Corn ended the week with modest gains. CH was 1 ¾ cents higher, CK rose 2 cents, and CZ added ½ cent. There wasn’t much in the way of fresh news regarding corn today with the market benefitting from spillover support from higher soybean, energy, and equity markets. Commodity funds were buyers of corn today although amounts were small with purchases as of midday estimated at 2000 contracts. A news story today reported that China has offered to buy more than $1 trillion in goods from the U.S. over the next six years in a new trade deal. This would eliminate the trade surplus China has with the U.S. The offer is evidence that the two countries have not come to an agreement on the contentious issue of intellectual property and that a lot of work remains to be done to come to a new trade deal. China’s exports fell in December to the lowest level in more than two years. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange reported that 90% of Argentine’s corn crop has been planted with wet weather delaying the completion of seeding. The Brazilian summer corn harvest is just getting started as is the seeding of the safrinha crop. The dryness across much of Brazil during December and January has likely cut the first crop production and threatens to slow planting of the safrinha crop.
Soybeans were higher today as SH and SK each rose 9 cents and SX was 7 ½ cents better. Commodity funds were buyers of an estimated 6000 soybean contracts as of mid-session. Like corn, there wasn’t a lot of fresh news involving soybeans here at week’s end with higher energy and equity markets offering support. Latest weather forecasts show a continuation of drier than normal conditions across much of central and northern Brazil the next two weeks before a pattern change brings better rainfall chances beyond February 5th. Should this forecast verify, the Brazilian crop size will decrease further, possibly to near 110 MMT’s (the USDA December estimate was 122 MMT’s). The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange estimated that 96% of the Argentine soybean crop has been planted with 90% of the crop in good condition, but it also said that 18% of the crop is currently experiencing excess moisture.
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