Market Commentary  03/19/19 3:26:17 PM Printer Friendly VersionPrinter Friendly Version

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Corn futures finished near unchanged on what was another quiet session. News continues to be limited as the market awaits China trade news or for the calendar to get close enough where we can talk about U.S. weather. The USDA will update corn acres on March 29th along with grain stocks. The market likely pays more attention to weather once that report is out. Talk that trade negotiations with China are getting close to being final helped the grain markets to firm back near unchanged by the close. Wet conditions throughout the corn belt are preventing an early start to spring fieldwork. The ground is beyond saturated in the western corn belt, which is causing concerns for transportation and livestock. The Delta is also wet so corn planting is still delayed. The southwest has been drier with Texas at 26% planted versus the average of 23%. The Brazilian President is in town this week to talk to Trump about trade. Topics are expected to include wheat, beef, and ethanol. The 1st corn crop in Brazil is 48% planted, right on average. The 2nd corn crop is basically all planted and off to a good start. Ethanol numbers will be out tomorrow. Margins have improved but still weak compared to the past few years.


Soybean futures closed a couple of cents lower today as the trade awaits the conclusion of trade negotiations with China. News today centered around talk that a deal is getting closer. Reps from the U.S. are expected to head to China next week to hopefully help end the dispute. Trade reps from China are then expected to head to the U.S. the week after. A target date of the end of April is hopeful to finalize the long-awaited solution to the trade disagreements. The market has had limited reaction to these stories recently as they want actual confirmation that the dispute is over and want confirmation that China is going to buy U.S. ag products. The USDA will update acreage and grain stocks next week. It is expected that bean acres will be lowered from last year’s 89.2 Mln acres, but it is looking like it may not be lowered as much as the balance sheet needs. African Swine Fever continues to be a challenge for Asia and continues to spread. It has had some negative affect on bean demand in China, but the full impact is still unknown. The U.S. is taking strong measure to make sure it does not cross the ocean.

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