Corn futures closed 7-9 cents higher today in a 13-cent trading range. CH fell just 8 cents this week after sharp losses Monday/Tuesday on Covid fears. The idea that Covid would slow world economic activity and the need for buying commodities as an “inflationary hedge” was viewed as negative. The DOW was down 900 points last Friday and another 850 points lower Mon-Wed before finding a bit of stability Thurs-Fri, though it is lower again today. General confusion over the Omicron strain in addition to concern over the Fed and interest rates will continue to influence futures. Volatility rules. Funds were buyers of 6,000 corn contracts mid-day to add to an estimated long position of 343,000 contracts this morning. In weekly export announcements, Columbia picked up 150 tmt of U.S. corn. Also, China is reportedly buying U.S. corn off the PNW today and if so, will mark the first time since spring that they have shown up in the buy column. FOB corn values for both NOLA and the PNW are steady this week for January shipment.
Soybeans closed 21-23 cents higher in a 25-cent trading range. Funds were buyers of 5,000 contracts at mid-session to add to an estimated long position of 37,000 contracts. Early week losses were erased, and SF gained 18 cents for the week. Daily export announcements through the week totaling 418 tmt to unknown destinations (that the trade assumes is China) and 130 tmt of sales to China, along with talk China purchased 24-28 cargoes of Brazil/U.S. beans this week with 15-18 of those being U.S. origin helped support futures this week. China is thought to be 55% covered for January needs. Trade continues to work out export demand moving forward. How much U.S. export demand was lost due to Hurricane Ida vs. more than expected inventory in Brazil remains a point of contention as is how many beans China buys from the U.S. Talk is they will buy 30 MMT and we currently have 20.4 MMT of known destination sales on the books. That leaves just 353 mln. bu. to go. S. American weather will quickly take up more space when 2022 begins. Argentina/southern Brazil are generally too dry, the balance of Brazil is good to possibly a bit too wet in some areas.
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