Tuesday Afternoon Comments-Oct. 15th Corn futures closed 3 to 4 cents weaker today and settled back within the past week’s range. The lack of any trade confirmations with China and an overall better weather forecast for harvest weighed on futures today. Details surrounding the promised Phase 1 trade deal with China continue to be fuzzy. The U.S. talked late last week about $40 to $50 Bln. of planned ag purchases from China. The amounts, time frame, and commodities covered have not been announced yet. China has also stated that they may want to review the details of the deal before they agree to sign it. It is thought that both countries will meet in Chile on November 16th, hopefully to sign an agreement. The extended weather forecast is expected to trend warmer with normal to above normal temps advertised through the end of the month. Combines will have to dodge occasional rain drops so it is not expected to be completely clear. The areas to the north will need a couple of weeks to return to the field as the snow needs to melt first. Crop losses will occur in those areas, but the totals will be hard to quantify until harvest is over. The crop progress report this afternoon is expected to show 24% of the corn crop harvested. That compares to 15% last week and the average of 27%. Corn inspections today totaled 18.5 Mln. bu. Total inspections for the year stand at 98.27 Mln. bu. versus 272.5 Mln. bu. a year ago.
Soybeans finished 6 cents weaker as harvest progress continues to push along. The uncertainty around the lack of trade details in the proposed Phase 1 has leaked some of last week’s enthusiasm out of the prices. The U.S. is expecting a large influx of ag purchases from China, but the confirmations are lacking so far. China now acts like it wants to review the particulars again before agreeing to sign off. The U.S. did stop the rise of tariffs from 25% to 30% on a chunk of Chinese products that was expected to go into effect today. China would like reassurance that additional tariff increases (scheduled for Dec. 15th) do not go into effect. The crop progress report is expected to show 25% of the beans harvested. This compares to 14% last week and the average of 36%. Bean inspections today totaled 35.1 Mln. bu. Total bean inspections stand at 189.6 Mln. bu. versus 176.5 Mln. bu. a year ago. The USDA this morning announced a sale of 142,579 tons of beans to unknown destinations for 19/20. The weekly ethanol report and export sales will both be delayed a day this week due to Monday’s holiday.