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Grain and soy markets caught a little psychological boost overnight apparently due to a couple of positive comments in the international trade scene. First, NAFTA negotiators from both Canada and Mexico stated they were cautiously optimistic about the progress of a new agreement being worked out. US trade representative Lighthizer did what he could to throw cold water on the sentiment by stating that were still gaping differences over a number of topics, including agriculture, but by this point, we have already factored in the negative implications of dropping the agreement, so any positive news is received with welcome arms. The other positive injection came from news that after their investigation, the Chinese Commerce Ministry is dropping the dumping probe against US Sorghum. Accordingly, we have witnessed general strength across the markets. If we were to close right now, for the week July corn would be up 2 ½ cents, July wheat up 6 ½ cents but July beans still 2 ½ lower. Do note though that for the month, the combination values for these markets remains lower.
The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange has released their weekly updates and now report that the soy harvest has reached 71.1% complete vs. 66.7 last week, and corn harvest stands at 34.1%, only increasing .8% in the past week. They have reduced their estimate for bean production another 2 MMT to 36 MMT. As another confirmation that the old adage “When it rains, it pours,” workers at crush plants in Argentina have begun a strike to protest early layoffs.
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