U.S. & Chinese Trade Relations Back on the Fence

Good Morning from Allendale, Inc. with the early morning commentary for May 28, 2020.

Grain Markets are mixed as traders wait for new news to propel them one way or another. Trade relations between China and the U.S. are squarely back in focus as the hoped for Phase 1 ag purchases seem to be limited by strong disagreements over coronavirus and Hong Kong. As always this time of year, close attention will be paid to the latest weather map updates.

Weekly export sales, normally out on Thursday mornings will be released tomorrow morning at 7:30 AM CDT due to Monday’s Memorial Day holiday.

Planting in North Dakota remains a concern to trade. Rich Nelson broke down the most recent set of data which showed corn planting in the state at 57% complete vs. the five-year average of 79%. Soybeans were only 29% planted vs. the five-year average of 60%, and spring wheat was 70% planted vs. the five-year average of 88%.

World Weather, Inc. notes that, “A ridge of high pressure is expected to build over the western United States late this week and into the weekend resulting in heat wave conditions.”

China has bought over 10 cargoes of Brazilian soybeans this week, according to a report by Bloomberg. This potentially hints at another growing rift between the U.S. and China due to the coronavirus response as well as the new laws imposed on Hong Kong.

COFCO, the Chinese commodities trader, said it plans to shift one of its ports in Brazil from corn and other grains to sugar due to the higher production of sugar in the county this year. They said they still intend to continue with corn exports, however.

The weekly Iowa/Southern Minnesota hog weight report showed a decline in market hogs from 294.1 as of 5/16 to 291.5 as of 5/23. Seasonal declines are expected at this time.

Hog slaughter pushed up to 415,000 head. A normal summer weekday would be around 488,000. Through last week, our market hog backlog, save producer liquidation, comes to 2.828 million hogs.

Cattle slaughter reached to 110,000 head yesterday. That is just about back to a normal summer weekday of 122,000.

No trades were posted on the weekly Fed Cattle Exchange. There were 1,164 cattle offered among seven lots. Cash cattle has traded from $178 – $190 dressed this week. Live action has been noted from $111 – $120.

Dressed beef values were lower with choice down 7.72 and select down 9.82.  The Feeder cattle index is 126.11.  Pork cut-out values were down 8.62.

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