Soybean prices shot up Sunday night on news of a trade truce between the U.S. and China. That news came out of a dinner Saturday night between delegations from both countries, led by President Donald Trump and China President Xi Jinping.
While volatility hit the market the first week of December, it’s also the week USDA is expected to announce the second tranche of Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments to ease economic pain from Chinese tariffs. Despite the trade truce, Washington insiders believe the announcement will still come out this week. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue is speaking Monday in Chicago, so that news could hit as early as Monday.
“I think it could be made this week,” said Farm Journal Washington Correspondent Jim Wiesemeyer. “When an Ag Secretary goes out there like to make news - and maybe that's part of it, I've not been told that - but that could well be the news.”
Not only are there questions about when the announcement will be made, but what the announcement will entail. The first round of MFP payments included $1.65 per bushel for soybeans, a penny per bushel for corn and $.12 cents per hundredweight for dairy.
“My hunch is that there will be no change in the payments, maybe they might tweak a bit or two to answer some of the farmer complaints that it did not include some of ethanol impacts and some you know basis issues,” said Wiesemeyer.
USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey already confirmed to AgWeb that the second tranche of payments will be for the remaining 50 percent of production, however, the agency didn’t confirm what those payments will be.