Daily Market Wire 17 January 2020

Guest Author, January 17, 2020

Corn futures fell hard and wheat took a 1-2 per cent cut.

  • Chicago wheat March contract down 8 cents per bushel to 565.25c;
  • Kansas wheat March contract down 11.75 cents to 484.75c;
  • Minneapolis wheat March contract down 6c/bu to 550.25c;
  • MATIF wheat March contract down €2.25 to €193/t;
  • Corn March contract down 12c to 375.5c;
  • Soybeans March contract down 4.75c to 924c;
  • Winnipeg canola March contract up C$0.20/t to $476/t;
  • MATIF rapeseed February contract down €4.75/t to €404.75/t;
  • Brent crude February contract up $0.60c per barrel to $64.60 per barrel;
  • Dow Jones index up 267 points to 29297 points;
  • AUD weaker at $0.6890;
  • CAD unchanged at $1.304;
  • EUR weaker at $1.114.


Markets remain unimpressed with the trade deal – Chicago ended down 8¢ 565 1/4¢, KC -11 3/4¢ to 484 3/4¢, Minny -6¢ to 550 1/4¢, and Matif -2.25€ to 193€.  Corn sold off 12¢ to 375.5¢ on the close and beans gave up four and three quarters to 924¢ (Winnipeg canola +20¢ to $476, Matif -4.75€ to 404.25€).  Crude oil has jumped up some 60-70¢ with WTI at $58.5/Brent $64.6 and the DOW picked up 267 points after the USMCA passed the US Senate.  The AUD is trading around 68.9¢, the CAD $1.304, and the EUR $1.114.


Now that we’ve had a full day since the trade deal signature, the consensus on the trade deal has shifted even more fully towards “maybe positive”.

We haven’t seen any new flashed business and no reports of any new interest. So the considerations of “market principles”, much highlighted in Chinese media, are supporting concerns that the levels they targeted will not be achieved.

The Chinese government has repeatedly said that they will not mandate such purchases and will not provide subsidies to encourage them.

In any case at current prices there’s not likely to be much interest on the bean side with South American harvest hitting.

The signed agreement states firmly that the purchases “shall” happen, but as many have noted there’s not much in the way of enforcement to ensure it’ll happen, at least not without a re-escalation of the trade war.

In the meantime, pundits can analyse the text all they want, markets are firmly in the “believe it when we see it” camp.

The US Secretary of Ag also appears implicitly to be in that camp, stating in an interview today that he expected the third round of Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments to go out despite the deal being signed.


On the upside, the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) deal does finally seem to be complete and there’s hope for firmer business there through the next few months.   The US senate ratified UMSCA today and President Trump is expected to sign it promptly.

Export sales were also slightly better than expected. Corn was 784,000t (including two boats-worth to Mexico), wheat was 650,000t, and beans were 711,000t (with four Chinese boats, but two switched from unknown).  No new Chinese sorghum demand was seen.


Rains across NSW and Qld saw exceptionally wide ranges – 50mm+ in spots, and not a drop just a ways down the road with multiple streaky storm fronts moving through.

Overall perception has been very supportive, but there are still significant areas that missed out, particularly into central NSW.

High runoff in some of the heavier rain areas has also minimized the immediate infiltration benefit but this is a start.

Rains are still moving through the eastern Darling Downs. There’s more on the radar for some parts of the Victorian Mallee later this weekend, but for the most part the event is over.

We have seen some interest in getting fodder or cover crops in as an attempt to retain moisture from future rain events – but in general we still need to see significant moisture across the area to make it worthwhile.



Market remains cynical about the trade deal, and noting absence of any short term activity to fulfill obligations

Rains were wide ranging and patchy – but 50+ mm for some




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