Local Grains

Last Updated Oct 11, 2019 8:28 AM*
Corn Old Crop New Crop
Pro Coop, Terril - 1 -.13 -.23
Lakota Ethanol - GPRE, Superior .12 -.18
CFE, Ocheyedan - Old 1 .09 -.12
Stateline Co-op, Halfa .25 -.10
Poet Bio Refining, Emmetsburg .20 -.20
Max Yield, Mallard -.13 -.26
Max Yield, Fostoria -.13 -.26
Max Yield, Kerber +.25 .18
Ag Partners, Fonda -.08 -.20
Ag Partners, Hartley +.10 -.20

Soybeans Old Crop New Crop
Pro Coop, Terril - 1 -.80 -.80
Meadowland Co-op, Lamberton,MN -.85 -.85
CHS, Fairmont -.55 -.50
CFE, Ocheyedan - Old 1 -.85 -.85
First Co-op, Laurens -.82 -.82
Max Yield, Fostoria -.85 -.85
Max Yield, Mallard -.83 -.83
Ag Partners, Emmetsburg -.75 -.75
Ag Partners, Hartley -.85 -.85
WFS Co-op, Dolliver -.70 -.70

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*This information was current as of this date. We believe it to be accurate but assume no responsibility.

Commodity Headlines

Corn Matures 21 Percentage Points Behind Five-Year Average

September 17, 2019 1:08 PM

Source: proag.com / Anthony Greder, DTN

U.S. corn and soybean conditions held mostly steady last week, but both crops are still significantly behind the average pace in reaching maturity, according to USDA NASS’ latest Crop Progress report released Monday.

NASS estimated that, as of Sunday, Sept. 15, the U.S. corn crop was 55% in good-to-excellent condition, unchanged from the previous week. That’s still the lowest good-to-excellent rating for the crop at this time of year since 2013.

Only 18% of corn was estimated mature as of Sunday, according to NASS. Last year at this same time, half of the crop (51%) had reached maturity. The current maturity is also 21 percentage points behind the five-year average of 39%. That’s further behind average than in last Monday’s report, when maturity was 13 percentage points behind the five-year average.

Corn in the dough stage was estimated at 93%, 5 percentage points behind the five-year average of 98%. Corn dented was 68%, 19 percentage points behind the five-year average of 87%.

“Fifty percent or less of corn is dented in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and South Dakota,” said DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman.

In its first corn harvest report of the season, NASS estimated that 4% of the crop had been harvested as of Sunday, led by activity in North Carolina and Texas. That compares to last year’s 8% harvested and the five-year average of 7%.

While corn condition was unchanged last week, the condition of the nation’s soybean crop fell slightly from 55% good to excellent the previous week to 54% as of Sunday. As with corn, that remains the lowest good-to-excellent rating since 2013, Hultman said.

Soybeans setting pods reached 95% as of Sunday, behind both last year’s and the average pace of 100%. Soybeans dropping leaves was estimated at 15%, far behind last year when half of the crop had leaves dropping and 23 percentage points behind the five-year average of 38%.

Spring wheat harvest slowed last week, moving ahead only 5 percentage points from the previous week to reach 76% as of Sunday. That is 17 percentage points behind the five-year average of 93%. Montana remains the slowest to harvest, at 69% complete, Hultman noted.

Planting of next year’s winter wheat crop was estimated at 8% complete as of Sunday, according to NASS, slightly behind the average pace of 12%.

“The top three states getting early starts to planting winter wheat were Washington, Colorado and Nebraska,” Hultman said.

Sorghum coloring was estimated at 79%, behind the average of 84%. Sorghum mature was estimated at 34%, behind the average of 44%. Sorghum harvested was estimated at 24%, behind the five-year average of 27%. Barley harvested reached 87%, behind the average of 96%. Oats were 92% harvested, also behind the average of 97%.

Cotton bolls opening was estimated at 54%, ahead of the average of 47%. Cotton harvested was estimated at 9%, near the five-year average of 8%. Cotton condition — for the portion of the crop still in fields — was rated 41% good to excellent, down 2 percentage points from the previous week’s 43% good-to-excellent rating. Rice harvested was 46%, slightly behind the average of 48%.

To view weekly crop progress reports issued by National Ag Statistics Service offices in individual states, visit http://www.nass.usda.gov/…. Look for the U.S. map in the “Find Data and Reports by” section and choose the state you wish to view in the drop-down menu. Then look for that state’s “Crop Progress & Condition” report.

In countdown to trade war talks, China ready to sweeten deal by buying American goods, source says

September 10, 2019 12:14 PM


China is expected to agree to buy more American agricultural products in hopes of a better trade deal with the United States as the two nations prepare for a meeting between their top negotiators next month.

A source familiar with the situation said working-level officials were discussing the text of a deal, which would be reviewed when Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He met US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Washington in October.

The text is based on a draft the two sides negotiated in April, the source said on condition of anonymity.

As part of the discussions, China has offered to buy American products in exchange for a delay in a series of US tariffs and easing of a supply ban against Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies.

The source said China could also offer more market access, better protection for intellectual property and to cut excess industrial capacity, but would be more reluctant to compromise on subsidies, industrial policy and reform of state-owned enterprises.

With the talks just weeks away, Chinese leaders are trying to enlist support from the business community.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told a gathering of US business representatives on Tuesday that China wanted a mutually accepted solution to the trade dispute. Li also said China welcomed investment by US companies in China, and that the country’s opening and reform would continue.

In a separate meeting with Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat, Liu said China firmly opposed the trade war and hoped the US business community would help foster stable and cooperative bilateral trade and economic relations.

Trade talks collapsed in early May despite agreement on nearly 90 per cent of a text for a trade deal, including a currency agreement, sources said.

In the aftermath, the US accused China of backtracking on previously agreed promises, while Beijing said the text raised unacceptable demands and hurt its sovereignty.

The talks resumed in July but failed to bring any meaningful results in a shorter-than-expected meeting in Shanghai.

Observers said the US wanted to resume talks based on an earlier text but China insisted that any deal must first include the removal of tariffs.

Then US President Donald Trump announced new tariffs on Chinese products in August, and Beijing responded with retaliatory duties and by suspending agricultural purchases from the US.

The tensions worsened when Trump accused China of manipulating its currency by deliberately depreciating the yuan to support its exports.

In Beijing, monetary policymakers gave up defending the yuan rate at 7 to the US dollar and allowed the currency to depreciate below the key psychological line.

Observers said that with the turmoil even a simple agreement on Chinese purchases was far from guaranteed.

“Everyone knows that there is little trust on either side and deals over soybeans won’t change that,”said Scott Kennedy, senior adviser with the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

“It makes more sense to limit such displays and instead return as soon as possible to negotiations over structural issues that were suspended in early May when China backtracked on its offer.”

James Zimmerman, a former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China and a partner with a law firm Perkins Coie, said a negotiated purchase agreement risked violating market rules and could be challenged by other countries.

“The October meeting is to get peacefully past China’s 70th anniversary. The talks will stall to 2020 when Trump becomes desperate for an election-year deal, any deal,” Zimmerman said.

“Trump could have been better off if he could just complete [talks for the] bilateral investment treaty and Trans-Pacific Partnership. The tactics he is using is a huge mistake by abandoning the BIT and TPP, which is a huge loss of opportunities, strategic leverage against China, and its long-term reputation.”

In Beijing, the leadership is putting the focus on the longer term, suggesting that a trade deal with the US would be just a trade war truce.

In a speech last Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged the Communist Party to embrace a long-term struggle against a range of risks.

Nevertheless, China has announced further steps to liberalise the domestic financial market and attract foreign capital. On Tuesday, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange announced that it would remove the quota caps for qualified foreign institutional investor programmes which enable licensed international investors to invest in mainland China’s securities market.

Trump Hints at More Trade Aid as Farmers Absorb ‘Body Blow’

August 6, 2019 11:11 AM

Source:  bloomberg.com

President Donald Trump said he’s prepared to deliver more aid to farmers hurt by the trade war with China, but concerns are growing that the U.S. agriculture industry could suffer a long-term loss of market share as other countries rush in to fill Chinese orders.

The nation’s leading farm group on Monday called China’s decision to halt imports of U.S. agricultural products “a body blow” to the nation’s farmers, a crucial constituency for Trump.

The president responded with assurances of continued assistance to farmers in a tweet Tuesday morning, suggesting he would add to the $28 billion in trade aid he has approved for farmers over the past two years.

“As they have learned in the last two years, our great American Farmers know that China will not be able to hurt them in that their President has stood with them and done what no other president would do,” Trump said in a tweet. “And I’ll do it again next year if necessary!”

Trump so far has maintained support among the rural voters who overwhelmingly backed his 2016 election with federal assistance partially making up for farmers’ losses from tariff dispute. But farmers and their lobbyists in Washington increasingly respond with demands for “trade not aid” as shifts in global trading patterns harden.

Brazil and Argentina are capturing larger shares of soybean sales to China, the largest export market for the oilseed.

Farmers in Brazil are also investing to convert more land to soybean production to satisfy Chinese demand, raising the country’s long-term capacity to grow crops. Fertilizer Giant Yara International ASA forecasts Brazil’s soybean planted area will rise 2.5% this year as farmers shift pasture land and sugar-cane areas to the crop.

Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. Chief Executive Officer Juan Luciano said on an Aug. 1 conference call with analysts that the damage to U.S. agriculture grows the longer the tariff dispute continues, though he doesn’t think it has yet done irreparable harm.

“People find alternatives and eventually they become a little bit more comfortable with those alternatives,” Luciano said. “So this is not good for the U.S. farmers.”

Cannot Last Forever’

Zippy Duvall, president of the the American Farm Bureau Federation, the nation’s largest and most influential general farm organization, said Monday U.S. farmers are “grateful” for the money the Trump administration has given them so far but “we know that aid cannot last forever.”

He said China’s import cut-off was “a body blow to thousands of farmers and ranchers who are already struggling to get by.”

Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, the nation’s second-largest general farm group, said Trump’s “strategy of constant escalation and antagonism” has “just made things worse.” America’s family farmers and ranchers “can’t withstand this kind of pressure much longer.”

Duvall said the tariff war is worsening the plight of a farm sector already reeling from low commodity prices and bad weather. U.S farm exports to China had already fallen $1.3 billion during the first half of the year, he said.

“Now, we stand to lose all of what was a $9.1 billion market in 2018, which was down sharply from the $19.5 billion farmers exported to China in 2017,” Duvall said.

Trade Aid

Last year, the administration announced $12 billion in aid to farmers hurt by the spat. Trump followed that up with another $16 billion in trade assistance this year.

Prior to Trump’s tweet, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue had warned farmers not to count on more trade aid. Agriculture Department spokeswomen didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on Trump’s tweet.

Trump won overwhelming backing from rural voters in 2016 and their continued enthusiastic support is crucial to his re-election bid. In June, 54% of rural voters approved of Trump’s job performance compared with a national approval rating of 42%, according to a Gallup survey of 701 self-identified rural voters.

Farmers optimism rebounded in July, after the latest tranche of trade aid was announced and before the escalation in the trade war. The Purdue University/CME Group’s agricultural sentiment index increased to 153 points in July from 126 in June, according to a survey of 400 agricultural producers.