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Grain Markets Continue to See Heavy Fund Selling, 13.03.19

Grain markets are higher overnight after being down sharply on favorable weekend weather in South America with significant harvest advancement. Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT wheat, corn, soybean and soymeal futures contracts and net even in soyoil futures.

As of March 8th, commodity funds were short 212,800 corn contracts, short 66,300 soybean contracts, short 84,400 wheat contracts, short 50,200 soymeal contracts and long 16,000 soyoil contracts.

President Trump's 2020 budget proposed a 15% cut for the USDA, calling its subsidies to farmers "overly generous" at a time when they are going through the worst crisis in decades because of depressed commodity prices and trade tariffs. "The budget also proposes that USDA responsibly and efficiently use taxpayer resources by making targeted reforms to duplicative programs and overly generous subsidy programs," the document said.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said a date for a trade summit between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping has not been set and negotiations are ongoing.

USDA confirmed private U.S. exporters sold 968,000 tonnes of soybeans to China during the 2018-19 marketing year. This follows the announcement of a 664,000-tonne purchase on Friday, but totals have been well short of the 10 million tonnes that U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue said China had promised to buy as part of trade negotiations.

Russian wheat export prices have stabilized on a lack of local supply. "Sales have almost stopped, even at $226," said Dmitry Rylko, the head of IKAR. He added that farmers were unwilling to sell their previous harvest's wheat cheaply, while importers did not want to buy expensive wheat while world prices have sharply fallen.

Egypt's Supply Minister said the government is looking to diversify the origin of its wheat imports. Egypt consumes 16 to 18 million tonnes of wheat a year. The government imports roughly 7 million tonnes annually for its robust bread subsidy program.

Abu Dhabi has approved a series of incentive packages worth $272 million dollars to support agricultural technology projects, Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan said. "We look forward to making Abu Dhabi a leading global centre for agricultural innovation in desert environments," he said.

Chinese hog prices soared to their highest price in 14 months and look poised to keep rising after weeks of gains, analysts and producers said, as the African swine fever outbreak continues to deplete China’s vast pig herd supply. "Pig production capacity has been falling in the past two years, then in the second half of last year, African swine fever outbreaks further affected restocking, pushing up prices," said Yao Guiling, analyst with China-America Commodity Data Analytics.

Cash cattle sold at $128 live and $205 dressed last week (same as the prior week). Which the market views as slightly disappointing news.

Dressed Beef Values were higher with choice up 1.23 and select up 0.85. The CME feeder index is 140.03. Pork cut-out values were up 1.38.

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