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Soybeans, Corn Slightly Higher Ahead of USDA Data

Several reports due Friday as government plays catch up from partial shutdown.

Soybeans and corn were slightly higher ahead of a large release of government data later this morning. 

Analysts are waiting for the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates that will give projections for global production, including updated estimates for Brazil where hot weather has reportedly taken a toll on crops, along with domestic forecasts. 

The quarterly grains stocks report also is expected. The WASDE and stocks reports were delayed due to the government shutdown that lasted 35 days, the longest in history. For now, it seems analysts are taking a wait-and-see approach to the reports. 

Prices are also little changed amid uncertainty over trade talks between the U.S. and China. 

On the downside, President Donald Trump confirmed reports that he won’t meet with China President Xi Jinping before the March 1 deadline. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, however, will travel to Beijing next week to continue high-level negotations after last weeks’ talks that were mostly positive. 

Soybean futures for March delivery rose ¾¢ to $9.14 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal added $1.40 to $306.90 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.21¢ to 30.60¢ a pound. 

Corn futures added 2¢ to $3.78½ a bushel.

Wheat for March delivery gained 7½¢ to $5.20¾ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures rose 3¢ to $4.99¼ a bushel. 

Watch the Commodity Markets - Feb. 7, 2019

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Thursday’s Market Recap

Soybeans were lower in early trading Thursday on concerns about a trade deal between the U.S. and China and as rains in Brazil ease concerns about the South American crop. 

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said on Fox Business news that there's a lot of work still to be done before a trade deal with China is signed. 

CNBC said in a report the planned meeting between presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping likely won't happen before the March 1 deadline, but that the U.S. likely will keep tariffs at 10% instead of raising them to 25%. 

In Brazil, some scattered showers are falling in northern states, reaching about half of the driest corn and soybean areas in northeastern areas, Commodity Weather Group said in a report. Relief also is expected to spread through remaining dry spots in central Brazil in the middle of next week, which should aid corn and sugar.

Precipitation also is expected in far southern Brazil into Paraguay, which will limit concerns for soybeans, at least for now, the forecaster said. There's still some dry weather in Sao Paulo and eastern Mato Grosso do Sul, CWG said. 

Crop areas in Brazil have been suffering from hot, dry weather for much of the past couple of months, threatening crop production. Excessive rain in Argentina, meanwhile, also is causing concern.

Prices were lower despite sales of soybeans to China reported the past two days. On Wednesday, the USDA said exporters sold 523,000 metric tons to the Asian nation and 182,000 tons to unknown buyers. On Tuesday, the USDA said China had purchased 2.6 million tons for delivery in the marketing year that ends on August 31, though it's unclear when the sales occurred. Sales of 274,000 tons to unknown destinations also were reported on Tuesday.

Soybean futures for March delivery fell 8 3/4¢ to $9.13 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal lost $3.50 to $305.50 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.12¢ to 30.78¢ a pound. 

Corn futures fell 3 1/2¢ to $3.76 1/2 a bushel.

Wheat for March delivery lost 13 1/4¢ to $5.12 3/4 a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures declined 13 3/4¢ to $4.95 1/2 a bushel. 

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Wedesday’s Market Recap

Soybeans and grains finished Wednesday’s session little changed – the same way they started the day – as investors await news on exports and trade talks between the U.S. and China. 

The USDA earlier this week said China bought 612,000 metric tons of soybeans, well below the 1 million tons that had been reported. 

Still, talks between the countries last week went well enough that the sides have reportedly scheduled another round for later this month. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will reportedly travel to Beijing next week to continue the high-level talks. 

President Donald Trump has said he will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping to finalize a deal when the time comes. The White House has said if an agreement isn’t in place by March 1, it will raise its tariff rate on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from their current level of 10%. 

Soybean futures for March delivery rose 1¢ to $9.21¼ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal lost 60¢ to $308.90 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.46¢ to 30.84¢ a pound. 

Corn futures lost ¾¢ to $3.80 a bushel.

Wheat futures for March delivery lost 3¢ to $5.24¼ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City fell 3¼¢ to $5.08 a bushel. 

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Tuesday’s Market Recap

Soybeans closed slightly higher Tuesday on optimism that a trade deal between the U.S. and China will be worked out.

Top-level negotiators from the U.S. and China including Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Vice Premier Liu He met last week in Washington to work on an agreement. Few had expected a deal to be signed after the two-day talks, but both sides said the negotiations went well. 

Still, there’s more work to be done, U.S. officials have said. President Trump said he will meet with his counterpart President Xi Jinping later this month in a bid to close a deal. 

If a deal isn’t reached by March 1, the White House has said it will raise its tariff rate on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25% from their current level of 10%. China would, no doubt, retaliate with trade barriers of its own. 

Prices rebounded from early losses after the USDA reported sales of 612,000 metric tons of soybeans to the Asian country. Traders, producers, and analysts were disappointed by the figure after Reuters had reported sales of 1 million tons. 

Soybean futures for March delivery rose 1¾¢ to $9.20¼ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal lost $1.30 to $309.30 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.26¢ to 30.39¢ a pound. 

Corn futures gained 1¼¢ to $3.80½ a bushel.

Wheat futures for March delivery rose 1¾¢ to $5.27½ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City added 1¢ to $5.11½ a bushel. 

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Monday’s Market Recap

Soybeans closed slightly higher Monday amid optimism that the U.S. and China will be able to hammer out an agreement by the start of March. 

Talks between officials including Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington last week went well enough that China reportedly bought 1 million metric tons of American soybeans.

The negotiations aren’t over yet, and President Trump said he would talk with Chinese President Xi Jinping to work out a final agreement sometime this month. A deal must be in place by March 1 or the U.S. has said it will raise its tariff rate on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from their current level of 10%. 

White House Adviser Kevin Hassett said today that there’s a lot of work to be done and that the administration is waiting to see how much progress was actually made during the two-day summit. His comments, made on CNBC, kept a lid on price gains Monday. 

Soybean futures for March delivery rose 1¼¢ to $9.19 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal fell $1.20 to $310.60 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.24¢ to 30.13¢ a pound. 

Corn futures gained 1¼¢ to $3.79½ a bushel.

Wheat futures for March delivery rose 1¢ to $5.25¼ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City gained 1½¢ to $5.10¼ a bushel. 

Commodity Markets for Feb. 4, 2019: Corn, Soybeans Gain Slightly

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