Grain and soy bulls tried to put on a good face yesterday, but the best they could muster by the closing bell was a faint smile. Be that as it may, they have returned in most markets overnight, and considering many of them sit in at least a short-term oversold technical position, we could have room for a rebound. With the news at hand, though, do not look for many fireworks.
Export sales for the week ending the 25th were, as expected, lower than the previous week; it was Thanksgiving, after all. But, no one expected the wheat sales to drop off as dramatically as they did. Here, we set a marketing-year low of just 79,900 MT or 2.9 million bushels. Colombia was the top purchaser with 38.4k MT, followed by Mexico, taking 16.8k, and Malaysia in for 9k. There were sales of 26k MT for the 2022/23 crop year, but that is a small consolation. Corn sales were 29% lower than the previous week but still solid at 1,020,800 MT or 40.2 million bushels. North American dominated the buying, with Mexico taking 423.8k MT and Canada for 198.2k, with Japan coming in next with 118.4k. Beans sales slipped 32% for the week but also decent at 1,063,400 MT or 39 million bushels. This week China accounted for 62% of the total with 657.1k MT, followed by Egypt in for 68k and then Thailand taking 67.6k. In addition to this, in the daily system, the USDA reported sales of 164.1k MT to unknown and 130k to China. Bean oil sales were solid, but we knew that India had been in as a purchaser. In the meats, beef sales jumped 12% to 21,600 MT, but the shining star was pork with net sales of 41,400 MT. Mexico was the largest buyer with 19.6k MT, but China was back in for 12.4k.
Opec+ announced today that they intend to move ahead with the planned 400,000 barrel per day increase in production in January but did leave open the possibility that could be adjusted depending on the global effects from Omicron as well as moves by other governments. As many of you are aware, last week, President Biden announced that the US would begin releasing oil from the strategic reserve in an effort to temper fuel prices, but so did the government of China, India, South Korea, Japan, and Britain. The news this morning did not appear to have much of an influence on the crude market but keep in mind, it has already dropped more than 21% over the past 5-weeks. It would appear that if Brent futures extended below the $65 level, it would signal that the party is over for the bull.
Weekly initial jobless claim jumped 28,000 this week to 222,000, but keep in perspective, that is from the lowest level recorded since 1969 and is still the second-lowest number posted since early March 2020. The November employment data will be released tomorrow and could be quite interesting. In the macros this morning, energies are soft, metals under pressure, Bitcoin is firm, financial instruments are flat, equities are strong, and the dollar is under minor pressure.