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3 Big Things Today, November 21

Soybeans Fall in Overnight Trading; USTR Says China Hasn’t Fixed ‘Unfair’ Trade Practices.

1. Soybeans Lower Overnight on China Trade Worries

Soybeans were lower in overnight trading, while corn was little changed amid ongoing concerns about the trade spat between the U.S. and China.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office released a report saying that China hasn’t changed its trade practices on intellectual property. That report just ahead of he Group of 20 meeting where presidents Trump and Xi Jinping were scheduled to meet will no doubt be a topic of conversation between the leaders.

The countries have put tens of billions of dollars’ worth of tariffs on each other’s goods, with China unofficially halting imports of U.S. soybeans.

Traders are also watching the harvest, as producers attempt to get the last of their corn and soybeans out of the ground. Growers have about 10% of the corn crop and 9% of their soybeans yet to collect, according to the USDA.

Soybeans for January delivery fell 4¼¢ to $8.76¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal futures lost $1 to $306.10 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.11¢ to 27.45¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery fell ¼¢ to $3.61 a bushel overnight.

Wheat for March delivery lost 1½¢ to $5.07 a bushel overnight, while Kansas City futures dropped 2¾¢ to $4.94½ a bushel.


2. U.S. Trade Representative Says China Hasn’t Yet Fixed ‘Unfair’ Trade Practices

Talks between the U.S. and China, which officials from both sides have touted for weeks now, likely will be chippy after the U.S. Trade Representative said in a report that China has failed to alter its trade practices and continues to steal intellectual property.

“We completed this update as part of this administration’s strengthened monitoring and enforcement effort,” USTR Robert Lighthizer said in a statement. “This update shows that China has not fundamentally altered its unfair, unreasonable, and market-distorting practices that were the subject of the March 2018 report on our Section 301 investigation.”

President Trump said in a tweet earlier this month that he had a conversation with China President Xi Jinping and that the two had discussed trade.

He said at the time he looked forward to meeting with Xi at the Group of 20 meeting in Argentina at the end of the month.

“We talked about many subjects, with a heavy emphasis on Trade,” Trump said in his tweet on November 1. “Those discussions are moving along nicely with meetings being scheduled at the G-20 in Argentina.”

Now those talks are in jeopardy, or at the very least will be strained, after the USTR’s report. The accusations of intellectual property theft and policies on technology transfer originally led to the U.S. imposing $50 billion in tariffs on imports of Chinese goods in July.

China responded with duties on an equal amount of U.S. goods, and since then, the two sides have been involved in a tit-for-tat trade war.


3. Freezing Fog Forecast This Morning in Parts of Southern Missouri, Illinois

Freezing fog is expected this morning in parts of southern Missouri, Illinois, eastern Arkansas, and the western half of Tennessee, according to the National Weather Service.

“Areas of freezing fog with locally dense fog (are forecast) through the mid-morning hours,” the NWS said in a report early Wednesday morning. “Visibilities less than a quarter mile have shown up … this morning with satellite and observation trends showing fog coverage increasing in locations near bodies of water and low-lying areas.”

Surfaces will be slippery and visibilities across the entire area will be reduced.

Farther north, snow flurries are expected for parts of Michigan, mostly along the coast of Lake Michigan, the NWS said. Light snow showers are possible, and temperatures are expected to be below normal for this time of year, the agency said.

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