Bulls are hoping to hear some positive news out of Beijing this week as U.S. and Chinese leaders gather to discuss details of a trade compromise. We've heard tons of rumors and whisperers that the Chinese are interested in U.S. corn, ethanol, and DDGs but nothing officially has been delivered to the market. Hopefully we will learn more once U.S. officials wrap up their two-day meeting in Beijing.
It's still early, but pockets of dry conditions in Brazil and pockets of overly wet conditions in Argentina are creating some bullish headlines and a bit of uncertainty about total production. The USDA currently has their Brazilian production estimate forecast at 94.5 MMTs vs. 82.0 MMTs last year. Their Argentine production estimate is currently at 42.5 MMTs vs. just 32.0 MMTs last year. That allows the bears to argue that regardless of a few weather hiccups, the trade is still penciling in an additional +20 MMTs of South American corn hitting the marketplace when compared to last year. Perhaps moving forward, the bulls can shoot a few holes in that argument if we start to see the South American production numbers tapered back a bit more, which would provide a more bullish tailwind. I don't know if we can put a lot of weight in that argument as of yet, but we can certainly take that tilt.
Here at home, there's still some concerns and debates circulating around demand. Not only is there increasing export competition coming online, but ethanol margins and slowdowns continue to hit the headlines.
Technically, bulls are wanting to see the MAR19 corn contract close above $3.90. Keep in mind, the last time the MAR19 contract closed above $3.90 was all the way back in mid-October. It was on October 15th that the contract closed at $3.90^2. In fact, the last time we closed above $3.86 was back on October 17th. Friday of this past week we closed at $3.83 per bushel. In other words, we are starting to bounce up against stiffer, long-term technical resistance on the charts.
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The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Corn+Soybean Digest or Farm Progress.