Corn was weaker today as rhetoric between the U.S. & China amped up and demand for U.S. corn remains weak. This morning the trade was caught by surprise when China announced an additional $75 bln. in tariffs would be applied to U.S. products. Of that total, an extra 10% will be placed on U.S. corn, wheat & sorghum effective December 15th. December futures were able to close above initial support at $3.66 ¼ (this week’s low) but lost 13 cents from last Friday. Not only will traders be monitoring the trade situation as it continues to develop but more interest continues to be placed on the long-range weather outlooks. This comes as field scouts claim the crops will need to get to mid or late October before their first frost. Currently, conditions call for the Midwest to see normal to below normal temperatures for the next two weeks. At midday, the GFS weather map looked drier across the Delta and increased rain chance for IL over the next 10 days. Pro Farmer released their yield and production numbers after the close from their crop tour this week. They forecast the 2019 corn crop at 13.358 bln. bu. vs. USDA’s 13.901 bln. Average corn yield was projected at 163.3 bpa compared to USDA’s 169.5 bpa. Keep in mind, these numbers factor the tour in just as a portion of their overall estimate. Monday will bring the trade’s next look at U.S. crop condition ratings. A week ago, NASS forecast the U.S. corn crop at 56% GTE, having noted improvements in IA, IL & IN and significant declines in MO, NE & TN. In regard to biofuel waivers, news to end the week suggested the Trump administration is no longer expected to rescind any waivers already granted to oil refiners after a meeting on Thursday at the White House.
Soybeans ended the day lower on news China will soon impose an additional $75 bln. in tariffs on U.S. products. Of that total, an extra 5% tariff will be placed on U.S. beans effective September 1st. This news escalated tensions between the two countries, suggesting a trade deal between the U.S & China is not eminent in the near future and the odds the two will meet for negotiations in September seems more unlikely. As of midday, funds were estimated to have sold approximately 8,000 contracts of beans. The November contract closed the session 12 ¼ cents weaker and lost 16 ½ cents from last Friday. Earlier in the week, the U.S. did show some soybean export business with China. Although, it paled in comparison to their purchases from Brazil. In the past week, China was reported to have booked 50+ vessels of Brazilian beans and are thought to have their needs covered through mid-October. Pro Farmer released their 2019 U.S. soybean production & yield estimates this afternoon, forecasting a 3.497 bln. bu. bean crop vs. USDA at 3.680 bln. and yield at 46.1 bpa compared to USDA’s estimate of 48.5. NASS will release their updated crop condition ratings Monday afternoon. Most recently they had rated the U.S. soybean crop at 53% GTE.
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