Capitol Commodity Hedging Services on Grain

February 7, 2019 4:14 pm
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-US trade delegation to Beijing next week with hopes of a deal
-USDA reports more soybean sales to China
-Ukraine milling wheat exports nearing limit
-Russia expects near term slowing of grain exports
-Trade estimate summary for Friday's USDA reports

A summary of the average trade estimates for Friday’s USDA reports is on the following page. Our pre-report commentary/analysis will be posted on Market Insights later today.


  • US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said he and a “large team” US officials, including USTR Lighthizer, will go to Beijing next week to continue the “very productive” talks recently held in Washington. He said they are putting in “an enormous amount of effort to try to hit this deadline and get a deal,” referring to the looming March 2 tariff increase date.


  • USDA reported soybean sales to China this morning of 523k tonnes for 2018/19 and 63k tonnes for 2019/20. They also reported 182k tonnes of soybeans sold to unknown for 2018/19, as well. Total announced sales over the last three days, including unknown, have been roughly 4.3 MMT, as it appears China’s total buying following the latest round of trade talks was around 5 MMT as was the case after the meetings in Argentina.


  • Russia’s ag ministry said they expect grain exports to slow over the coming months as domestic prices have firmed and farmers are holding back on sales until closer to the spring planting season. At that time, the ministry said they anticipate domestic prices beginning to weaken once again and does not expect to see any grain supply deficit in the domestic market.


  • Ukraine said 2018/19 milling wheat exports have now reached 7.1 MMT, nearing the agreed-upon limit of 8 MMT this year, with roughly 500k tonnes having been exported since an update on January 22. At time last year, 12.3 MMT of milling wheat had been exported. Corn exports have reached 13.3 MMT vs 8.2 MMT at this time last year.


  • France raised their estimate of 2018/19 wheat exports outside the EU to 8.85 MMT from 8.70 MMT previously and are up from last year’s 8.117 MMT. However, lowered estimates of intra-EU exports and domestic usage allowed expected 2018/19 ending stocks to bump up to 2.921 MMT from 2.773 MMT previously and would be little-changed from last year’s 2.984 MMT. French corn ending stocks were also raised to 2.169 MMT from 1.956 MMT previously (2.549 MMT last year) as intra-EU exports were lowered.

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