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Soybeans Close Higher on Reports Trade Talks Successful

U.S. and Chinese negotiators will meet again next week as March 1 deadline nears.

Soybeans closed higher Friday on reports that trade talks between the U.S. and China went well, while wheat futures finished lower. 

Negotiations will continue next week in Washington after U.S. Trade Representative and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met with Chinese leaders including Vice Premier Liu He this week in Beijing. 

President Donald Trump told reporters that the sides are close to having a “real trade deal” with China, but reiterated that the ongoing talks were “very complicated.” Still, traders saw the fact that another round of talks is scheduled for next week as a good sign.  

It’s still unclear whether the White House will extend its March 1 deadline for a deal, after which the administration has said it would raise its tariff rate on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from 10%, but Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that the U.S. and China would continue to work on issues. 

Soybean futures for March delivery gained 4¼¢ to $9.07¾ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal rose 70¢ to $306.20 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.08¢ to 29.97¢ a pound. 

Corn finished unchanged at $3.74¾ a bushel. 

Wheat futures fell on fears that Russian farmers will open their bin doors amid rising prices for the grain, creating a glut.

Russian wheat prices remained high, UkrAgroConsult said in a report on Friday, leading some producers to sell for export. Prices are so high, however, that Egypt shunned Russian supplies on Feb. 8 for the second straight tender. 

Exports of Russian wheat in the 2018-2019 marketing year that ends on May 31 are pegged at 37 million metric tons, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report earlier this month, up from a previous forecast for 36.5 million tons.

Wheat dropped 3¾¢ to $5.03¼ a bushel in Chicago while Kansas City futures lost 5¼¢ to $4.76¼ a bushel. 

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Thursday’s Market Recap

Soybeans and grains closed lower Thursday as part of a broad-based sell-off in equities and commodities Thursday after a disappointing retail sales report and a lack of news over ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and China. 

The Census Bureau said retail sales in December dropped 1.2%, missing forecasts for a slight increase, sending stock indexes lower. U.S. oil prices declined with benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude declined 0.7%. 

Agriculture commodities fell in sympathy as trade negotiations continue in Beijing. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continued talks with Chinese representatives, and the South China Morning Post reported that the U.S. delegation will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said the talks were “going very well,” and a USDA official said at a conference that Trump will meet with Xi in March. It’s unclear at this point whether the U.S. will raise its tariff rate on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods if a deal isn’t reached by March 1. 

Soybean futures for March delivery fell 10¾¢ to $9.04¾ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal lost $4.10 to $306 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.09¢ to 30.25¢ a pound. 

Corn declined 4¼¢ to $3.74½ a bushel. 

Wheat dropped 15¢ to $5.07¼ a bushel in Chicago while Kansas City futures lost 11¾¢ to $4.82¼ a bushel. 

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Wednesday’s Market Recap

It was a quiet day on the Chicago Board of Trade as market-watchers await news from the ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and China. 

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are in Beijing this week to meet with a Chinese delegation including Vice Premier Liu He. 

President Donald Trump said the talks are going “very well” today. USDA Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky said at a renewable fuels conference that Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet next month, Reuters reported. 

Analysts have been on both sides of the fence about which way things will go during the negotiations. Talks two weeks ago, however, were reportedly successful in moving each country’s respective agendas along. So far, though, there’s been little news out of Beijing on how this week's meetings have gone. 

Trump said yesterday that it’s possible that he’ll let a March 1 deadline for a trade agreement with the Asian nation “slide” for a short time, but would prefer not to. 

The White House had said if a deal wasn’t in place by the beginning of March, the U.S. would raise its tariff on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from their current level of 10%. 

Soybean futures for March delivery closed unchanged at $9.17½ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal rose $1.10 to $310.30 a short ton and soy oil declined 0.32¢ to 30.01¢ a pound. 

Corn rose ¾¢ to $3.79 a bushel. 

Wheat added 1½¢ to $5.21½ a bushel in Chicago while Kansas City futures gained 1½¢ to $4.93½ a bushel. 

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Tuesday’s Market Recap

Soybeans closed higher Tuesday on optimism about the ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and China. 

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin kicked off talks between the world's two largest powers in Beijing, meeting with Vice Premier Liu He and other Chinese officials. 

President Donald Trump said it's possible that he'll let a March 1 deadline for a trade agreement with the Asian nation "slide" for a short time, but that he prefers not to. The president said he still wants to meet with China President Xi Jinping to close out a trade deal. The White House had said if a deal wasn't in place by the beginning of March, the U.S. would raise its tariff on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from their current level of 10%. 

Progress was made during negotiations two weeks ago, but there's still a lot of work to be done, officials have said. Mnuchin said before the meetings that he was looking forward to meeting with his Chinese counterparts again. 

In Brazil, hot, dry weather has hurt crop prospects as projections for output decline. The U.S. Deparatment of Agriculture said in a report last week that it now forecasts Brazilian production at 117 million metric tons, down from a prior outlook for 122 million tons. Some rain is in the forecast for growing regions, which should boost prospects. 

Soybean futures for March delivery 12 1/4¢ to $9.17 1/2 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal added $4.50 to $309.40 a short ton and soy gained 0.08¢ to 30.32¢ a pound. 

Corn rose 5¢ to $3.77 3/4 a bushel. 

Wheat gained 1 3/4¢ to $5.20 a bushel in Chicago while Kansas City futures declined 2 3/4¢ to $4.91 a bushel. 

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Monday's Market Recap

Soybeans closed lower on Monday while grains were little changed amid pessimism about the ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and China.

Officials including U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are in Beijing for another round of talks with Chinese officials including Vice Premier Liu He. 

Negotiations about two weeks ago in Washington went fairly well by all accounts, but officials have said there’s a lot of work that needs to be done before a deal can be made. President Donald Trump said last week that he likely won’t meet with his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, before the end of March as he’d previously planned.

The U.S. and China had set a deadline of March 1 for an agreement on trade between the world’s two largest economies. 

If a deal wasn’t made by that date, the White House has said it will raise the tariff rate on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from their current level of 10%. 

Soybean futures for March delivery fell 8¾¢ to $9.05¾ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal lost $1 to $305.10 a short ton and soy dropped 0.62¢ to 30.25¢ a pound. 

Corn fell ¾¢ to $3.73½ a bushel. 

Wheat rose 1¢ to $5.18¼ a bushel in Chicago while Kansas City futures declined ¼¢ to $4.94 a bushel. 

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