Good Morning,

Corn and soybeans were each down 3 overnight. I look for light trade and little movement either direction this week as traders enjoy the holiday week. Shortened trading hours this week with the markets closing at 12:05 pm today and closed tomorrow.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce stated on Sunday that China and the US held a vice-ministerial level call on Friday, the second such call in a week, to have a deep exchange of views on trade imbalances and the protection of intellectual property. No further details were released, but the ministry’s web page stated that the two countries made new progress on the issues and discussed timetables, further calls and mutual visits.
While I don’t see an immediate impact, the current government shutdown could impact the grain markets in the coming weeks. Traders are looking forward to the January 11th Crop Production and S&D report to see what the final yield for the 2018 crop is going to be and if stocks will be adjusted due to lower ethanol demand and lower exports. The shutdown means that traders may have to wait longer for this report as the following are USDA activities that would not be continued:
• NASS statistics, World Ag Supply and Demand Estimates reports, and other ag economic and statistical reports and projections.
• ERS Commodity Outlook Reports, Data Products, research reports, staff analysis and projections. The ERS public website would be taken offline.
Activities that would continue in the short-term:
• Some farm payments including direct payments, market assistance loans, market facilitation payments and disaster assistance programs.
• Trade mitigation purchases made by USDA’s Ag Marketing Service.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Garry Gard