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That is quite a «Bit» of a rally, 01.12.20

Hopefully, everyone enjoyed a safe and happy Thanksgiving yesterday and that not too many of you are suffering from any L-Tryptophan induced comas. As it turns out, it is a bit of a myth that eating turkey will make one sleepy as just about any type of poultry contains that amino acid. In fact, chicken has even more than turkey, but I suspect many may not consume quite as much at a single meal. Regardless, it is still a good excuse for an afternoon nap and made for an amusing episode of Seinfeld a few years back.

We do at least have weekly export sales to report this morning, which were quite solid for wheat and corn. For the week ending November 19th, wheat set a new marketing year high with 795,700 MT or 29.2 million bushels. China was the big swinger here, purchasing 333k Mt of 42% of the total with Japan next at 109.9k and then Nigeria taking 63k. Corn sales were up 53% from last week with a total of 1,665,600 MT or 65.6 million bushels. Mexico was the top buyer with 555k MT, followed by unknown destinations taking 524.4k and then Colombia in for 147.2k. I cannot remember the last time that bean sales came in lower than wheat, but here we are with sales of 768,100 MT or 28.2 million bushels. This was 42% below last week, 47% under the 4-week average, and set a new marketing year low. China was still the top buyer with 578.7k MT, followed by Egypt at 167.7k, and then Germany taking 125.4k. Looking down the rest of the list, we find that China was also a purchaser of 300.8k MT of sorghum, 28,000 RB of cotton, 259,100 whole cattle hides, 2,000 MT of beef, and 2,500 MT of pork.

This morning, the USDA announced a sale of 302,160 MT of corn to Mexico in addition to the weekly sales.

We have a little international news to cover this morning. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchanges now estimates that 31.9% of corn and 39.3% of beans are planted. Moisture is still an issue, both there and in Brazil, which will undoubtedly keep traders on their toes, but the forecast for early December is looking slightly better. In Europe, the French corn harvest is now complete, 96% of soft winter wheat is in good/excellent condition, and 94% of winter barley is rated as such. A bit further to the east, the private consultant group IKAR is forecasting a 2021 Russian grain crop of 125 MMT, which would be down from 130.5 this past year.

While the equity markets garner most of the headlines anytime there is a big swing, there have been a few other markets that have been providing excitement. A few days ago, I spoke of the situation with Cocoa, but that action pales in comparison to what has been going on in the cryptocurrency world, and specifically Bitcoin. After witnessing it fall for grace back in 2018, a number of people may have assumed that the party was over in that world, but that is far from the truth. In fact, during the past week, we have seen Bitcoin's spot market reach up to challenge the 2018 peak. It is worth pointing out that this has occurred alongside the advance since the spring bottom in the equity markets and a loss of favor in the U.S. Dollar and more recently as gold appears to have lost its shine, down 14% since August. Granted, this also appears to coincide with Facebook's planned release in January of its cryptocurrency, Libra. Still, I would suggest that investors are once again becoming just a bit disillusioned with the status quo.

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