3 BIG THINGS TODAY, DECEMBER 18, 2019

3 BIG THINGS TODAY, DECEMBER 18, 2019

1. SOYBEANS, GRAINS LOWER AS INVESTORS BOOK PROFITS BEFORE HOLIDAYS

Soybeans and grains were lower heading into the last week of trading before Christmas as investors booked profits after the past week’s gains.

Bean futures rose another 7¢ yesterday, adding to gains since the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and a so-called Phase One trade deal with China were announced last week.

After almost a week of gains, prices were lower in overnight trading.

USDA adviser Tom Kehoe said China will buy U.S. agricultural products based on market conditions and that prices will need to be “competitive” or the purchases will not be made, according to the South China Morning Post.

 

China last week said when announcing the deal with the U.S. that it will buy based on market conditions.

Soybean futures for January delivery fell 2¼¢ to $9.26½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal dropped $1.70 to $300.60 a short ton, while soybean oil lost 0.24¢ to 33.58¢ a pound.

Corn futures for March delivery fell 1½¢ to $3.88½ a bushel.

Wheat for September delivery dropped 6¾¢ to $5.49½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures lost 4½¢ to $4.62½ a bushel.

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2. HOUSE COMMITTEE APPROVES OF USMCA, AGREEMENT LIKELY TO PASS FULL CHAMBER THIS WEEK

The House Ways and Means Committee gave a favorable opinion of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, yesterday, making approval this week likely.

 

The full chamber is expected to vote on the deal on Thursday.

Under the terms of the deal, the U.S. agriculture industry would see several changes including increased access to restrictive Canadian dairy and egg markets, along with peanuts and sugar, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

The agreement will improve market access for everything from fluid milk to cheese to whey, the USTR’s office said in a fact sheet.

The USMCA replaces the almost 26-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told Fox Business News that the deal is “really the absolute gold standard on digital trade and financial services,” as well.

 

Mexico had opposed some of the language in the agreement, specifically that related to what it called “labor inspectors” who would work with their Mexican counterparts on labor reform.

Lighthizer said in a letter to the Mexican government yesterday that the personnel would not, in fact, be “labor inspectors” and would instead provide technical assistance and disburse building funds.

“USMCA is a great agreement for the United States and Mexico,” he said in his letter to his counterparts. “I look forward to working with you and your colleagues to ensure that the agreement enters into force as quickly as possible.”

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3. WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT IN MICHIGAN, INDIANA TO SEE COLD WEATHER TONIGHT

A winter weather advisory is in effect for much of western and central Michigan this morning as another 2 inches of snow are forecast for the area, according to the National Weather Service.

 

Road conditions are expected to be poor, and temperatures are in the teens, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

In central Indiana, meanwhile, subzero wind chills are expected tonight as high pressure builds, bringing dry, cold weather, the agency said.

In northwestern Missouri, freezing fog is possible this morning until about 9 a.m. Visibility will be reduced to less than a quarter mile in the affected areas, the NWS said.

 

by SF/https://www.agriculture.com/