The commodities are mixed this morning, with corn and beans trading slightly higher while wheat futures are lower. Traders continue to await updates regarding U.S./China trade negotiations. Per a Reuters article over the weekend, China is not conceding to U.S. demands to ease curbs on tech companies. The next round of talks is set to begin this Thursday (in China) with both Trade Chief Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin representing the U.S. The Chinese team is then scheduled to return to the U.S. for talks next week. Late last week, corn futures found support from news China’s COFCO bought 300,000 tonnes of U.S. corn. However, at this point in time, follow-up purchases seem unlikely as China has cheaper corn offers from other countries. Along with trade, the weather also remains in the forefront as wet conditions increase concerns regarding spring planting. Even though its early, discussion is circulating regarding the situation in the WCB and N. Plains. It was reported that 57 counties in IA have been designated eligible for disaster relief, and they were not impacted nearly as much as NE, the Dakotas & MN. Early this week, weather conditions are forecast to be mostly dry for the Plains and Midwest, while the mid-South and most of the east coast is expected to be wet. Rains however are expected to move back into the central U.S. late this week. Expectations for a wet spring are influencing acreage estimates as analysts start to step back their corn plantings forecasts. Bloomberg released estimates for Friday's Prospective Plantings report, in which the corn area was estimated near 91.3 mln. acres while beans were seen near 86.2 mln. The March 29th acreage estimates will come out alongside quarterly Grain Stocks this Friday at 11am CST. The trade expects to see corn inventories come down from a year ago, from 8.9 to 8.3 bln. bu. and for soybean stocks to increase from 2.1 to 2.7 bln. bu. Late last week, NASS issued final county yield estimates. Illinois led the nation in soybean production in 2018 with the 14 highest yielding counties, including Sangamon county at the top spot with a yield average of 82.3 bpa. McLean county scored first in terms of total bean output for the season. The top yielding county in the state for corn was Douglas County at 246 bpa.
7-day precip forecast (Mar 25-Apr 2)
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