South American Weather Still a Focus

Good Morning from Allendale, Inc. with the early morning commentary for December 18, 2020.

Grain Markets continue to monitor weather events in South America as plantings in some regions begin to slow due to dryness. This comes as traders being to look to lower volumes as holiday trade sets in. 

Corn export sales of 1,934,521 metric tonnes were reported on the weekly report, over the 800,000 – 1,600,000 trade expectation. Soybean export sales of 1,016,266 metric tonnes were reported, also over the 400,000 – 900,000 trade expectation. Wheat export sales of 561,351 tonnes were noted. That was within the 250,000 – 650,000 trade expectation.

The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange reports Argentina’s soybean planting at 67.8% complete. That is just 2.5% behind last year at this time. Corn planting was estimated at 55.4% complete.

The Exchange also noted, “Scarce surface moisture continues to condition the advance of seedings in wide sectors of the agricultural areas. The water supply deficit over the south of Cordoba, the north of La Pampa and the center-west of Buenos Aires provinces put the brakes on planting. New rainfall will be necessary to resume sowing.”

The weekly Drought Monitor update showed no change for the drier than normal US Western Cornbelt. It is still a few months too early to start discussing 2021 yield concerns. We will note, however, that it showed a little improvement in conditions in the Plains for the wheat growing areas. Portions of the Texas Panhandle were removed from the first stage of dryness.

Strategie Grains noted that next year’s wheat production in the EU could total 129.6 million tonnes, up 9% from this year which saw several regions struggle with weather.

A second coronavirus vaccine is one step closer to being delivered, after a federal panel of outside experts on Thursday endorsed a vaccine from Moderna and recommended the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) move forward with emergency authorization. (The Hill)

Managed money funds are estimated to have been mostly buyers this week in corn, soybeans, and wheat, with notable buying yesterday. The CFTC Commitments of Traders report will be out today at 2:30 PM CST, and will show fund positions through December 15th.

Cargill will begin to temporarily close its Guelph, Ontario beef processing plant on Thursday because of an outbreak of COVID-19 infections among workers, the company and a public health organization said. (Reuters)

Cattle on Feed will be released today at 2:00 PM CST. Analysts expect to see On Feed at 100.0% of last year, placements at 91.4%, and marketings at 98.4%.

Weekly beef export sales this morning were reported at 14,642 metric tonnes. Pork sales were strong at 84,214 tonnes, 39,930 for 2020 delivery and 44,284 for new. The 2020 delivery sale was 49% over last year in the same week.

The latest hog weight data showed we still have a little bit extra on these animals. Barrow/gilt carcasses grew by 1 lb. in the latest week to 218 lbs. On a year/year basis, this was unchanged at +1.9%. This should be the peak weight of the year.

Dressed beef values were higher with choice up 2.29 and select up 1.61.  The Feeder cattle index is 137.19.  Pork cut-out values were down 1.64.

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