By mid-March 2018, rhetoric regarding trade relations between the United States and China began to heat up. President Trump started this earlier in the year with an announcement of steel and aluminum tariffs. Later he focused more on China and Chinese officials responded in kind. The heated-up rhetoric seemed to be capable of starting a serious trade war in which each country would boost tariffs that would raise the cost of the other nation’s exported products.
December corn futures finished Friday’s session up 5-½ cents, trading in a 10-¼ cent range, trimming losses for the week to 6-¼ cents. Friday’s Commitment of Traders report showed managed money sold 33,313 futures from June 19 to June 26, expanding their net short position to 90,764.
Export inspections Thursday morning in corn came in at 1,511,746 metric tons, a strong number that offered little support to the market. Attention this week will be on weather and Friday’s USDA report which will give us an updated look at quarterly stocks and planted acres.
CME Group, a diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced the launch of options on its Black Sea Wheat FOB and Black Sea Corn FOB financially settled futures contracts, to begin trading on July 16, 2018, pending all relevant regulatory review periods.
While the markets await the outcome from the Fed meeting and oil traders fret about whether OPEC and non-OPEC might raise production, as well as the weekly supply report, the biggest threat to the price of crude oil and the global economy may be the lack of spare oil production capacity. Reuters reports that global spare oil production capacity could fall from more than 3% of global demand now to about 2%, its lowest since at least 1984, if OPEC, Russia and other producers decide to increase output when they meet on June 22-23. Some analysts say spare capacity could even fall below 2%, after years of low oil prices drove down investments in new production across the industry to a historic low.
July soybean futures finished Friday’s session up 5-¼ cents which put them up 44 ¼ cents for the week. Thanks to the big gap higher last Monday, futures traded in just a 28-¼ cent range. Friday’sCommitment of Traders report showed that managed money sold 6,276 futures from May 15th-May 22nd; this puts their net long position at 94,796 futures.
Soybeans have traded as much as 58 cents off of Friday’s lows in the early morning session. There has been renewed hope on the trade side of things, not just that China wouldn’t disappear but perhaps even start buying more agricultural products from the United States.