Pro Farmer's First Thing Today: Crop Progress, China Trade and More

09:48AM May 27, 2020
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 Wednesday May 27. From Pro Farmer’s First Thing Today, these are some of the stories we are watching this morning:

Corn futures are around a penny higher after a quiet overnight session. Soybean futures saw a mix of profit-taking and followthrough buying overnight, but futures are currently trading high-range and up 1 to 2 cents. Winter wheat futures are mostly 2 to 4 cents higher, while spring wheat futures are steady to fractionally lower. The U.S. dollar index and crude oil futures are posting slight losses. Traders and investors remain upbeat and U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward higher opens.

Following are some highlights from USDA’s crop progress and condition update for the week ending May 24, 2020. 

  • 88% planted, 64% emerged, 70% “good” to “excellent” (G/E)
  • Soybeans: 65% planted, 35% emerged
  • Spring wheat: 81% planted, 51% emerged
  • Cotton: 53% planted 
  • Winter wheat: 54% “good” to “excellent” (G/E); 68% headed

President Trump says before the end of week people will know of what he calls “very interesting” action to be taken regarding China. Trump also said he will be looking at a bill that would require his administration to sanction Chinese government officials responsible for the repression of Turkic Muslims. The House is poised to give final passage today to the legislation. China has threatened retaliation over efforts in the U.S. to exert pressure over human rights issues. 

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the Phase 1 trade deal is intact “for the moment, or so the Chinese say,” but President Trump is growing increasingly “miffed” with Beijing’s alleged concealment of the coronavirus and its move to crack down on dissents in Hong Kong.

The spread between the monthly percentage change of the S&P 500 and the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment survey climbed to 32 percentage points last month, the widest-ever gulf in data going back to 1978, according to Dow Jones Market Data. U.S. consumer confidence held roughly steady in May as households worried about the present but grew a little more optimistic about future economic conditions. The S&P 500 has climbed to its highest level since early March.

Meetings are on tap starting today on the proposed 2021 biofuel and 2022 biodiesel levels proposed by EPA, according to the Office of Management and Budget. The American Petroleum Institute and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers are to meet with OMB today on the proposal with a session scheduled Friday with the National Biodiesel Board.

Cattle traders returned from the long holiday weekend enthused by reopening efforts and progress toward a vaccine. The daily update on boxed beef trade also indicated strong clearance of beef over Memorial Day, with 222 loads changing hands on softer prices. The pork cutout value rose 69 cents on Tuesday, and movement was solid at 396.3 loads. This helped futures to rally to start the week, with most contracts posting high-range closes.

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