GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

TOP STORIES:

Global Wheat Supplies Have Room to Grow

Wheat for March delivery fell 1.2% to $5.52 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade Monday, with mild weather and better growing conditions around the world making competition tougher for U.S. wheat.

Weather in wheat-growing areas globally has been mild in recent days, providing optimal conditions for wheat crops to grow and add to world supplies. This is bad news for U.S. wheat farmers hoping to capitalize on more opportunities to sell into the export market. "Temperatures simply have not gotten to any kinds of levels close to damaging the wheat," said Charlie Sernatinger of ED&F Man Capital regarding world wheat.

WASDE Positioning: Futures trading was quiet Monday, with most traders looking ahead to Tuesday's WASDE report to get a new trading direction. According to Karl Setzer of AgriVisor, ending stocks are expected to be where most of the surprises from the report will be found. He also expects the same will be true for corn production numbers, thanks to the resurvey of northern plains cornfields to better include production from there.

Origin Agritech Up; Updates on GMO Corn Seeds and Traits

Origin Agritech Ltd. (SEED) shares rose about 2% to $6.19 in morning trading.

The China-based agriculture technology and rural e-commerce company earlier updated the progress of biotech research programs and strategies for the commercialization of GMO corn seeds and traits.

As the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs recently issued two more biosafety certificates for biotechnology corn traits, the company said it believes it is now more widely expected that Chinese authorities will approve the planting and commercialization of biotech corn seed in China. Origin said it has been preparing for the commercialization of its technology for years and has a pipeline to meet the potential demand for corn seed biotechnologies.

STORIES OF INTEREST:

Will Grain Markets Start Seeing Trade Deal Purchases Next Week? -- Market Talk

09:50 ET - Grain traders are eyeing next week for China to finally ramp up its purchasing of US agricultural goods. That's because the agreement will officially be in force as of Feb. 15 with the text of the deal providing a 30-day window for China to begin increased purchases of US agricultural products. "Tariff reductions are expected to go into effect this Friday, so maybe that is what they're waiting for," says Doug Bergman of RCM Alternatives. However, with coronavirus still wreaking havoc in China, it's possible that US agriculture will have to wait longer for the ramp-up to begin, although White House officials insist the disease will not prevent China from missing its obligations under the deal. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

Soybean Inspections Miss Target -- Market Talk

11:29 ET - Inspections of soybean exports are lower than expected this week, according to USDA data. Soybean inspections totaled 603,852 metric tons, below the expected range of 700,000 tons to 1.35M tons. Of that total, 135,335 tons were inspected for export to China--well below to over 500,000 tons destined for China in last week's iteration of the report. Meanwhile, inspections of corn and wheat fell within analyst forecasts, at 769,390 tons and 523,713 tons, respectively. Soybean futures on the CBOT are up 0.7% while corn is down 0.8% and wheat is 1.1% lower. (kirk.maltais@ wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

Brazil Soybean Harvest Lags Last Year's Pace -- Market Talk

0747 ET - Brazilian farmers had harvested 16% of the area planted with soybeans as of Feb. 6, according to agricultural consultancy AgRural. That's behind the 26% finished on the same date last year, but slightly ahead of the five-year average, the group said. Growers in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil's biggest producer of the oilseeds, are advancing with the harvest between rainy periods, and so far aren't seeing significant signs of excessive moisture or loss of quality, AgRural said. In other areas that were planted later, such as Goias state, rains are also getting in the way of harvest work, but the precipitation is helping the development of the crop and signs point to a record harvest in the 2019-2020 season. AgRural in January forecast a crop of 123.9 million metric tons, and will release a revised forecast shortly. (jeffrey.lewis@wsj.com)

THE MARKETS:

Livestock Futures Finish Lower -- Market Talk

15:57 ET - Livestock futures on the CME finish lower -- with lean hog futures losing 1.8% to 65.075 cents per pound, while live cattle futures slip 0.9% to $1.18675 per pound. Trading started the day lower, not changing much throughout the day ahead of tomorrow's monthly WASDE report from the USDA. Traders overall believe that the WASDE will be generally uneventful, but hopes that China will soon issue duty-free licenses for US meat could soon lend support for futures -- especially considering that Chinese meat prices have not stopped inflating, with pork prices up roughly 20% year-over- year. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)


  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  02-10-20 1728ET
  Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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