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GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

TOP STORIES:

 

Corn Futures Rebound as Trade Deal Doubts Ease

Corn for March delivery rose 3.7% to $3.89 1/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Friday, recovering from Thursday's slide as traders rethought the U.S.-China trade deal's terms.

Benefit of the Doubt: Traders are starting to give President Trump's initial trade deal with China the benefit of the doubt. "It was a little oversold reaction," said Jason Britt of Central States Commodities of Thursday's 3.1% drop. "Let's not badmouth (the deal), let's see where it ends up," he said. Also helping corn was a belated reaction to the passage of the USMCA in the U.S. Senate Thursday. That deal is expected to spur higher corn exports to Mexico.

 

The U.S. Hasn't Planted This Little Wheat in More Than a Century

The last time that U.S. farmers planted so few acres with winter wheat, William Howard Taft was president and the opening salvos of World War I were still five years away.

About 30.8 million acres were planted with winter wheat this season, down 1% from the year before and not much more than the roughly 29.2 million acres that were seeded in 1909, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

 

STORIES OF INTEREST:

 

Agri Markets are Underestimating Potential Pickup in U.S. Exports to China: JPM -- Market Talk

1129 GMT - Soybean prices slip in Chicago, extending their recent decline as traders continue to respond negatively to the U.S.-China deal. Down 0.1% at $9.23 a bushel, soybean futures are on course to lose 2.5% over the course of the week. Agricultural markets are "seeking proof of U.S. export demand," says Tracey Allen of JP Morgan. But Allen thinks traders are underestimating the extent to which American exports to China are likely to rise, which could lift prices in the coming months. She expects China to import 90 million metric tons of soybeans in total this year. "To reach this target, particularly at a time when China's hog herd will likely shift into an expansionary mode, will require sizeable imports from Brazil, as well as the U.S." (joe.wallace@wsj.com)

 

Bright Futures: Wheat crops outside the U.S. appear to be suffering, which could give CBOT prices a boost. French soft wheat plantings for 2020 are expected to be at a 19-year low of 4.47 million hectares, down 10% from last year, as heavy rainfall affects planting decisions, INTL FCStone said. The firm predicts Australia's wheat crop at 14.45 million metric tons, down more than 1 million tons from the USDA's estimate, after wildfires have damaged more than 26,000 square miles of land. Wheat for March delivery gained 0.9% to $5.70 1/2 a bushel.

 

THE MARKETS:

 

Hog Futures Finish Day With Gain -- Market Talk

15:39 ET - Lean hogs futures climb 1.2%, closing at 67.675 cents per pound--a near recovery from yesterday's dip of 1.5%, making the weekly movement of hogs up only 0.6%. This is a far cry from what livestock traders expected with the signing of the US/China trade deal Wednesday--a bigger positive reaction in pork futures was predicted. Live cattle futures, meanwhile, finished 0.2% for the day at $1.2635 per pound. For the week, cattle futures finished 0.8% lower. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 17, 2020 17:09 ET (22:09 GMT)

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