Coronavirus Continues to Dominate

Good Morning from Allendale, Inc. with the early morning commentary for March 6, 2020.

Grain markets, like all markets throughout the world, continue to assess the Coronavirus situation around the globe. While new Supply and Demand numbers will be released by the USDA soon, markets remain focused on pricing in the state of the virus spread.

Coronavirus continues to its spread with new cases reported in several countries, all in different parts of the world. Of note in the U.S., San Fransisco reported its first two cases, both from unknown origins. A cruise ship also sits in the waters off San Fransisco awaiting test results from the passengers on board.

China has granted tariff exemptions for some crushers to import U.S. soybeans, five sources told Reuters, in line with a plan it announced in February, aiming to fulfill commitments under its Phase 1 trade deal with the United States. (Reuters)

Weekly export sales for the week of Friday the 21st to Thursday the 27th had corn export sales of 869,237 metric tonnes, 769,205 of that for old crop. This was within the 700,000 – 1,300,000 trade expectation. Soybean export sales of 346,439 metric tonnes were noted, 345,039 of that for old crop. This was below the 500,000 – 1,025,000 trade expectation. Wheat export sales of 570,395 metric tonnes were noted, 542,395 of that for old crop. This was within the 375,000 – 675,000 trade expectation.

The White House has decided to appeal a federal court decision that called into question a program exempting small oil refineries from the nation’s biofuel blending laws, three sources familiar with the matter said late Thursday. (Reuters)

US Acreage numbers will be updated later this month in USDA’s prospective plantings report. To help prepare for that report we are conducting our annual acreage survey, and we could use your numbers. Please take a moment to tell us your planting intentions, and register for the free results webinar too. Thank you!

Average estimates for next week’s USDA Supply and Demand report were complied by Reuters yesterday. Analysts expect 2019/20 corn ending stocks at 1.888 billion bushels, soybeans 0.426 bb, and wheat stocks at .944 bb. All of these numbers are close to USDA’s February numbers.

World ending stock numbers are expected to show corn stocks of 297.25 million tonnes, soybeans 99.33 MT, and wheat 288.47 MT. South American production numbers are expected to rise minimally.

Farmers in Argentina are planning on a four day strike next week in sales of their products to protest the tax hike that farm groups have warned will cripple their competitiveness on the world stage.

Beef export sales of 12,851 metric tonnes were noted. This was 48% under last year in the same week. The previous week’s number was 13,911 tonnes. Pork export sales of 33,713 metric tonnes were also reported. This was 39% over last year, but China was not a major player. They only procured 4,475 tonnes. The previous week was at 7,223 tonnes.

Actual Slaughter from 2/15 to 2/22 showed the average steer carcass fell 5 lbs. to now 900. The average heifer carcass fell 2 lbs. to 831. Barrow/gilt carcass was unchanged at 213 lbs. Compared with last year, hog weights are unchanged from the prior week at even with last year.

Dressed beef values were mixed with choice up 0.43 and select down .45.  The Feeder cattle index was at 133.83.  Pork cut-out values were up 1.30.

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