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-Clarity on trade deal may be imminent with Chinese press briefing set for 8:30 AM CT
-Malaysia to raise palm oil import tax from zero in place for more than a year
-Decent Argentine rains still in forecast
-No USDA sales announcements

News is extremely light this morning, but all the really matters is developments in the U.S./China trade deal talks.

 Clarity on the US/China trade deal may be imminent with China’s Commerce Ministry announcing they will hold a press briefing at 8:30 AM CT – 10:30 PM Beijing. While most stories over the last 24 hours all but locked up a Phase One trade deal with China being complete, there remains some uncertainty with a CNBC headline this morning stating “China still has concerns regarding hard ag buy targets.” U.S. grain and equity markets rallied yesterday on indications an official trade deal was imminent, including rollbacks of U.S. tariffs already in place and the dropping of planned December 15 tariffs, along with reported previous guarantees for China to buy $50 billion in U.S. ag products. That purchase “guarantee” has been highly debated and questioned as to its true meaning, timeframe, likelihood, etc.

 There were no USDA sales announcements this morning.

 With the rise in palm oil prices of late, Malaysia will raise the export tax on crude palm oil for January to 5% from zero, which has been in place since September 2018. Export taxes are set according to a calculated reference price which sets rates within various price bans. Some feel a similar move by Indonesia may be made, as well.

 India imported 672k tonnes of palm oil in November vs 779k tonnes in October, the lowest monthly imports in 17 months.

 South Korea bought 60k tonnes of optional origin corn for Feb shipment at $207.50/tonne c&f.

 NOPA’s monthly soybean crush report will be out on Monday. Wire services have not yet run trade expectations.

Weather Conditions will be mainly dry in most of the Argentine growing regions today, with rains of .35-1”+ to fall in the northern ½ of Santa Fe, Entre Rios and most of Corrientes tomorrow and then dry weather looks to dominate all areas into early next week. Rains of .50-1”+ are still indicated to fall with coverage of around 85% by the end of next week. Rains of .50-1”+ fell across around 75% of the Brazilian growing regions yesterday. Tropical, hit and miss showers and thunderstorms will bring rains of .50-1.5”+ to most of the Brazilian growing regions from northern Parana north in the next 5 days. Mainly dry weather will occur in most of RGDS, Santa Catarina and Parana through tomorrow and then rains of .50-1.5”+ are seen for these three southern states by Sunday and early Monday. In the 6-10 day period, rains of .50-1.5”+ look to fall in most areas, with light totals seen for most of Minas Gerais. The rains in RGDS, Santa Catarina and Parana are still seen to fall by Fri-Sat of next week.

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