By Kirk Maltais
-- Wheat contracts for March delivery rose 1.1% to $5.19 1/2 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade Friday
-- Corn contracts up for March delivery rose 0.5% to $3.78 1/4 a bushel
-- March soybean contracts rose 0.4% to $9.10 1/4 a bushel
Competitive U.S. Wheat Price Attracts Investors: Low U.S. wheat prices compared to a tightening world market got investors' attention Friday. With U.S. wheat being approximately $1.50 per bushel cheaper than its Black Sea equivalent for March, some investors saw an opportunity to get in the market, especially considering the tightness believed to be besetting Russian wheat supplies.
Brazilian Weather Stays in Focus: Dry weather conditions in Brazil are expected to affect production of a host of soft commodities and other grains, which is keeping eyes firmly trained on Brazil. Particularly watching Brazilian weather are soybean traders, who are hoping that Brazilian difficulties incentivize the Chinese to buy more U.S. soybeans once a trade agreement is reached.
Border Brouhaha Stays Hot: The government shutdown continues to limit the USDA to only performing its essential functions, which don't include data reporting. As a result, market participants are keeping a close watch on the firestorm between President Trump and House Democrats, looking for indications of when the shutdown may end and the flow of data from the USDA will return.
No WASDE Keeps Grain Traders in the Dark: U.S. grains markets stayed in the dark as the USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report that was scheduled for release Friday didn't come out -- thanks to the ongoing government shutdown. The lack of data continues to be a thorny issue for analysts trying to grip the current state of affairs in grains supply.
-- Chinese December trade data are due to be released Monday, which includes data on soybean imports coming from the U.S.
-- USDA reports delayed until government shutdown is resolved.
Write to Kirk Maltais at email@example.com