You know how it is when things are just not going well, and the bad news just keeps piling on. We have all heard the old saying, "If I did not have bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all." There reaches a point where you are ready to latch on to just about anything, no matter how feeble, that could offer a bit of hope, and it seems, that is where the soybean market reached this week. After more discouraging talk about just how long it may require before a trade war détente could be achieved, stories began to circulate that behind the scenes, or maybe better stated, behind the rhetoric, actual progress was being made, and we could be closer to a deal than many expect. Now, if all of this gives you a sense of déjà vu, or maybe reminds you of that adage, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me, there is a good reason for that. We have heard this type of yes/no comment countless times over the past twenty months or so. Regardless, the bean market who is desperate for any kind of good news grabbed hold of this like a hungry calf who just found its mother teat, and we bounced higher not only yesterday but have extended the gains again overnight. Keep in mind that the move has only amounted to around a dime or so from the lowest close, so I doubt it has struck any real fear into the hearts of the bear, but it has been a welcome relief nevertheless. The only news I have seen from the trade war front lines this morning was a comment from China that for a Phase One package to move forward, there will need to be reductions on the tariffs on Chinese goods.
This is Thursday morning, which most weeks mean weekly export sales, but I am afraid they were not overly inspiring. Beginning with wheat, for the week ending November 28th, we sold just 228,100 MT or 8.38 million bushels. This was 63% below last week, 45% under the 4-week average, and below the lowest trade estimate. Unknown destinations were the top purchasers with 102k MT, followed by Mexico with 45.1k and then the Philippines at 27k. Corn sales were at least within the range of estimates, but at 546,100 MT or 21.5 million bushels, they were 32% below last week and 18% under the 4-week average. Japan took the top spot for the week with 236.7k MT, followed by unknown destinations at 130.9k and then Colombia with 70.5k. Soybean sales dropped 59% from last week and 55% from the 4-week average, coming through at 683,800 MT or 25.13 million bushels. China was still the top dog with purchases of 298.6k MT (44%), followed by Thailand with 89.7k and Indonesia at 79.2k. There was, however, a sale of 245,000 MT of beans to unknown reported in the daily system, with 120k for this crop year and 125k for 2020/21. China was back for more pork this week, purchasing 10,300 MT, but as it turned out, they were not the top buyer. That distinction went to Mexico with purchases of 10,900 MT.
While there is nothing conclusive to report just yet, beginning with an outside reversal lower, the U.S. Dollar has been under pressure now for the past five sessions and has erased nearly all the gains recorded during the month of November. Both weekly and monthly indicators are flashing signs of a peak, and to confirm, we would just need to slip and begin closing below 96.90 to confirm. What a nice Christmas gift it would be for commodities if that were to unfold.