March 1 came and went with still no trade deal
There was a lot of build up to the March 1 deadline for a trade deal between the U.S. and China, but the proverbial can was kicked down the road and tariffs have not been increased.
It appears that some progress was made with China pledging to buy 10 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans, and reports were generally positive coming out of meetings. The two sides continue to struggle to address intellectual property and theft issues, so no deal has been reached.
The agriculture markets have moved past the potential for higher Chinese demand for U.S. soybeans as the South American crops are now available and global stocks are huge.
Wheat markets have seen ongoing pressure. Kansas City and Chicago contracts hit new lows this week while Minneapolis futures are trading off lows, but within spitting distance of that mark.
Pressure continues on ample global supplies that are keeping export markets incredibly competitive for sellers. The U.S. has been dealing with a variety of trade issues, and being priced out by France and others does not bode well for exports hitting the U.S. Department of Agriculture's lofty forecast of a billion bushels.
Also pressuring prices are wet conditions across the Plains. While this can be troublesome if it gets too wet, in most instances a wet end to winter points to good early development as the winter crops emerge from dormancy.
Durum markets continue to be weak, with little new information to get prices supported. Supplies are comfortable in the U.S. and Canada. With spring planting approaching, look for both weather forecasts and private estimates for durum planted area to potentially impact the market. But without a major surprise or weather problem, it will be difficult to get prices off these extreme lows.
The canola market got absolutely hammered to end the week.
Prices had been declining steadily, hitting new lows almost daily. But the market totally collapsed late in the week.
Stocks are incredibly high. Export demand has not met expectations, even with some sales to China. There is mounting concern that demand will go away if the U.S. and China come to a trade agreement. Additionally, European rapeseed prices have been off, as have palm and soybean oil markets.
The Canadian Grain Commission reported good movement of both peas and lentils over the last weeks. Both crops are well ahead of last year's export pace.
Mustard seed markets were flat to lower this week. Most offers came in unchanged from a week ago, but oriental variety did see a drop. Light trade interest this week compared to normal.