Morning Comments – May 23


China looking at U.S. soybeans again. Trucker protests in Brazil expand.  Optional origin sales of 140,000 metric tons of corn for delivery to Saudi Arabia.  Of the total 70,000 metric tons is for delivery during the 2017/2018 marketing year and 70,000 metric tons is for delivery during the 2018/2019 marketing year.  An optional origin contract provides that the origin of the commodity may be the U.S. or one or more other exporting countries.

Trump Says “Not Satisfied” with U.S. China Trade Talks

On Tuesday, President Trump said that he was “not satisfied” with how trade talks went with China. The president’s remarks triggered selling in the U.S. equities market toward the end of the session on Tuesday. The comment was made during an Oval Office meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and contrasts sharply from his message on Monday.

Is China Back Buying Soybeans from the U.S.?

Chinese state grain buyer Sinograin has inquired about soybean prices in the U.S. for old and new crop. Sinograin has not purchased U.S. soybeans since April. The interest in U.S. soybean prices is a positive sign and comes after last week’s trade negotiations between the U.S. and China. No sales to China have been confirmed.

Brazil Trucker Strike Day 3

Truck drivers in Brazil will extend the protest a third day after the Government’s proposal to cut a fuel tax was seen as unsatisfactory. On Tuesday the Government proposed to eliminate the CIDE fuel tax, and put additional revenue from payroll taxes to reducing fuel prices. The trucking group ABCAM said that the CIDE accounted for only a fraction of the taxes on diesel fuel. On Wednesday, the Brazilian government proposed a reduction of the PIS/Cofins tax on diesel in an effort to end the trucker strike. Diesel prices have risen nearly 50% in less than a year. Thousands of trucks were obstructing major roadways used to ship soybeans in Mato Grosso. The protest has grown to include 23 states and around 300,000 drivers on Tuesday. Pork and chicken producer Aurora said on Tuesday that it will halt work in fifteen plants across four states due to the disruption in road transportation and a lack of storage space.

Argentina Dock Worker Strike

Dock workers in Argentina are planning a 24 hour strike on Thursday, demanding better working conditions. The strike is also to protest government talks with the International Monetary Fund.

FOMC Minutes Released Today

FOMC minutes will show the policy meeting in May. Traders will be looking for any hint on the pace of U.S. monetary tightening and look for confirmation for a rate hike in June.

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