans
38.0
May June July August

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

Source: USDA. Source: USDA.

Despite output uncertainty, demand remains present


Further, we maintain our conviction that demand will be able to absorb incremental supply
upside. The recent pull-back in corn and soybean costs since early July has likely
supported margins across both the livestock and ethanol sectors, emboldening producers
to maintain near-term grains and oilseed usage. Confirming our expectations that any
downside demand adjustment may be minimal at most, the August WASDE raised 2008E
U.S. corn usage for both feed and fuel a combined +250mm bushels (or +2.7% vs. the July
estimate). We believe that any demand weakness is more a function of limited supply,
with rising prices moderating demand. Exhibit 6 highlights our estimated trend of U.S.
ethanol operating margins. After gyrating at near break-even or at negative levels for most
of the summer, we estimate that margins have moved back to May 2008 levels (roughly
$0.08/gallon).

Goldman Sachs Commodities Research 4


August 15, 2008 Commodities: Agriculture

Exhibit 6: Estimated U.S. ethanol production margins


$/gallon

3.5

3.0

2.5

2.0

1.5

1.0

0.5

0.0

-0.5
Mar-05 Jul-05 Nov-05 Mar-06 Jul-06 Nov-06 Mar-07 Jul-07 Nov-07 Mar-08 Jul-08

Source: Goldman Sachs Commodities Research.

On the livestock side, expectations for larger feed wheat substitution have moderated
since corn’s decline from the $8.00/bu level. Exhibit 7 highlights the recent spread history
between near-futures prices for CBOT wheat and corn, respectively. Given favorable winter
wheat harvests across the U.S. and globally, along with corn’s post-flooding June price
spike, expectations rose for increased wheat substitution in livestock feed this spring.
However, corn weakness since early July has reversed the spread’s trend, widening the
gap and minimizing the economic benefits of any feed trade-off. Further, with Cattle on
Feed down a smaller-than-expected -4% in each of the past two months, a U.S. hog
inventory at 6/1/08 still up +6% vs. 2007 and chicken production potentially just now
adjusting with more-robust cutbacks, the larger-than-expected U.S. livestock inventory
maintains base feed demand.

Our conversations with industry contacts also suggest that relief of feed corn demand from
rising DDG supply has been limited, providing support to corn grain demand. While a
scenario of severe demand rationing may be averted with strong U.S. corn and soybean
harvests, we continue to see demand straining tight carry-out into mid-2009.

Goldman Sachs Commodities Research 5


August 15, 2008 Commodities: Agriculture

Exhibit 7: Wheat/Corn price spread


CBOT corn/wheat spread in $/bu

Early 2008 supply concerns drive wheat premium


7 temporarily over +$7/bu. vs. corn, but subsequent
declines raised expectations for larger wheat feed
substitution.
6
However, recent corn price weakness since early July
expands wheat premium, reducing wheat's relative
5
attractiveness.

0
Apr-05

Aug-05

Apr-06

Aug-06

Apr-07

Aug-07

Apr-08
Dec-04

Feb-05

Jun-05

Oct-05

Dec-05

Feb-06

Jun-06

Oct-06

Dec-06

Feb-07

Jun-07

Oct-07

Dec-07

Feb-08

Jun-08
Source: CBOT.

For wheat, we continue to acknowledge that a rebounding world harvest (USDA forecasts
nearly +10% in 2008) and reduced expectations for wheat feed substitution present bearish
pricing headwinds and leave supply/demand more balanced relative to corn and soybeans.
However, our attention remains turned to deteriorating U.S. spring wheat conditions on
hot, dry weather across the upper Plains. With the spring crop comprising 25% of annual
U.S. wheat production, any yield shortfall likely suggests downside risks to 2008
stocks/use. On the demand side, last week’s export orders from Egypt and Japan, while
small, may signal that U.S. wheat has regained cost-competitive status on the global
market. We believe recent spring crop deterioration and expectations over strengthening
export demand have spurred renewed pricing strength and we expect these drivers to
continue into fall. As a result, we see moderate upside to CBOT wheat prices from current
levels.

Goldman Sachs Commodities Research 6


August 15, 2008 Commodities: Agriculture

Reg AC
I, Allison Nathan, hereby certify that all of the views expressed in this report accurately reflect my personal views, which have not been influenced
by considerations of the firm's business or client relationships.

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Goldman Sachs Commodities Research 7


August 15, 2008 Commodities: Agriculture

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Goldman Sachs Commodities Research 8


August 15, 2008 Commodities: Agriculture

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from doing so. Other than certain industry reports published on a periodic basis, the large majority of reports are published at irregular intervals as
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Clients should consider whether any advice or recommendation in this research is suitable for their particular circumstances and, if appropriate,
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Copyright 2008 Beijing Gao Hua Securities Company Limited
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Goldman Sachs Commodities Research 9