Grain markets this morning are mixed on this Friday the 13th as a myriad of factors are pushing prices around.
“There are people who have too much space between their ears, and given the time, do nothing but free fall forever inside their head. It’s a spooky thing to be left alone in an angry inner-verse.” – James St. James (US Television Personality)
Grain Markets Spooky on Friday the 13th
Grain markets this morning are mixed on this Friday the 13th as a myriad of factors are pushing prices around like flames crackling wildly in a pit.
As Garrett mentioned in his afternoon Grain Markets Today column, soybean prices climbed on some better-than-expected export numbers yesterday. More specifically, the USDA says that sales last week totaled 55.5 million bushels (or 1.51 million tonnes, if you’re converting metric tonnes into bushels).
However, the bullish party was reined in by actual shipments coming in at just 15.4 million bushels (or 419,000 tonnes). Cumulative shipments are now tracking 13% behind that of a year ago. The USDA, as of this week’s WASDE report, says that US soybean exports should be 5% lower than 2016/17.
Meanwhile, cumulative US corn shipments are sitting 21% behind what had been shipped out at this time back in 2016/17. For US wheat, last week’s shipments totaled 16 million bushels (or 435,500 tonnes). This puts cumulative US wheat exports at 10% behind the past at this time in 2016/17. There are about two months left before new crop US winter wheat supplies hit the market.
Ever-Moving Trade Winds of Grain Markets
Maybe those US wheat exports will increase though. US President Trump has asked his people to look into the Trans-Pacific Partnership again, specifically asking for them to find out what it would take for America to get back in. 
If this would happen, it would likely undo some of the benefits that Australia and Canada have seen. Specifically, US wheat may become the go-to option for Japan again, over Canadian wheat or Australian options, something we’ve talked about in detail for our GrainCents spring wheat readers.
On the Chinese-US trade front, President Trump has also said that he’s looking to put more pressure on China.  CNGOIC notes that if China puts the 25% import tax on US soybeans, they think the People’s Republic will have a shortfall of 20 million tonnes. As a result, China’s soybean and soymeal stocks – approximately 26.5 million tonnes and 6.5 million tonnes respectively – would be tapped into. But they also admit that they would look to Europe for some sourcing soybeans, soymeal, rapeseed, and rapeseed meal.
This would be good news for canola prices in Canada and rapeseed prices in Europe, but for the former, prices have slipped in the last few days.
On the weather front in Brazil, things are still in a pretty decent position, with the soybean harvest 85% complete (it was 89% by this time a year ago). AgResource reports that “Northern Brazil corn growing weather remains optimal.” While there is more talk about how there is some concern for southern Brazilian corn-growing areas, rainfall is about average thus far. To make trend yield, the area will need another 3-5 inches of rain in the next six weeks. Seems do-able.
Talking More About 2018/19 Production
There are definitely changes that are happening in the pulse markets. With some resilient prices as of late, peas aren’t as terrible in terms of profitability as they were a few months ago.  Farmers definitely need to be savvier about opportunities in 2018/19 about when to sell pea.  There are currently some strong old and new crop peas bids on the FarmLead Marketplace.
On the durum front, Adrian dived into what prices could do in 2018/19, depending on what US production looks like. There certainly are some nuances to what the supply and demand balance sheet could look like, and he goes through three different scenarios, depending on the weather.
Ultimately, there is definitely some last-second musical chairs that are playing out as grain markets and Mother Nature is playing hardball about acute price direction.
Have a great weekend!