Market News

Soybeans, corn, wheat down after Christmas break

Soybeans were lower on fund and technical selling in quiet post-holiday trade. The trade is waiting for any new demand news from China ahead of the resumption of face to face negotiations, which are expected to start in January. China will repeal import tariffs on “alternative” feeds at the start of the year but has made no motion on officially ending tariffs on soybeans and bean meal. With the current government shutdown, it remains to be seen how the USDA’s Foreign Ag Service will announce new export sales. Inspections agencies and the market news division will be open until funding runs out. Beans are also watching development conditions in Argentina and Brazil. Soybean meal and oil followed beans lower. Weekly export inspections were bearish. China’s General Administration of Customs says Beijing bought exactly 0 U.S. soybeans in November, buying from Brazil.

Corn was modestly lower on fund and technical selling coming back from the day off for Christmas. Corn is also waiting for trade developments with continued talk of China buying U.S. corn, along with South American weather. More precipitation is expected in some of the drier areas of South America in the near future. The government shutdown is expected to delay some critical USDA reports, including the ones currently still expected to be out January 11th. The timing of the numbers will be linked to just how long the shutdown will last. The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service and Economic Research Service are closed until the government reopens. Ethanol futures were mixed. The U.S. Energy Information Agency’s weekly ethanol supply and production report is scheduled for Friday. Weekly export inspections were bullish.

The wheat complex was lower on fund and technical selling in a quiet session after Tuesday’s pause. Contracts were up early and wheat is oversold, but the fundamental outlook remains bearish. U.S. winter wheat acreage could hit a hundred year low because of weather either delaying planting or delaying soybean harvest activity in double crop areas, potentially eventually supporting prices. Those are two questions that might still be answered January 11th, or those reports might get delayed, depending on how quickly the government shutdown is resolved. Debate is expected to resume Thursday when the Senate comes back into session, but recent rhetoric indicates both sides are entrenched. A shift in fundamentals would also require some world crop loss. Weekly export inspections were bearish. Morocco is tendering for 345,455 tons of durum and Bangladesh is in the market for 50,000 tons of milling wheat.

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