March corn unchanged at $3.8025
March beans down 4 ½ at $9.2075
The DOW is down
USD is stronger
Crude oil down $1.05 at $52.64
Corn continues to trade in a tight, sideways channel. The old-crop MAR19 contract has essentially traded between $3.70 and $3.90 per bushels since late last September. Today we find ourselves dead in the middle of that range with prices trading at around $3.80 per bushel. The DEC19 new-crop contract has essentially traded between $3.90 and $4.08 per bushel since late-September. Our highest new-crop close since the end of October is $4.05^2, which happened back on November 8th. This morning new-crop prices are trading at around $4.03, which is very near the upper end of the range.
Soybean traders are bracing for an extremely volatile week. The USDA is back online and fresh data will soon start circulating. At the same time, the biggest meeting to date with the Chinese is scheduled to happen Wednesday and Thursday in Washington. The trade has been suspecting positive headlines to come from the event, so a surprise would be something negative or less than anticipated. South American weather is little changed from late last week and will continue to be closely monitored. Production hiccups in Brazil associated with overly dry conditions continue to trim production estimates. There’s also pockets of overly wet conditions in parts of Argentina that have caused some complications.
China’s soybean imports from the U.S. plunged 99% in December to just 69,298 metric tons, customs data showed on Friday, taking its full-year 2018 imports to the lowest level since 2008. U.S. shipments in December fell from 6.19 million metric tons year earlier. China did not import any U.S. soybeans in November. For the full year, imports from the U.S. were at 16.6 million metric tons, about half of 2017’s 32.9 million metric tons. By contrast, China brought in 4.39 million metric tons of soybeans from Brazil in December, up 126% from 1.94 million metric tons a year ago. (Source: China’s General Administration of Customs, Reuters)
World soybean production is expected to set a new high this season despite drought in Brazil. At the same time, the trade war will push U.S exports “well below the peaks of earlier seasons” and result in a doubling in U.S. inventories in one year. (Source: IGC)