Ahead of the Open: Mixed Trading ahead of Month End, China Buying Supports Soy

Posted on 09/24/2019 8:18 AM

Grain Calls

Corn: Down 2 to 3 cents
Soybeans: Up 2 to 3 cents
Wheat: Down 1 to 3 cents

General Comment:  Chicago soybean futures were steady on Tuesday with support from news of U.S. export sales to China, while a positive U.S. crop conditions report weakened corn and wheat.

China has granted new waivers to several domestic state and private firms exempting them from retaliatory tariffs on soybeans imported from the United States, Bloomberg said, citing unidentified sources familiar with the matter. It said the waivers would apply to between 2 million and 3 million metric tons (MMT) of U.S. soybeans. Some of the companies have already bought at least 20 cargoes, or about 1.2 MMT of soybeans, on Monday, it added. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will be back in Washington the week of Oct. 7 as he heads the Chinese team meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Rain in west and east Europe pressured the wheat markets overnight the weekly crop progress report from the USDA after the market close on Monday said 57% of U.S. corn crops were in good-to-excellent condition, up from 55% last week and market expectations also of 55. The USDA said 22% of U.S. winter wheat had been planted, up sharply from 8% last week and above expectations of 18%. Some 87% of U.S. spring wheat was harvested, up from 76% last week and above market expectations of 83%.

USDA’s daily export sales reporting service announced no new large sales by private exporters.  

Corn: Futures opened steady to weaker on improved U.S. crop conditions. However, Midwest rains will continue to delay harvest and run the risk of field losses. The first freeze/frost risk is seen for parts of the norther Plains and Midwest Oct. 4-5.

SoybeansNovember soybeans seen firm on expectations for new Chinese purchases despite the lack of confirmation of Monday’s rumored sales this morning in the daily reporting service.

Wheat: Futures are fell back below the 40-day moving average and are down near the 20-day average this morning.  A close below that level would be a negative signal.

Livestock Calls

Cattle: Steady to firm
Hogs: Steady to firm

Cattle: Cattle seen steady to after gains on Monday. Trade data from China showed the country has ramped up its beef imports as African swine fever tightens its protein supplies. And yesterday’s Cold Storage Report reflected strong demand during August. On a less encouraging note, boxed beef prices softened Monday amid light movement.

Hogs: Look for the market to build on Monday’s rally. Cash hog firmed on Monday with the national average price gaining 46 cents.  Fresh pork cutouts up $1.03 on light movement.  Trading will be cautious ahead of USDA’s Hogs and Pigs report later this week. China will auction 10,000 MTof imported pork from its state reserves on Sept. 26, according to a notice from the China Merchandise Reserve Management Center on Tuesday. The auction of frozen pork is the second to be announced so far this month as China, the world's biggest consumer of the meat, looks to ease supply shortages and price spikes caused by the spread of African swine fever through its hog herd. China's retail pork prices were up more than 80% year-on-year at 41.90 yuan ($5.90) per kg in the second week of September, while wholesale prices have also risen 80.9% to 36.39 yuan per kg. South Korea continues all-out effort to halt the spread of African swine fever after the discovery a fifth case of the deadly hog disease.

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