By Glen Hallick, MarketsFarm
WINNIPEG, March 25 (MarketsFarm) – SOYBEAN futures at the Chicago Board of Trade were stronger on Monday.
United States soybean prices have remained above both Brazil and Argentina’s export offers, which has limited buying outside of China, after pledging to buy more U.S. soybeans to complete a trade deal.
China reduced its global soybean imports 18 per cent to 4.456 million tonnes in February, including 1.986 million tonnes from Brazil. U.S. soybean shipments to China rose to 907,754 tonnes in February, up from 135,814 tonnes in January but just a fraction of last February’s 3.35 million tonnes.
U.S. soybean export inspections rose slightly to 857,970 tonnes in the week ended March 21 from a week ago, including about 335,000 tonnes shipped to China.
Also in the U.S., the findings of the Mueller Report were released on Sunday. The report stated there was no collusion between Donald Trump and Russia during the 2016 presidential election. The report, however did not completely exonerate Trump. Democrats have demanded all of the Mueller report be released. Markets in the U.S. did get something of a bump from the report.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were in China today for trade talks. Chinese officials will be in the U.S. next week to continue talks. A deal is expected to be reached by the end of April.
CORN futures were stronger on Monday, as flooding in the U.S. has made transportation difficult.
There is severe flooding in a number of states, with Iowa and Nebraska having more than US$3 billion in damages so far. The flooding could see U.S. farmers switch their planting intentions from corn to soybeans.
WHEAT futures were stronger on Monday. As with corn, it’s too wet in the U.S. wheat belts and more rains are expected into April. A blanket of heavy, wet snow covering is most of North Dakota, the top US wheat state, and has threatened to delay planting of spring wheat.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is set to release monthly state winter wheat crop condition reports on Monday afternoon.
Demand for U.S. wheat supply must begin to improve, or spec funds will continue defend large short positions until exports improve. Managed funds increased net-short positions to 73,506 in Spring Red Wheat futures as of March 19, the largest since April. Funds were net short a record 51,380 contracts in the Hard Red Wheat market, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.
U.S. wheat inspected for export fell to 340,398 tonnes last week, below trade estimates.