Pro Farmer's First Thing Today: Corn Futures, China and More

12:36PM Jul 06, 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 Monday July 6. From Pro Farmer’s First Thing Today, these are some of the stories we are watching this morning:


Corn futures are 4 to 6 cents higher, with trade taking note of heat and dryness across the Midwest. That has soybeans marking their highest levels in four months, with futures up 7 to 10 cents. Winter wheat futures are up 1 to 4 cents, with the HRW market leading gains. Spring wheat futures are also 1 to 5 cents higher. The U.S. dollar index is under pressure, and crude oil futures are just under unchanged.
 
Midwest crop conditions are currently good, but concerns are mounting about drying soils in pockets of the Midwest over the next 10 to 14 days. The bulk of the region was generally dry over the extended holiday weekend, with the few showers that occurred unlikely to counter evaporation, with the exception of a few areas in Missouri and eastern Kansas and the Dakotas, according to World Weather Inc. Dryness also concerning in some major wheat producing areas around the world.
 
China has accused the U.S. of having “ulterior motives” in sending two aircraft carrier strike groups to the disputed South China Sea, while its state media reported that Beijing stands ready to counter the challenge posed by Washington. The U.S. has sent two aircraft carriers, USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz, to the disputed waters for military exercises starting on Saturday – overlapping with drills China is holding in the region.
 
President Trump has yet to sign a bill that would levy sanctions on some Chinese officials over Beijing’s tightening grip on Hong Kong, but other moves are possible. An administration official told reporters on Saturday that Trump is looking at two or three actions against China, with a high probability something could be unveiled soon.
 
EPA has put an indefinite hold on its proposal for 2021 biofuel blending mandates (2022 for biodiesel), two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters last week. Many expected EPA’s proposal to come in late June/early July, with blending obligations expected to climb marginally to around 20.17 billion gallons.
 
China’s ag ministry over the weekend said that the “G4” strain of swine flu virus is not news and does not infect or sicken humans and animals easily. This came in response to a study published last week warning that the G4 virus has become more infectious to humans and poses the threat of becoming another “pandemic virus.”
 
Demand for beef was very strong over Father’s Day and market bulls are hopeful for a repeat over the Independence Day holiday. The market will watch clearance early this week for some indication as to demand strength. Hogs struggled to regain their footing throughout the past week after a highly negative Quarterly Hogs & Pigs Report signaled the market will be working through backlogged animals for quite some time.

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