Grain markets are mixed this morning as they weigh some negative weather across ongoing trade war risk.
“I inherited that calm from my father, who was a farmer. You sow, you wait for good or bad weather, you harvest, but working is something you always need to do.” – Miguel Indurain (Spanish Athlete)
Grain Markets Weigh Weather vs. Trade War
Grain markets are mixed this morning as we start the month of August. Today marks the start of the 2018/19 crop year for many crops, and it’s appropriate as the crop seems a bit early in many areas: seeing combines going in Western Canada anywhere, but southern Alberta or southwestern Saskatchewan before the end of July seems odd!
What’s not odd is that you’ll get our monthly recap of grain markets today on the FarmLead Insights page. We’ll be walking through how grain markets performed for the 12 main crops that we cover for our GrainCents readers, as well as some of the major topics that we’re watching.
The European Union is certainly an interesting factor that we’re monitoring. With some ongoing dry weather, we’ve highlighted the decline in production estimates for our Winter Wheat GrainCents readers in this past Sunday’s Weekly Digest. For example, German farmers are expected to take off somewhere around 20.5 million metric tonnes of wheat this year, down about 15% year-over-year. As such, the German farm group is asking for about €1 Billion in aid to compensate for lower yields on account of yield.
This in mind, we’ve continued to see wheat prices sit in the green as yesterday, Chicago, Kansas City, and Minneapolis wheat prices all closed 5-9 cents higher (depending on the contract). Apart from Europe, ongoing production concerns in Russia and Australia are all being watched by grain markets.
Grain Markets Pushed by Soybean Prices
As Garrett recapped in Grain Markets Today, soybean prices surged yesterday on some renewed optimism for China and the US to come to an agreement on trade. Also, some bulls referenced “stale” crop conditions, albeit as I mentioned in yesterday’s FarmLead Breakfast Brief, the US soybean crop is looking pretty good/advanced.
That being said, soybean prices are pulling back this morning as we’re seeing a correction. However, it’s certainly positive to receive the news that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He have been having a private conversation about getting rid of this trade war. 
This comes at a time that the price of Brazilian soybeans delivered to China are hitting crop-year highs seen in April. This has been the result of mainly a weaker Chinese currency, with the Yuan down about 8% since February against the US Dollar. For clarity, soybean prices on the international market are still traded in US Dollars, regardless of the trade war. The net result is that Chinese crush margins are now in negative territory.
In the meantime, it’s now been suggested that the farmer aid package could start to get released by September with farmers getting the cheques by October.  I won’t lie: this would be unprecedented regarding the speed of a new government program being introduced and executed upon.
However, 37% of farmers are “not at all confident” in the aid package being proposed by the US White House.  All things being equal, this game of musical chairs, worth literally trillions of dollars of trade around the world, is not over. Indeed, there are some negative consequences in the short-term, but it’s hard to anticipate the long-term consequences, but there are likely fewer winners than losers. 
For example, what do you think happens to soybean prices (and therefore canola prices) if everyone and their mother in Argentina and Brazil planted soybeans this coming fall as they start their Plant 2018 and 2018/19 crop year?
If your domestic grain prices were sitting at multi-year highs today, what would you be doing in terms of grain marketing for the upcoming crop year? Exactly.
That in mind, as we flip the crop year calendar for many crops today, get your target up on the FarmLead Marketplace and take advantage of this rally we’ve seen in the grain markets. You can easily post a firm price offer and give the entire list of over 800 credit-verified buyers on FarmLead the opportunity to pick it off.
Let’s start 2018/19 off right.