2 Things: Soy And Gold

Make great patriot farmers not bankrupt again!

December was a blessed month for America’s beleaguered soybean farmers, who have found themselves at the center of what, over the last 18 months, has escalated from trade spat to full-on economic cold war between the world’s two largest economies.

Soy futures are up more than 8% in December, the best month since April of 2016. The rally comes amid trade optimism and a broader surge in commodities tied to a brightening global growth outlook and a falling dollar.

On Monday, the South China Morning Post reported that Liu He will make yet another trip to Washington this week for what’s expected to be a signing ceremony inaugurating the “Phase One” trade deal between the Trump administration and Beijing.

Peter Navarro, in remarks to Fox, said the deal will be signed in the ‘next week or so” – it’s “banked”, he added (much to the chagrin of his anagram, “Ron Vara“).

Part of the agreement allegedly involves a commitment from China to make “massive” purchases of US farm goods. We say allegedly because… well, hell, you already know the story, don’t you? We say “allegedly” because this interim agreement isn’t worth the paper it’s purportedly written on. Trump has negotiated in bad faith from the very beginning and China has yet to say, definitively, what Beijing has and hasn’t agreed to.

China did purchase the most US soy since 2018 in November as trade talks progressed, and Beijing has extended more waivers in the interest of ensuring Chinese buyers can keep up the goodwill purchases without exceeding quotas.

Still, there are no guarantees, so farmers should enjoy it while it lasts.

As a reminder, it’s too late for some Trump voters in farm country. As detailed here last week, the sad reality for some US farmers is that putting food on the table now entails standing in line at food banks, a tragically ironic state of affairs for those who, in better times, “feed the world”, so to speak.

Meanwhile, gold continues to run amid the dollar’s December slide. Everyone’s favorite polished paperweights are on track for a fourth consecutive weekly gain, and the largest annual surge since 2010.


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2 thoughts on “2 Things: Soy And Gold

  1. Industry reports suggest that the Chinese hog herd count , due to Swine Fever, could drop by as much as 50%. Increased Pork purchases is an obvious. There are serious questions related to increasing soybean purchasing to previous levels. They don’t have the sows. It is going to take a while for China to rebuild herds free of the disease.

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