CBOT prices are red at midday with corn, soybean and wheat futures trading lower from overnight highs on profit taking. The volume of trade remains extremely limited with most traders having closed their books on 2018.
The CBOT trades a full session and there is likely to be year end tax positioning at the close. Today’s limited volume could skew late day price action. ARC looks for a mixed close and we would not be making new sales with farmer selling limited from both the US and South America.
** Brokers estimate that funds have sold 2,100 contracts of wheat and 3,100 contracts of corn, while being flat in soybeans (early buyer/midday seller). Funds have sold 1,100 soymeal while buying 2,700 contracts of soyoil.
** For the week ending December 27th, the US shipped out 35.9 Mil Bu of corn, 24.9 Mil Bu of soybeans, and 13.8 Mil Bu of wheat. For their respective crop years to date, the US has exported 705 Mil Bu of corn (up 71% or 288 Mil Bu), 607 Mil Bu of soybeans (down 43% or 436 Mil Bu), and 465 Mil Bu of wheat (down 13% or 69 Mil Bu). The US wheat and soybean export pace remain disappointing.
** China is out on New Year Holidays today and tomorrow, but they will return on Wednesday. China was checking US cash soybean prices on Friday. Based on the progress in US/China trade talks, they are expected to return for purchases during the early days of 2019. China is likely to purchase US ag goods ahead of a US delegation that will be heading to China next week. If that delegation proves fruitful, it’s likely that high level Chinese leaders will be heading to Washington to meet with USTR head Lighthizer by the end of January. The US/China can always extend trade talks if needed, but we are told that the progress to date is producing hope that a US/China deal can be cut by March 1st. US President Xi and Chinese President Trump could also meet in Davos should it be necessary. The hope of every US farmer in the year ahead is that the US inks a trade deal with China that helps the US reduce its trade deficit. ARC notes that US Sec Treasury Mnuchin keeps talking about a $1.2 Tril dollar trade deal with China – which we can only assumes involves a host of US ag and energy commodities over a decade or more.
** The Democrats will take over the US House of Representatives on Thursday. A deal to open the Gov’t is not expected, but at least negotiations can start!
** Midday GFS South American Weather Discussion: The midday GFS solution is like the overnight run with below normal rain chances across NC and NE Brazil into mid-January. Soaking rains of 3-8.00” impact NC Argentina with drier weather across BA. The weather forecast for Brazil offers enough rain for crop stability. The big worry would be Argentina where low-lying flooding could damage HRW wheat quality and wash out some newly planted soybeans. ARC pegs the 2019 Brazilian soybean crop at 120 MMTs due to an extra 3.1 Mil acres of soybeans that are planted. If the NC Brazilian dryness continues through January, the crop may decline to 117-118 MMTs.
** AgResource Market Analysis: The world wheat markets are ill defined via the holiday, but brokers tell ARC that cash offers outside of the US are steady/firm with US SRW the cheapest wheat in the world by a longshot. China is likely to return for US soybeans and other ag goods late week. The marketplace is not believing that the US/China are working thru a trade deal that could open up China’s ag marketplace. Amid declining South American crop production, this is no place to make new sales. Our research argues that wheat/corn are too cheap! Excessive rains across Argentina has to be closely monitored.