China purchased 230 million bushels of corn from the U.S. this week, and they were "not even blinking," said Randy Martinson of Martinson Ag Risk Management.
The country seems to have a good appetite for corn that isn't diminishing, he told AgweekTV's Michelle Rook during this week's Agweek Market Wrap, sponsored by Gateway Building Systems.
"I don't think they're done buying," he said.
That pushed corn prices even higher. Rook said 200 million gallons of ethanol are headed to China, along with the 230 million bushels of corn, and that might push the U.S. Department of Agriculture to decrease ending stocks of corn in its February reports.
Tight stocks of corn aren't just a U.S. issue, Martinson said. Questions remain about the second corn crop in South America and when it'll get planted. Plus, some countries are limiting their corn exports.
Soybeans, the leader of the crop markets not so long ago, has taken a step back as Brazil harvest has gotten underway. However, Martinson said harvest progress has been slowed by cool, wet conditions. He still expects that farmers will switch some acres to soybeans, but with corn coming on strong, some might go that way, too.
Wheat remains a follower on the markets. Going into spring, Martinson doesn't expect that wheat will gain many acres, though he said that's OK with where stocks are.
While both Russia and Argentina are indicating they will increase taxes on wheat exports, Russia and the European Union have signaled their intentions to export more wheat, Martinson said.
Meanwhile, cattle had a disappointing week. Craziness in the stock market pulled it down, as did lack of progress on COVID support bills, Martinson said. Cash trade was down, while boxed beef continues to be up. However, he thinks things will be better come spring or early summer.
"I'm friendly cattle going forward," he said.
Beef exports have been strong, he said. And once restaurants open up, the industry should be able to work through the backlog that has cold storage full and slaughter weights up.