June 19: Soybean Prices Crater Under $9 as Trade War Escalates

The Trump administration delivered another blow to soybean prices Tuesday. The entire grain complex was deep in the red after the administration threatened to hit more than $200 billion in Chinese imports with a 10% tariff. The threat came days after China announced retaliatory levies on U.S. goods after Trump’s first round of tariffs.

Let’s dive into what else happened to grain prices at the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybean Prices Back Under $9.00

The Trump administration’s latest threat to hit China on trade is doing damage to U.S. soybean prices. The July contract cratered another 19.5 cents to close the day at $8.89. The August contract was down 19.75 cents to close the day a tick above $8.94.

What a month it’s been, as it was just May 24 when July contracts were fluttering at $10.50. The selling has been compounded by stronger signs of crop quality and progress across the United States.

Planting pressure is also playing a part of this downturn. The USDA released its weekly update on crop progress and quality yesterday afternoon. Planting came in at 97% complete, a figure that is 2 points higher than last week and 6 points higher than the five-year average.

The agency reported a small decline in crop quality. The agency said that 73% of the soybean crop was rated Good-to-Excellent (G/E). That figure was a 1 point decline from the previous week. That said, the number was 6 points higher than the same period last year.

Wheat Prices Walloped Again

July SRW wheat contracts in Chicago were deep in the red again Tuesday. The July SRW contract shed 12.25 cents on the day. The contract closed just under $4.78 per bushel.

Winter wheat harvest pressures have farmers selling.

The September contract shed 12 cents to end the day at $4.895.

In Kansas City, the July HRW contract shed 16.5 cents to close the day at $4.83 per bushel. The September contract shed 16 cents to finish the day at $4.99.

In Minneapolis, spring wheat prices were also hit hard. The July 2018 MGEX contract shed 14.25 cents to close the day at $5.495. The September contract shed 11.5 cents to end the day at $5.605.

That downturn came after the USDA announced weekly crop progress and quality on Monday afternoon. According to the report, Spring Wheat conditions improved by 8% to 78% G/E.

Corn Prices Retreat

Corn prices are back in the red Tuesday as well. The July contract shed 2.25 cents to close the day just under $3.54 per bushel. The September contract shed 2.25 cents to close a tick above $3.63.

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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin

Garrett Baldwin is a content strategist and editor at FarmLead. He covers the global grain markets and public policy issues related to the agricultural industry. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Economic Policy from The Johns Hopkins University, an MS in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, and an MBA in Finance from Indiana University.

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