Chicago Close: Lower as USDA Announces New Aid Package

Corn, wheat and soybean futures all lost ground on Thursday as the White House announced its latest aid package for farmers affected by the government’s trade battles.

The $16 billion package - which includes $14.5 billion in direct payments to producers - will not be dependent on which crops are planted in 2019, and therefore will not distort current planting decisions, the USDA said. However, producers will receive no payments if they do not plant this year.

This morning’s USDA export sales report showed 442,080 tonnes of old-crop U.S. corn sold during the week of May 16, with Japan purchasing 185,800 tonnes. That was in the range of estimates but down 48.2% from the same week a year ago. New-crop sales totaled 183,879 tonnes. July and December corn each closed down 4 ¾ cents to $3.89 ¾ and $4.08.

Old-crop U.S. soybean export sales reported this morning were 535,848 tonnes, a 44.5% jump from last week and well above last year for this time. New-crop sales totaled just 5,100 tonnes. July and November beans fell 7 cents each to $8.21 ½ and $8.48 ¼.

Wheat futures ended lower despite the fact some Hard Red Winter wheat areas have sustained frost damage this week, while others have snow on them. All wheat export sales for the week of May 16 totaled 48,395 tonnes for old crop, in the range of estimates. New-crop sales were reported at 344,852 tonnes. July Chicago wheat fell 2 ½ cents to $4.70 ¼, July Kansas City was down 7 cents at $4.25 ¼ and July Minneapolis dropped 9 ½ cents to $5.34 ¼.

Live cattle futures were higher today. Lean hogs were mixed.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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