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Market Commentary from the Northern Ag Network:1/15/2019 3:00 PM
Wheat is along for the bearish ride Tuesday, falling in sympathy with corn and soybeans, and on the continued lack of any confirmation of alleged China purchases of U.S. wheat and corn. The trade has become weary of the rumor mill, which had driven earlier gains. The good news is that with Tuesday's 5 to 6 cent break in wheat, U.S. wheat offers will become even more competitive. Currently, U.S. wheat, on a FOB basis, is said to be a $12 to $13 per metric ton (33 to 35 cents per bushel) cheaper than both EU and Russian wheat. Business should be shifting in the direction of the U.S. on wheat! I would not be surprised to see Egypt's GASC tender tonight following the weak close. Winter wheat has received some beneficial moisture of late, with no drought issues in the U.S., but a brutal cold spell early next week will be closely watched. The U.S. Midwest is expected to see much below normal temps into mid-February. DTN's National HRW Index closed at $4.75 on Monday, an average basis of 24 under Kansas City March futures.
Corn plunged on Tuesday, fueled early by poor economic news out of China, and losses accelerated on the falling soybean market and alleged comments by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that little progress has been made with China on trade talks. Although progress has been good on China's proposed ag product purchases, apparently agreement on intellectual property and other issues has failed so far. The next meeting is not until Jan. 30. In the meantime, U.S. corn is enjoying a price advantage to world corn importers and, although we have seen no confirmation of new business due to the shutdown, the U.S. is well positioned to garner new corn business. Competition does remain formidable still, with Ukraine corn exports, at 28 mmt and up some 10 mmt from last year. Safrinha planting has begun in parts of Brazil, and at some point, the hot and dry weather, and declining soil moisture could affect corn. Funds are likely liquidating corn futures Tuesday, as corn remains the only primary ag product that funds have been net long. March corn broke below the trend line, which should lead to more weakness, while December corn is just a penny above the trend. DTN's National Corn Index closed at 3.46 on Monday, and reflects an average basis of 33 under March.
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