Morning Comments – April 13

China Soy Imports Falter

  • China’s soybean imports fell 10% in March from a year ago.

  • March imports of 5.66 MMT were down from last year’s 6.33, but up slightly from last month’s 5.42, according to customs data.

  • Imports are expected to increase in coming months as China normally turns to Brazil beans at this point in the season.

Thursday’s Trump Policy Musings

  • President Trump said on Thursday his administration may allow the sale of gasoline containing 15% ethanol year-round, which could help farmers by firing up corn demand but faces opposition from Big Oil.

  • Trump administration continues to jockey between oil and corn constituencies as they clash over the nation’s bio-fuels policy.

  • President Trump has directed his top trade and economic advisers to take a fresh look at the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement he withdrew from in his first week in office.

  • He said he’s going to deputize (National Economic Council Chairman) Larry Kudlow and (US Trade Representative) Robert Lighthizer to look at re-entering the TPP negotiations and to take another look at whether or not a better deal could be negotiated.

US Weather

Days 1-5: Snows to hit Upper Midwest (Dakotas & Minnesota) through the weekend, while rounds of rain and thunderstorms in the Midwest/Delta. Planting progress is unlikely to proceed through next week as a result. Frost/freeze expected in S Plains. Temps in the 20s for KS, and sub-freezing temps will stretch into much of OK.

Days 6-10: Colder than normal temps dominate the north central U.S. with a moderate brand of cold across the Midwest. Limited precip over the next 10 days for southern Plains’ Hard Red Winter (HRW) wheat crop. Although, overnight model guidance (both GFS & EC) has begun to place a rainfall event somewhere in the vicinity of 20-22 April that could bring rain and thunderstorms to the southern Plains.

Days 11-15: Temps could moderate back to near normal with the very cold anomalies fading away. This should, on its own, be beneficial for plantings which typically begin to ramp up in parts of the southern Midwest by the end of the month. However, precip could be active during this time frame, which could be unfavorable from a planting standpoint. However, model guidance out through this time frame can be highly variable.

French Crops Lagging

  • Corn sowing is under way, with 1% of the expected area sown by April 9 vs 23% a year earlier.

  • FranceAgriMer estimates 78% of French soft wheat in good/excellent condition, unchanged vs week earlier but below the 89% rating last year.

The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)