On The Money Grain Commentary 1-30-20

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Corn Outlook:

Coronavirus—African Swine Fever in humans? Many are thinking this as the virus has infected thousands of people and spread from China to the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Europe, and other countries. The latest count is over 7700 cases being reported and 170 deaths worldwide. Speculation is there may be as many as 12,000 cases. Little is known about the virus. Fears are that the virus will slow China’s economy and threaten global demand, especially the grains. Meanwhile corn has enough problems, namely sluggish demand. To date, exports are down 53 percent from a year ago. Last week, inspections were 26.3 MB and must average 44.3 MB to reach USDA’s target of 1.775 BB. Meanwhile, the pace has picked up the past couple of weeks.

Bean Outlook:

A few weeks ago, exuberance was widespread in soybeans from the signing of the Phase I trade agreement with China. However, optimism quickly faded when expected sales to them did not materialize. Compounding the situation is the recent outbreak of the coronavirus in China that could make it difficult for them to comply with the agreement. These mounting uncertainties quickly tarnished the bulls outlook and sent prices tumbling. In the meantime, there has been an uptick in the export pace the past couple of weeks. Inspections last week were 38.1 MB and above the average of 27.3 MB needed to be shipped each week to reach USDA’s target of 1.775 BB. China took 15.1 MB which was slightly higher than the previous week. However, with the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus, it may be a while before the bulls regain confidence.

Wheat Outlook:

Concerns about the coronavirus has prompted profit taking in wheat dragging it lower along with corn and soybeans. Concerns from the drought in Australia have subsided for now. Meanwhile, exports are struggling. Last week, they were a marketing year low of 8.2 MB and must average 21.0 MB each week to reach USDA’s projection of 975 MB.

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