Soybean prices are higher to start the day, knocking on the door of $9.00 per bushel. Bulls are talking about a little weather uncertainty in parts of the U.S., and continued strength in U.S. demand, despite lack of Chinese buying.
The USDA’s most recent weekly export inspections showed +740,000 MT's for last week, which is up about +50% from last year. Bulls are also talking about Argentine crushers looking to purchase more U.S. soybeans. There's been some talk inside the trade that Argentina will actually become the world's second largest importer of soybeans in 2018, behind only China.
This is the game changer the bulls were discussing a few months back, when the trade first learned of the weather complications and production hiccups in Argentina this past growing season. As I mentioned, eventually that bird has to come to roost. We are now starting to see those headlines recirculate and actually offset some of the uncertainties and negativity surrounding trade conflicts. Technically, the trade continues to believe the $9.00 to $9.20 area will be tougher ground for the bulls to move beyond.
Here at home, the trade is also trying to debate and determine U.S. yield. Similar to corn, there are some bulls who are surprised to see the crop-condition estimate left "unchanged" on the week at 70% rated "Good-to-Excellent".
States where conditions deteriorated: Tennessee -10%; Louisiana and Missouri -8%; Arkansas and Kentucky -5%; Illinois, Kansas and Ohio -3%; North Dakota and Wisconsin; Minnesota -1%. States where conditions have improved: North Carolina +9%; Mississippi +5%; South Dakota +4%; Michigan +3%; and Iowa +1%.