Morning Highlights


  • US government remains in partial shutdown.

  • Grains and oilseeds are mixed overnight. Energy markets are weaker.

  • US stock futures are trading higher and the US$ index is lower. 


  • The corn market sees light volume, narrow range technical trade, with little fresh news.

  • Cold temperatures grip the US which is likely to slow grain movement into some domestic markets, though coverage appears adequate.

  • As ethanol production continues to show signals of slowing, annualized grind so far equates to 5.54bb vs the current USDA estimate of 5.6bb.

  • Argentina corn planting is estimated at 93% complete, which is very close to average with the crop rated much better than last year’s 54% P/VP.

  • Spread trade is quiet overnight with H/K unchanged at 8 ½ cent carry, H/N at 16 ¼ carry. 

Outlook:  Higher trade and still stuck in a trading range 


  • The soybean market has traded lightly on both sides. Buying appeared around 6:45am this morning but overall still lacking a clear direction with Brazil weather and US/China trade talks as the main feature.

  • Higher level talks are scheduled for next week between US and Chinese trade representatives. Still much uncertainty as it doesn’t appear either side is weakening their stance much and President Trump, saying this week, that the new tariffs will kick in at the end of Feb if there is no deal.

  • Continuing to hear differing ideas on the severity of Brazil’s dryness. Production guesses have been coming down modestly because of the dry conditions in some areas, while some people are of the opinion that the dryness has been much more severe.

  • BA Grain Exchange reports Argentina’s soy planting is complete, with the potential for acres loss as some areas battle excessive rain.

  • According to official Chinese customs, imports of US soybeans were 16.6mmt in 2018 vs 32.9mmt in 2017.

  • Malaysian palm oil was slightly lower.

  • South Korea tenders for 100tmt non-GMO soybeans.

  • Spreads: H/K 13 ½ carry......K/N 12 ¾ carry. 

Outlook: 1-2 better as Chinese imports of US soybeans are well behind recent years. 


  • The wheat markets have traded mostly lower in the evening session, continuing the choppy trade without any clear direction or fresh news.

  • SovEcon has raised their estimate for 2018/19 Russian exports of grains and pulse crops, as wheat exports are expected to increase. Their estimate is 35.6mmt compared to the last USDA estimate of 36.5mmt.

  • Prices for Russia’s wheat keep inching higher as their on-farm stocks are estimated 40% smaller than a year ago.  Signs their supplies are being drawn down and tightening.

  • The market awaits the return of the USDA for planted winter wheat acres.

  • Paris Milling wheat futures are slightly lower overnight.

  • Spreads: Mpls H/K 4  carry, K/N 6  carry......Kansas City H/K at 9 ¾ carry, K/N 9 carry…WH/K 6 ¾ and K/N 6 carry. 

Outlook: Steady/weaker