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Serious and honest

Published on: 19:10PM Jan 10, 2019

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According to U.S. trade representatives, China has pledged to purchase “substantial amounts” of ag, energy and manufactured products from the United States and China representative said the talks were “serious and honest.”  That is certainly better than flippant and dishonest.  While short on any details, it does at least sound as if positive progress was made in the discussion this week and one has to suspect there will be a “show of good intentions” announcement in the not too distant future.  There have been rumors for days that additional cargoes of beans have been purchased by China, but of course when that may be confirmed is the great unknown.  When/if the Federal government is back in business, it should be quite interesting to wade through the sales reports that we have been missing as of late. 

Even though we have little in the way of ag information coming from Washington right now, South Americans have been publishing releases on schedule.  In Brazil, both CONAB and the private consultant AgRural released estimates which break down as follows; CONAB trimmed the beans projection 1.3 MMT taking it down to 118.8 MMT.  This is less of a haircut that many private estimates have suggested and would only be 500,000 MT below last year.  For corn, they are looking for a total production of 91.19 MMT, which would be slightly higher than their last estimate.  Of the total, the expect 27.455 MMT from full-season corn and 63.73 from the safrinha crop. AgRural was far more aggressive with their cut for beans, taking it down to 116.9 MMT, which is 4.5 MMT below their last estimate.  I have not seen an estimate by them for corn.   

As we wait for our own reports, once again here are the current trade estimates; U.S. corn production of 14.538 billion bushels from a yield of 177.9.  This would be a reduction of 88 million bushels from the last report.  The total bean production estimate is 4.568 billion from a yield of 51.75.  This would be 32 million bushels lower than previous.  Ending stock projections fall in at 1.705 billion in corn- down 76 million, 913 million in beans-down 42 million and 990 million for wheat-up 16 million.  The average estimates for the December 1stgrain stocks have corn pegged at 12.095 billion, beans at 3.734 billion and wheat 1.956 billion.  Argentine production is currently estimated to be 42.2 MMT for corn and 55.1 MMT for beans, and in Brazil, the current estimates have corn at 93.9 MMT and beans 119.6 MMT.  One has to suspect those final numbers could be revised before we see a report.