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There was more than the usual ag conversation coming from Washington yesterday as in addition to those comments; we had the December report, which was as expected, a non-event, but also news that finally, we may have a new farm bill. It would appear that the new bill will look very much like the old and the Senate passed their version by a vote of 87 to 13. If the House picks up the bill by Thursday, there is speculation that is could be on the President’s desk by Friday. The USDA also reported a few minor changes in the prevented plant acreage which should be incorporated in the January final production report. Corn PP was adjusted upward by 406, beans down 537, and wheat up 421. What is that old saying about a fly taking a leak in the ocean? They also announced that the December Cattle on Feed report and the quarterly Hog and Pigs report will be released a day earlier, 20th, than originally scheduled. Outside of that, weekly export sales tomorrow morning. In the daily system, there was reported this morning, sales of 130,632 MT of beans to Mexico and another 110,000 MT to unknown.
Outside of the possible purchases for the government reserve that we spoke about previously, it would not appear that the demand for beans in China is none too robust right now. Crush margins in that country continue to deteriorate, and the industry is facing the largest losses in 18 months. Oversupply and poor domestic demand, primarily due to the African Swine Fever dilemma are cited as the issue. Additional cases of ASF have been reported this week.