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China's Interest Rate, Monkeypox, Markets & Rain Days Update 5/21/22


Despite a shrinking corn crop, Argentina raised its corn export limit from 30 million mt to 35 million mt. That pressured corn yesterday.

The People’s Bank of China unexpectedly cut the five-year prime interest rate yesterday. That will boost the Chinese economy and, therefore, the world economy; we could reasonably export more corn and soybeans to China.

The economy in China must not be too bad. China’s crude oil imports from its top supplier, Saudi Arabia, soared 38% in April from a year ago and Russian crude oil imports were up 4%. China’s April crude oil imports were the highest monthly volume since May 2020.

Nationwide, the US corn basis is stronger than anytime the past ten years (2012 drought).

Cumulative old crop soybean export sales are 2% more than the USDA’s forecast for the marketing year. The five year average US export pace for this date is 2% less than USDA projected soybean exports.


Monkeypox is the latest virus to plague the world. It is a rare viral disease typically limited to west and central Africa. There have been dozens of cases reported with Australia, Canada, Italy, and Sweden have become the latest countries to report their first confirmed cases of monkeypox. Canadian officials said 17 suspected cases in the greater Montreal region are being investigated.

There was a case identified in Massachusetts on May 18 with a man who recently traveled to Canada. A suspected case is being investigated in New York City. The United States recorded two monkeypox cases in 2021.

Symptoms are similar to smallpox, but are milder. They include fever, headaches, and skin rashes that start on the face and spread to the rest of the body.

People can contract the disease through close contact with others who carry the virus, or with material contaminated with the virus. A smallpox vaccination has provided at least some immunity, but it has not been determined to be 100%. Too many people do not know if they were ever vaccinated for smallpox. The disease typically self-resolves within two weeks to a month, but in rare cases, people can experience severe illness and die. The death rate is 3 to 6% in recent years.


It is thought that Indonesia has lifted their export ban on refined palm oil. It is hard to be sure because politicians are saying what they need to say to keep consumers somewhat content and likewise for palm oil producers, but the market is trading as if the export ban has been lifted.

December corn tested major support yesterday and closed well above it. Looks to be higher Sunday night.

A NH3 and urea production plant in Pivdenny, Ukraine has been struck by a missile. With Ukraine’s fertilizer exports already stopped, it won’t impact global nitrogen S&D, but this could be a disaster for Ukrainian farmers.

John Deere shares were down over 11% yesterday after Deere reported lower gross revenue than expected, but the news was not all bad for Deere shareholders. The company’s profit was higher than expected. Gosh, do suppose that means Deere raised prices to increase their profit margin while selling less?

The monthly Cattle On Feed Report was issued yesterday.

Cattle on feed were 2% more than a year ago (+1.3% expected).

Placements were 0.9% less than a year ago (-4.6% expected).

Fed marketings were down 2.3% (-2% expected).


Market Data

This morning:

Crude oil settled at $112.70, up $0.49

The dollar index settled at 103.03, up 0.31

July palm oil settled at 6,342 MYR, up 46. The contract high was made April, 29th at 7,229 MYR. Palm oil owns 36% and soybean oil owns 28% world market share.

December cotton settled at $125.18, down $3.04 per cwt. The contract high was made May, 17th at $133.79 per cwt. Cotton competes with soybeans and corn for acres.

July natural gas settled at $8.178, down 0.222. The contract high was made May, 6th at $9.052. Natural gas is the primary cost to manufacture nitrogen fertilizer.

July ULSD settled at $3.6218 per gallon, down 0.0453. The contract high was made May, 5th at $3.9282. ULSD stands for Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel.


Rain Days Update

The Western Corn Belt has 4 more rain days in the 10 day forecast than yesterday and the Eastern Corn Belt has 1 more rain daysthan yesterday.

The 6 to 10 day forecast updated every day at:

Explanation of Rain Days


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