The CFTC Commitment of Traders release will be delayed until December 2nd at 2:30 PM Central. First notice day for December grains, soymeal, and soy oil is on Friday, November 29th. Longs should be out of their position by the close today to avoid risking delivery. China’s Ministry of Commerce reported that the U.S. and China had another phone call regarding the U.S.-China deal. China’s top negotiator Liu He, U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer and US Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin were all on the call where they discussed how to resolve remaining problems and concerns related to a phase one agreement. Reports indicated that Taiwan is expected to buy more U.S. goods, including oil, gas, and agricultural products, to avoid being labeled as a currency manipulator. Two big winter weather storms moved across the northern plains and Midwest this week, which will further delay the remaining harvest and fieldwork.
Brazilian corn exports are expected to hit a record high of 41 MMT in 2019.
The US crop progress report showed corn harvest 84% versus the 5-year average of 96% and last year’s 93%. The Northern states are having a very difficult time getting the crop out, with North Dakota reported as having only 30% of the crop harvested. The weekly ethanol report showed production up a solid 26,000 bpd to 1.059 million bpd for the 9th consecutive week of increases. Stocks fell by 200,000 barrels to 20.3 million barrels and the lowest in nearly 3 years. Margins rallied 12 cents to 36 cents per gallon. Weekly export sales were 806,800 tonnes, close to the upper end of estimates between 400,000 and 900,000 tonnes.
Russia lowered their wheat production for 2019 from 78 mmt to 75 mmt.
The US crop progress report had the U.S. winter wheat crop at 52% good to excellent, which is steady with last week. Weekly export sales were 612,700 tonnes, above estimates between 300,000 and 600,000 tonnes. Chicago wheat was the stellar performer for the week gaining 23.25 cents. Thin trade coupled with month end allowed the market to trip stops and make a strong technical push higher.
South America has some dry spots, but in general it’s a non-event, however Argentina’s forecast is turning a little drier. The currencies of both Brazil and Argentina continue to slip lower versus the US dollar, making it harder for US beans to compete. Reportedly, the flat price Brazilian farmers are receiving is the highest in 5 years. Argentina’s farmers have been sellers ahead of a new president coming on board in December. Rumors are the export tax on corn and wheat will go to 15% vs. 7% currently, and the soybean export tax will rise to 35%.
US crop progress showed soybean harvest 94% complete versus the 5-year average of 97% and last year’s 94%. Weekly soybean export sales were 1,664,000 tonnes, well above estimates between 600,000 and 1,200,000 tonnes, soymeal sales were 93,200 tonnes below estimates between 150,000 and 300,000 tonnes, and soy oil sales were 14,800 tonnes, within estimates between 5,000 and 30,000 tonnes. January beans dropped 20 cents on the week at nearly 3 month lows.
Cash cattle traded $1-$2 higher before the Thanksgiving break. Packer margins continue to move lower but still remain exceptionally high at $265/head. Pork export sales were very good again this week with over 50,000 tons of current and next marketing years combined.