Corn closed mixed and close to unchanged in what seemed a disinterested trade. Funds were sellers of 2,000 corn contracts at mid-day and hold an estimated record short position of 289,000 contracts. CK fell just over 2 cents this week but it felt like much more. U.S./China trade negotiations dragging on, S. America on line for good production, lower U.S. export demand compared to earlier expectations, U.S. weather expecting improvement, and 19/20 U.S. ending stocks currently estimated near 2.3 bln. bu. are all bearish factors that seemingly are overwhelming the marketplace. NWS May weather forecast shows average precip. in most of the corn belt and normal to above normal temps. This is welcome after what so far has been a cool/wet April. A continuation of this trend will be an issue after planting, but we’ll worry about that once we get there. U.S. trade delegation heading to China at the end of April – maybe a resolution by the end of May? Trade obviously would have liked a quicker announcement. Weekly export sales at the upper end of estimates at 37.3 mln. bu. with YTD commitments at 1.759 bln. bu. vs. 1.940 bln. bu. last year. Columbia, Japan, and Mexico the buyers of note.
Soybeans closed 1-2 cents firmer today in light trade. Funds are estimated short 86,000 soybean contracts. SK fell 15 cents this week. Brazil is approaching 90% harvested in soybeans with production estimates gravitating to the 115 MMT area. Argentine production in the 55-56 MMT range. No worries over production. U.S. soybean acres may adjust upwards if corn planting delayed and when coupled with ample 18/19 ending stock of 895 mln. bu., there’s not much market urgency. 19/20 ending stocks are currently estimated at 875 mln. bu. China did not come in for a big purchase this week, not that that is a huge surprise. Weekly soybean export sales came in at 14.0 mln. bu. and bring YTD commitments to 1.627 bln. bu. vs. 1.983 bln. bu. last year. Talk continues regarding the decline of China’s hog herd due to ASF. Estimates of the losses are very erratic, but the general consensus is that the rest of the world combined can’t begin to cover them regarding pork exports to China. How this impacts SB and SBM demand still very much an unknown.
Wheat continues its dismal performance as it fell 2 cents today and 20 cents this week. Weakness this week tied to larger Russian crop and good U.S. wheat conditions. Weekly export sales were 11.7 mln. bu. and bring YTD commitments to 915 mln. bu. vs 844 mln. bu. last year. CIF values steady this week.
CME closed tomorrow, Good Friday, reopens Sunday evening at 7:00
New trading limits as of May 1st.: YC 25 cents (unchanged), SB 65 cents (+5 cents), Wht 35 cents (unchanged)