|10 December, 2019

Soybeans, wheat and corn drift ahead of USDA estimates

Next stage of U.S.-China trade war awaited

HAMBURG - Chicago soybean, corn and wheat futures drifted on Tuesday, as markets awaited new world supply and demand estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) later in the day.

Dealers were also waiting for the result of an international wheat purchase tender from Egypt for indications about which global supplier region is most competitive.

Chicago Board Of Trade most-active soybeans were down 0.06% at $8.96-3/4 a bushel at 1138 GMT. Corn was unchanged at $3.75-3/4 a bushel and wheat fell 0.2% to $5.21-1/2 a bushel.

Traders are awaiting monthly USDA global supply and demand crop data due at 1700 GMT. Few major changes are expected to U.S. inventories, so traders are likely to focus on global production estimates. 

“Soybeans, corn and wheat are all drifting in a risk-avoidance mood ahead of the USDA reports later in the day,” said Matt Ammermann, commodity risk manager with INTL FCStone. “Significant changes are not expected from the USDA, but surprises are always possible.”

“The final state of the U.S. corn harvest is going slowly, as the USDA said on Monday, with about 1.2 billion bushels of U.S. corn still in the fields.” 

“But the market does not seem to care about this. There seems to be expectations that the USDA will factor in the remaining area as likely to be harvested.”

Commerzbank added: “The assessment of the next Brazilian crop is of particular importance for the soybean market. Sowing of this crop is nearing completion, with harvesting set to begin in January and February.”

Attention is likely to turn to the next stage of the U.S.-China trade war. A top White House economic adviser said on Friday that a Dec. 15 deadline was still in place to impose new U.S. tariffs on Chinese products. 

“If the market expectations are confirmed (by the USDA), we are facing comfortable world supplies of soybeans, wheat and corn,” Ammermann said. “Attention will then turn to demand, especially from China, which means the focus could be on the Sunday, Dec. 15, deadline about whether the U.S. will impose a new round of tariffs on Chinese imports.”

Results of a purchase tender from Egypt are expected later on Tuesday. 

“On wheat, the market is waiting to see the offers and result of the tender from Egypt’s state buyer GASC, especially to assess the current competitiveness of Black Sea wheat which has been successful in recent tenders,” Ammermann said.

(Reporting by Michael Hogan; Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral, Editing by Mark Potter) ((michael.j.hogan@thomsonreuters.com; +49 172 671 36 54; Reuters Messaging: michael.hogan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

More From Commodities