3 Big Things Today, September 18
1. Soybeans, Grains Slightly Higher on Trade Optimism
Soybean and grain futures were modestly higher in overnight trading on optimism about trade talks between the U.S. and China that are expected to kick off this week.
A Chinese delegation will fly to Washington to iron out wrinkles between the countries, the world’s two largest economies, ahead of high-level talks scheduled for next month.
In the past week, three purchases of soybeans by China have been reported by the USDA, an indication that Beijing is living up to its promise to buy more ag products.
Soybean futures for November delivery rose 2¢ to $8.95¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal added $1 to $298.80 a short ton, while soybean oil gained 0.01¢ to 30¢ a pound.
Corn futures for December delivery added 1¾¢ to $3.69¾ a bushel.
Wheat for September delivery rose 2¾¢ to $4.87 a bushel, while Kansas City futures gained 2¾¢ to $4.05 a bushel.
2. U.S.-China Talks Set to Resume as Delegation From Beijing Visits Washington This Week
There might be a deal with China in place before the 2020 election, President Donald Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One yesterday, or it may happen the day after voters take to the polls.
The election is slated for November 3 of next year.
Those hoping a deal happens long before then are encouraged that trade officials from Beijing are traveling to Washington this week. Higher-level negotiations are slated for next month, according to the Asian nation’s Ministry of Commerce.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin haven’t sat down with their Chinese counterparts since July.
Another bit of good news is that China seems to be in a buying mood with regard to U.S. agricultural products.
The Asian country purchased 260,000 metric tons of soybeans for delivery during the current marketing year that started on September 1, the USDA said in a report yesterday.
On September 16, the USDA reported a sale of 256,000 tons of soybeans, also for delivery in the 2019-2020 marketing year. China also bought separate cargoes of another 204,000 metric tons, the agency reported on September 13.
The Trump administration, meanwhile, is attempting to sign deals with Japan and India in a bid to show the president can be successful at making trade deals despite the ongoing battle with China.
Trump is scheduled to meet with Indian Prime Minister Nerendra Modi in Houston this weekend and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the United Nations next week.
3. Flooding Continues in Parts of Upper Midwest While Excessive Rain is Expected on Texas Gulf Coast
Weather maps are relatively quiet this morning, though flooding continues to be a problem in southeastern South Dakota, northeastern Nebraska, and northwestern Iowa.
Flood warnings and advisories are still in effect in the area, after excessive rainfall earlier this week caused rivers and streams to overrun their banks, according to the National Weather Service.
More storms are likely to drop another 1 to 2 inches of rain in some locations, the NWS said in a report early this morning.
“Additional thunderstorms may form across portions of eastern Nebraska and northwest Iowa later this evening or overnight,” the agency said. “A storm or two may contain marginally severe hail, however, the greatest risks will come from another risk for locally heavy rainfall.”
Meanwhile, flash flood warnings, marine warnings, and other associated warnings and watches are in effect along the Texas Gulf Coast as Tropical Depression Imelda hits land.
Heavy rain is expected for the next few days along the Texas and Louisiana coasts, the NWS said.