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Pro Farmer's First Thing Today: Grain Futures, Russian Rainfall and More, 19.10.20

Corn futures are 2 to 4 cents higher to start the week, while soybeans are up 3 to 6 cents, with both markets trading high range. Winter wheat futures are up 4 to 9 cents in most contracts, with December SRW wheat futures notching a new contract high. The U.S. dollar index is under pressure, with crude oil futures also down slightly.

Rainfall was limited in South America over the weekend, with Brazil and Argentina seeing some scattered, light showers. World Weather Inc. reports weather should improve over the next two weeks, “with Argentina’s summer crop areas getting improved planting moisture first and center west Brazil getting it next week.”

Long-needed rains fell in some winter wheat producing areas of the Russia over the weekend, reports Dmitry Rylko, the head of the IKAR agriculture consultancy. But he added that more rains are needed, as not every location received enough or any rain.

A pre-election agreement on U.S. stimulus remains possible, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who set a Tuesday deadline for an agreement with the White House. President Donald Trump indicated that he is closer to Democrats' demands for a larger overall package than congressional Republicans.

China’s economy grew 4.9% in the July-to-September quarter compared with the same months last year, below the 5.2% growth forecast by analysts polled by Reuters, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics announced today. That brings China nearly back up to the roughly 6% pace of growth that it was reporting before the pandemic.

Late last week, the private analytics firm IHS Markit Agribusiness, formerly known as IEG Vantage, trimmed its forecast for 2021 U.S. corn plantings to 91.972 million acres, but that would still be a 1.1% gain from the current season. The firm raised its 2021 soybean planted acreage projection from 87.100 million acres to 89.165 million acres, which would be a 7.3% increase from what producers indicated this season.

Live and feeder cattle futures sustained some technical damage last week amid a pullback in cash cattle prices. Boxed beef values also softened last week, but the softer prices led to strong movement, which is seen as a positive demand signal. Meanwhile, pork prices worked higher again last week, with the cutout value moving above $100.00 per cwt. on Thursday, only to fall back below that level on Friday. Still, the cutout rose nearly $5 for the week.

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