By Scott Stabbe, Key Cooperative Grain Department Manager
The dance, or the pushing and shoving match, on tariffs and what was being presented as a possible trade war with China and the U.S., appears to have ended or settled down for now. After all the hoopla and hand-wringing, it’s been announced that China will increase their consumption of U.S. Ag products by 30 – 40 percent which will help reduce the existing trade deficit. The talk in the trade when the tariff issue started, and the bean market dropped, was that China ended up pricing the purchases they had on the books – saving themselves a sizable amount of cash. Surprisingly, after some of the trade associations, congressmen and others in the grain trade fell into the “chicken little syndrome” of the sky is falling, it seems as though we may have actually come out slightly better than when we went into the dance; although the money is not in the bank yet.
The May USDA Report contained some numbers that, at first glance, would be bearish on the overseas production estimates. Although, we’ve seen more independent analysts come out with some different production numbers and thereby, alternative export figures as well. That is precisely why we seem to trade USDA Reports for about the first 15 minutes after the report comes out, then move back to the previous pattern we were in. That pattern for nearby corn has had a $4.00 pivot point as we seem to want to trade either side of that number. A number of weather issues have raised some concerns in the U.S. and other areas around the world. The odds for a record crop year-after-year have been slim for the U.S., let alone for our competitors around the world. So do we bet on another record crop this year?
The warmer weather has caused some stored grain issues to show up so please keep an eye on your bins!
“Trade isn’t about goods. Trade is about information. Goods sit in a warehouse until information moves them.” – C.J. Cherryh