AgriVisor Afternoon Marketwatch

Wednesday, December 05, 2018
***** Corn ended fractionally lower, soybeans 1 3/4 higher; Chicago wheat 4-5 lower. *****  

***** Equity and financial markets were closed today, along with 
government offices.  Much of the news media was focused on Pres. Bush's 
funeral, helping slow the flow of market moving news. *****

   # The weekly ethanol grind was delayed until tomorrow, with export sales delayed to Fri. and CFTC to Mon.
   # The uncertainty surrounding the Chinese soybean tariffs remains the 
biggest unknown the grain complex is dealing with.  There has been no 
specific news from the Chinese, nor any indication of new interest in cash 
markets at ports, but that could change at any time.  It’s thought soybean buying could be for govt. reserves, bypassing the tariff issue. The 5 mmt. 
number continues to surface, although we've seen no formal commitment. 
   # There's still talk suggesting Chinese soybean imports this year could fall to the mid-80 mmt. level. But, one key Chinese analyst is looking for the year's imports to be 100 mmt. 
   # A Chinese oil importer, Unipec, plans to begin importing U.S. energy by 
March, believing the threat of tariffs on crude and product imports have 
declined dramatically. 
   # There was talk in the afternoon Egypt was finally starting to issue payment for wheat cargoes ready to unload.  Still, that have asked 16 cargoes bound for the country be delayed into January. Their finances are said to be in good shape, making the situation puzzling.  They did put out requests for new wheat offers this afternoon.  Results should come in the morning.
   # Ukraine has indicated shipments from the Azov Sea have resumed, but 
there's still tension between them and Russia. 
   # Ag. Sec. Perdue indicated there will be an announcement on the Market 
Facilitation Payment later this week.
   # Arg. weather will be dry into the weekend, at which time, thunderstorms 
will start to develop.  Temps will gradually turn normal, with above normal 
temps by the weekend. Brazil is expected to have a drier pattern as well, but 
will still have some shower activity.  It will trend a little warmer. 
   # Reuters put out estimates for next week’s USDA s/d reports. Corn stocks are expected to be 1.738 bln. bu., up 2 mln., soybean stocks 945 mln. bu., down 10, and wheat stocks at 956 mln., up 7.

***** Live cattle ended $0.72 to $0.97 higher; feeders $0.95 to $1.20 higher; hogs steady to $1.25-$1.70 higher. ***** 

   # Wholesale beef was a little softer, on moderate volume.  Choice ended at $213.26, down $0.60. The live trade was still limited, with live sales at $117-$118 and dressed animals selling for $185.  
   # Wholesale pork prices were slightly firmer, with the #2 cutout ending at $71.70. The volume of trade was reasonable. Cash hog prices seemed unusually weak, but given the large seasonal supply, packers have plenty to choose from. Traders are somewhat hopeful that the US/Chinese situation could lead to some Chinese buying of US pork.  But like soybeans, so far, there’s been no talk of lowering the tariffs to help accommodate that.