Chicago Close: Corn, Soybeans Little Changed Ahead of Trade Deal Signing

Corn and soybean futures were little changed on Tuesday, ahead of the expected signing of the U.S.-China phase one trade deal.

Although reports suggest the trade deal should result in more Chinese buying of American soybeans, the lack of concrete details so far has put some caution in the market. Under the terms of the deal – to be signed in Washington on Wednesday - China is expected to increase its buying of American agricultural products to around $40 billion annually, way up from about $24 billion in 2017. The prospect of larger South American soy production also continued to overhang the market today. Meanwhile, the USDA announced private export sales of 120,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans this morning to unknown destinations. March soybeans were steady at $9.42 ¼ and new-crop November eased a ¼ cent to $9.69 ½.

Corn futures ended just slightly lower after two days of gains, with ethanol margins remaining tight. The March and new-crop December contracts each dipped a ½ cent to $3.89 and $4.04 ¼.

Wheat futures were buoyed as Russia’s ag ministry has proposed limiting wheat exports for the Jan – June time period to 20 million tonnes, amid growing concerns for an ample domestic supply. Such of a move would lessen competition for American supplies in the international market. March Chicago wheat gained 6 ¼ cents to $5.68 ½, March Kansas City was up 4 ¼ cents to $4.97 and March Minneapolis added ¾ of a cent to $5.56.

Live cattle and lean hog futures both closed higher today.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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