Morning Comments February 1, 2019

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Opening calls:

Corn:  2 to 4 Higher

Beans:  12 to 14 Higher

 

The corn market fell yesterday on technical selling after the March contract failed to hold support at the $3.80 level. There was also a report from BA Grain Exchange that estimated the Argentine corn crop at 45 mmt, up from their previous estimate of 43 mmt and above the USDA’s December estimate of 42.5 mmt. Yesterday’s export sales report reflected data for the week ending December 20th, 2018 as the USDA begins to catch up with data not reported during the government shutdown. As a result, the data reported yesterday was a month old, so its impact on prices was minimal and more muted than in normal circumstances. Based on the USDA’s planned release of past data, the most current level of sales/commitments on the books will not be known until the report to be released February 28th.

 

Soybean sales for the week ended 12/20/18 of 2.391 mmt (87.9 mil bu) included sales to China of 1.466 mmt and were in addition to the previous week’s sales to China of 1.561 mmt, which came following trade talks in Argentina late in November/early December. For what we know through December 20th, total commitments of 1.100 bil bu were still down 26% from last year’s 1.483 bil bu and would require soybean sales to average roughly 23.1 mil bu/week through the end of August to reach the USDA’s 1.900 bil bu export projection vs. last year’s sales from that point forward of 18.9 mil bu/week. The BA Grain Exchange estimated the Argentine soybean crop at 53 mmt, unchanged from their previous estimate and a bit lower than the USDA’s December estimate of 55.5 mmt.

 

The March dollar index is trading 9 points lower this morning at around 95.21. This morning the March crude oil contract is trading around $0.10 higher at $54.00.

 

Have a good weekend and enjoy the warmer weather!