Markets Quiet as Holiday Trade Looms

Published on: 05:30AM Nov 22, 2019

Good Morning from Allendale, Inc. with the early morning commentary for November 22, 2019.

Grain markets are mixed as the week comes to a close. With a holiday next week, and little in the way of new news on the trade or demand fronts, light volume could become the norm for the time being.

Weekly export sales from Friday the 8th – Thursday the 14th  had old and new crop corn sales of 833,931 metric tonnes (788,022 for 2019/20). This was on the upper end of the 400,000 – 900,000 trade range. Wheat export sales totaled 437,655 metric tonnes (all 2019/20). This was within the 200,000 – 500,000 trade range.

Soybean export sales totaled 1,516,673 metric tonnes (1,516,673 for 2019/20). This was on the upper end of the 800,000 – 1,400,000 trade range. Chinese buyers picked up 568,573 metric tonnes in this past week. They now have 8.576 million tonnes booked. There are an additional 3.102 booked under the “unknown” moniker.

Argentina is expected to planted 43.7 million acres of soybeans this season according to the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange, a slight increase from the 43.49 million acres previously estimated. Political uncertainty is leading farmers to turn to the more cost effective to plant crop.

Weather in South America is still an issue. This weekend we'll see rain across southern Argentina and northern Brazil. This will give most of Brazil favorable planting conditions, however Argentina will be drying up again as we head into December.

China wants to work out an initial trade pact with the United States and has been trying to avoid a trade war, President Xi Jinping said on Friday, but is not afraid to retaliate when necessary. (Reuters)

Brazilian cattle prices are being pushed to record highs as China looks to substitute its lost pork production. Meatpacker Association Abrafrigo said that Chinese imports of Brazilian meat are up 23.6% for January to October against the same period last year.

Beef export sales, for 2019 delivery, came to 17,959 metric tonnes. That was a good number for a time of year when sales are winding down. It was 46% over last year. Year to date sales of 850,812 tonnes are 3.0% under last year.

Pork sales, for 2019 delivery, came to 54,385 metric tonnes, triple last year’s number for the same week. Year to date sales of 1,648,768 tonnes are 38% over last year. The big buyer was not China, it was Japan at 21,500. USDA did say 18,400 of that was sales from prior weeks that were added late. Mexico was next 7,600. Canada was strong 6,000.

Cattle on Feed and Cold storage reports will be released today at 2 p.m. CST.  Typically, this report will show the largest placement month numbers of the year.  The average trade guess for On Feed as of October 1st is 101.2% of last year. Placements are estimated at 111.4%, and Marketings are estimated at 99.7%.

Cold Storage estimates have October beef stocks seen around 465.940 million lbs. (2 million lb. increase over September).  The five-year average is a 9 million increase from September. Pork stocks are estimated at 561 million lbs. The five-year average is 581 million lbs.

Dressed beef values were lower with choice down 3.35 and select down 0.91.  The CME feeder index is 145.86.  Pork cut-out values were down 5.11.