Pro Farmer's First Thing Today: Chinese Trade, Storm Forecast and More

09:07AM May 22, 2020
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Here are audio highlights from around the ag industry, courtesy of Pro Farmer.
( Pro Farmer )

Good Morning farm country. Davis Michaelsen here with your morning update for Friday, May 22. From Pro Farmer’s First Thing Today, these are some of the stories we are watching this morning:

Corn futures are down a penny, soybeans are 1 to 4 cents lower in a continuation of yesterday’s big move to the downside. SRW wheat futures are down 6 to 7 cents. And HRW and HRS wheat are posting losses around 3 cents. The U.S. dollar index is higher and crude oil futures are under heavy pressure.

China issued a pledge to implement Phase 1 of its trade deal with the U.S., despite a growing number of setbacks. “We will work with the United States to implement the Phase 1 China/U.S. economic and trade agreement,” Premier Li Keqiang told an annual gathering of lawmakers in Beijing. This comes as the pace of recriminations between the U.S. and China is complicating the picture for investors.

President Trump says in the event of a second wave of coronavirus infections in the United States he will not close the country. When asked about the matter while touring a Ford factory in Michigan Trump said, “We’re not going to close the country. We can put out the fires. Whether it is an ember or a flame, we are going to put it out. But we are not closing our country.”

Crop scouts on a three-day wheat tour through Kansas estimated the state’s 2020 crop at 284.4 million bu. on a national average yield of 44.5 bu. per acre. Earlier this month, USDA estimated Kansas’ wheat crop at 305.5 million bu., with an average yield of 47 bu. per acre. 

The U.S. could experience up to 19 named Atlantic storms this year, in a hurricane season that comes as communities across the country are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, which would complicate emergency responses, including conditions at evacuation centers. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a report Thursday it expects an “above normal” hurricane season from June 1 to Nov. 30.

The GOP-controlled Senate adjourned for a 10-day recess without considering an alternative to the $3 trillion-plus economic relief bill passed with Democratic votes in the House of Representatives. 

World Bank yesterday approved a record-high $500 million in grants and low-interest loans meant to help countries in Africa and the Middle east battle swarms of desert locusts. 

Boxed beef prices continue to slide, but the severity of the decline has moderated, which signals prices will likely remain elevated for some time. Choice dropped $2.23 on Thursday while Select tumbled $8.65. Some additional cash cattle trade took place Thursday from $116 to $120, up from week ago levels. Lean hog futures saw choppy action yesterday, despite USDA’s weekly export sales data showing China cancelled more of its prior purchases. But exports hit a marketing-year high with China as the top destination.   

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