Market News

Slow harvest pace props up corn, soybeans

Soybeans were modestly higher on short covering and technical buying. Contracts were due for a bounce as the trade waits for phase one of the proposed deal with China to be signed. It’s been a week of mixed signals, with some positive signs from weekend negotiations, followed by reported pessimism from Beijing because of President Trump’s refusal to roll back tariffs. President Trump Tuesday said that if a deal is not done, already existing tariffs will be raised. The next round of U.S. tariffs is scheduled to go into effect December 15th. The U.S. harvest remains slower than average but could wrap up in some areas soon. Planting and development conditions for Argentina and Brazil generally look non-threatening. Brazil’s around 70% planted and Argentina is at 20%. Soybean meal was steady to firm and soybean oil was higher. South Korean feed mills reportedly bought 119,000 of soybean meal.

Corn was modestly higher on short covering and technical buying. Corn was also oversold and due for a bounce, also with a slower than average 2019 harvest pace, continuing what’s been a miserable growing season for some producers. Most near-term forecasts look dry, but parts of the region could see more precipitation around midweek. Propane availability is a continued issue in parts of the Midwest and Plains. Export demand has been a disappointment, with a lot of competition from South America and Ukraine, but for the second day in a row, unknown destinations bought 2019/20 U.S. corn, 191,000 tons, bringing the two-day total to 323,000 tons. South Korean buyers reportedly picked up 65,000 tons of optional origin corn. Ethanol futures were steady to lower. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly ethanol production and supply report is out Wednesday.

The wheat complex was mixed, with Chicago and Kansas City up and Minneapolis steady to weak. Winter wheat planting is in-line with the average, but emergence is slow and the USDA’s national condition rating was down for the second week in a row and is below a year ago. The USDA projects a record global supply at the end of the marketing year, with the next set of supply, demand, and production estimates out December 10th. Strategie Grains lowered its winter wheat planted area guess for the European Union because of heavy rainfall in western areas. Russia’s Ag Ministry says the year to date wheat harvest total of 77.9 million tons. Shipments from Canada will likely be impacted from a rail strike from workers at Canadian National Railway. DTN says Japan is tendering for 119,998 tons of food wheat.

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