Traders Wait on Sidelines Until More Data Released
Good Morning from Allendale, Inc. with the early morning commentary for January 17, 2019.

Grain market traders were quiet with light trading volume and little fund activity. The big 3 grain futures all had moderate rebounds after being sharply lower in the last trading session. Traders will continue to watch for any indications of additional export sales, progress in the U.S. China trade wars and/or news of the U.S. government reopening.

The USDA will reopen roughly 980 Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices for three days starting on Thursday to help process farm loans and tax documents during the partial federal government shutdown. 2,500 FSA employees who have been furloughed by the partial shutdown have been called back to work without pay. The offices will be open Thursday, Friday and Tuesday before closing again.

The Agricultural Outlook Forum is planned for Feb. 21 and 22 in Arlington, Virginia. At the event, the USDA will release preliminary forecasts for the U.S. crop, livestock and dairy sectors, including updated acreage projections for the new year and farm-gate price forecasts. The forum is still on track to be held next month, USDA chief economist Robert Johansson told Reuters, but time is running short.

Three Farm Credit institution CEOs said the majority of American farmers have so far weathered depressed commodity prices and a supply overhang. The financial stability of the industry is much better compared with the great farm crisis of the 1980s, they said. But they warned that some farmers were about to run out of options after years of lower corn and soybean prices unless there is an end to the U.S. China trade war, which has wiped out the main export market for U.S. soybeans this year. (Reuters)

China will likely sell off the last of its aging corn stocks this year, said a Chinese agriculture ministry official. The official said it will return corn stocks back to "normal levels".

Brazils Cleres cut its soybean harvest forecast to 117.2 million tonnes due to drought, which is in line with other analysts.

Russia's Agriculture Ministry said it expected a grain harvest of 114.3 million tonnes in 2019 (112.8 million tonnes in 2018, down 16.7% from 2017).

Cattle Feeders posted offers of $127 today but packers didn't accept them. Last week's offer was a $124 average.

Allendale has finished revisions to the 2019 supply, demand, and pricing outlook. Based on three separate winter storms and lower placements from September through November, we have brought our 2019 beef production estimate down. USDA's December estimates were a 3.1% increase. The full cattle outlook will be released on January 30th in the bi-annual Allendale Ag Leaders Conference from January 29th 31st. Please sign up by visiting us or contact us at (800) 262-7538.

Dressed Beef Values were mixed with choice down 0.28 and select up 1.07. CME feeder index was at 144.19. Pork cut-out values were down .69.