South America weather, politics push soybean prices higher

South America weather, politics push soybean prices higher

Soybean bulls continue to talk about the geopolitical complications and uncertainty inside Brazil, as well as the weather complications inside Argentina. Most insiders from Argentina are talking about a possible 2-3 MMT reduction from previous estimates.

The kicker is the fact heavy rains have caused the harvest and movement of soybeans to the crushers to drastically slow. The soybeans the crushers were counting on to produce the meal that was going to be exported has been limited as of late, by how much depends on who you talk to inside Argentina? Some are saying a couple of crushers have temporarily closed their doors while a few others have reduced run rates. Numbers are floating around that show perhaps -250,000 to -500,000 tons of meal might be taken out of the nearby equation.

While one might suspect this would bring about a run back towards U.S. meal, U.S. export demand hasn't been overly impressive. Perhaps global meal importers are simply waiting for things to dry out in Argentina? I hear the forecast has cleared up a bit inside Argentina and more trucks are starting to load and dump beans.

As both a producer and a spec, I have to imagine if we begin to see more business coming back to U.S. exporters for meal the trade will again start to add more risk premium. Until then the trade appears on hold preferring to take a "wait-and-see" approach in regard to South American weather and political uncertainty.

As I've mentioned the past few weeks, the trade will need fresh new bearish headlines to aggressively drive prices lower. There's just nothing new on the bearish side that the trade hasn't been digesting for months. Perhaps that might change in the weeks ahead when the USDA starts issuing an "official" report on the pace of U.S. soybean planting.

Keep in mind several states down South have been getting the crop in the ground: Mississippi 19% planted; Louisiana 13% planted; Arkansas 12% planted. I suspect next week we will see the USDA provide an official estimate in regard to the pace of planting. As a producer I'm keeping my hedges in place and looking for another opportunity to make cash-sales and reduce longer-term price risk. As a spec I patiently remain on the sideline.

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TAGS: Soybeans
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