Coronavirus Spreads, Weighing Down Markets

Published on: 03:27AM Jan 29, 2020

Good Morning from Allendale, Inc. with the early morning commentary for January 29, 2020.

Grain markets remained quiet and uncertain after growing concerns about the spread of the Coronavirus in China continued to weigh on commodity markets as death toll from the outbreak rose to 132 with almost 1,500 new cases over the last day, pressuring China to control the disease.  The market is still awaiting signs of an increase in Chinese demand as promised in the signing of the Phase 1 trade deal.

The Allendale Ag Leaders Conference Series has begun, Drew Lerner of World Weather, Inc. kicked things off yesterday with great insight on what weather we are likely to see this coming season.  The remaining events are in a webinar format - right on your computer or phone and will be recorded so they can be listened to later at your convenience!  This afternoon, we will continue our conference with our grain and oilseed outlooks at 2 p.m. CST, and our livestock outlooks on Thursday the 30th at 2 p.m. CST.  It is not too late to signup, get registered today!

U.S. health officials told travelers to avoid all non-essential trips to China, ramped up screening at airports and called for more cooperation from their Chinese counterparts as they rush to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that’s claimed more than 130 lives. In addition, United Airlines said it would suspend most of its flights between the U.S. and China starting Feb. 1, citing a large drop in demand.

Private exporters reported to the USDA export sales of 124,355 metric tons of U.S. corn for delivery to Mexico during this marketing year.  This is the fourth export sales announcement in as many days.

A Syrian state grains agency has issued a tender to purchase 200,000 tonnes of soft wheat from Russia only, European traders said.  The Syrian agency had made no purchases in the two previous tenders, each for 200,000 tonnes of wheat.

President Trump’s lawyers said to the Senate "it is time for this to end," brushing off former national security adviser John Bolton's allegations regarding Trump's conduct and accused Democrats of trying to interfere with Trump's November re-election bid.  Republican Senator John Barrasso said the consensus in the meeting was "we've heard enough and it's time to go to a final judgment vote." But other Republicans said the vote count was unclear and no decision will be made until Friday.

The Coronavirus has weighed heavily on crude oil prices and other commodities, as the market fears it will lead to a slump in fuel demand as people cancel travel plans and economic activities are curtailed.  It has been hard to quantify what the exact hit to demand will be, with much depending on how quickly the virus is contained.

Ethanol sales in France should continue to rise sharply this year after reaching a new record in 2019, mostly boosted by tax breaks and a wider availability in gas stations, French ethanol producer group SNPAA said.  France is the E.U.'s largest producer of crop-based alcohol, mainly used in ethanol, and the second-largest ethanol consumer behind Germany.

Brazilian farmers are believed to produce a record coffee crop this year, surpassing the previous record in 2018, coffee exporter Comexim said.  Comexim estimates Brazil will produce 67.7 million 60-kg bags of coffee this year (56.8 million bags in 2019 and 64.5 million bags in 2018).

Dressed beef values were mixed with choice down 0.74 and select up 1.66.  The CME Feeder Cattle Index is 143.76.  Pork cut-out values were down 1.38.