soy-harvest

Soybean prices continue to shrink

Will China hold out until the mid-term elections to negotiate with the United States?

Soybean prices are starting where we left off last week, with prices again in negative territory, steady to down -5 cents in the overnight. Bulls and bottom-pickers will be trying to recover after last weeks additional -60 cent free-fall.

The soybean market is now down -$2.25 cents from the highs posted back at the end of May. The funds have gone from being aggressively long, to now short between 50,000 and 60,000 contracts, pushing prices to their lowest level in the past decade. Brazil recently harvested another record setting crop, much higher than most would have ever guessed at the start of the season.

The weather here in the U.S. has arguably been much better than most would have expected, meaning we will also probably produce a record setting crop. Even though these are bearish headwinds, the real 800-pound gorilla in the room is the ongoing Chinese trade tensions. Talk of increased U.S. tariffs and escalating uncertainty has allowed the bears to swing freely and for the fences.

The bulls have simply been beaten up too badly to step in and present any type of real fight. Perhaps this will change if rumors circulating that U.S. and Chinese officials might soon get together again to discuss a resolution prove to be real. I would love for that to happen, but I'm personally not holding my breath. I think it's going to take more time and there's probably a bit more downside risk. I still think China is going to try and play hardball into the Nov. 6 U.S. mid-term elections.

The question is can the Chinese economy and market hold out that long or will they have to come to the negotiating table sooner rather than later. More concerning for all of us here at home is how long can we as producers in the ag space hold on... There are some real heated debates brewing right now between "patriotism and the financial pain" being felt by those in rural America. 

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