A Seasonal System For Soybean Futures by Markos Katsanos
Here’s a system that exploits
historical seasonal patterns to
trade soybean futures.
Some markets are affected by certain fundamental factors that are seasonal in nature. These tend to recur at the same time each year, influencing the price trend of these markets. The commodity markets have always offered seasonal trading opportunities. Soybeans, corn, and heating oil are three examples of typical seasonal markets. In the case of grains, seasonality is defined by planting and harvest.
Normally, we can expect prices to be low during harvest when supply tends to be largest and higher during growing because supplies are not readily available and the new yield is still uncertain. From these seasonal patterns, we can derive a seasonal trading approach that is designed to anticipate and capture seasonal price trends.
The United States is the world’s biggest soybean exporter (38% of world production), followed by Brazil (25%) and Argentina (19%). In the US, most of the soybean crops are grown in the Midwest and the Mississippi Delta regions.
Typically, the southernmost areas will begin planting first in late April, followed by the northern states in the beginning of May. Harvest activity in the US usually starts in the third week of September, reaches a peak in October, and finishes in the beginning or mid-November, depending on the geographic latitude. The November contract is therefore the new crop, while the July contract, which has been sitting in storage since last year, is the old crop.