Changing trade truce views leave questions for soy market

The initial positive outlook the United States futures markets had towards the 90-day truce in the U.S.-China trade war is fading and is leaving traders with opposing views on where the Chicago Board of Trade soybean market is heading.

In an effort to resolve their countries’ trade war, U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to the truce at the recent G20 summit in Argentina.

“It actually left a lot more questions on the table than answers. I think traders are taking a step back, taking a see it to believe it (approach) and waiting for China to come and buy U.S. beans, poultry, (dry distillers grains) and possibly some corn,” said Terry Reilly, grain analyst with Futures International.

To Steve Georgy, president of Allendale Inc., there’s room for optimism as the perception of the truce in the U.S./China trade war continues to evolve.

“Soybeans are still working higher, so there’s a lot of optimism that we’ll start opening up trade,” he said, noting China could buy 10 million tonnes of soybeans from the U.S.

Reilly believes the fundamentals with soybeans are remaining fairly bearish. And without a resolution to the trade war, the tariffs China imposed on U.S. soybeans are still in place.

“I think the U.S. missed their greatest opportunity to export soybeans to China this year, as the window is closing before South American supplies come on line,” he stated.

With a 955 million-bushel carryout of soybeans, Georgy said the U.S. still has a supply issue and far behind in its export sales.

“The market going higher is great, but it’s an opportunity for producers to be making some marketing decisions,” he said.

With the U.S. Department of Agriculture issuing its monthly World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates on Dec. 11, Georgy said people shouldn’t be too concerned about it. Instead they should focus on the January report.

“January will be the final yield numbers that we get, and that report can get really messy. It’s either sharply higher or sharply lower,” he said, adding that same attitude should be taken with the USDA’s crop production report also being released on Dec. 11.

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