A lower trade across the board this morning.

Grain futures are lower this morning, with soybeans also drifting ahead of the rain forecast that gets underway Wednesday. The market awaits hopeful results from the rain gauges. Yesterday’s rally in soybeans was tied to Argentina proposing a hike on its soy product export taxes from 31 to 33%, putting them on par with soybeans, with many processes complaining they lose their export advantage.

The recent jump in Chinese demand for US soybeans is becoming counter-seasonal and implies that China and likely others are uncomfortable with the production risks in Brazil, especially with harvest delays a certainty. Sinograin of China continues to buy US soybeans despite logistical challenges with the Panama Canal. Passage through this waterway is expected to improve by January 16th, with additional Panamax vessels allowed to pass per day.

Grain Traders say the lowest offer for Egypt’s GASC snap wheat tender is $260/MT fob, no purchase has been finalized. Most offers were of Russian origin, while a few came from France and Romania. It is still large Black Sea’s supply abundance of grains that way on the corn and wheat rallies. For now, the humanitarian export corridor in Ukraine is functioning.

Light rainfall of .30-.55” fell in southern Goias on Monday; otherwise, very light and scattered showers occurred in Central and Southeastern Argentina. The remainder of South America was dry, with excessive heat still in place across Central and Northern Brazil. High temps range from 99 to 110° across the main soybean growing regions where over half of Brazil’s exportable supply of soybeans is grown. More heat occurs today until rain occurs in the second part of this week. 1-2” of rainfall is expected in Mato Grosso, with 1.0-2.5” in Goias and Minas Gerais into the weekend. Deficits of rainfall in Central and Northern Brazil are enormous and steady soaking rains are desired but are not anticipated through the next 30 days as this rain event through Christmas looks to be the bulk of moisture through the year-end.

Live and feeder cattle closed higher on Monday but well off early session highs. It was the highest close for February live cattle, while January and March feeder cattle set new monthly highs before the late-day selloff. The Cattle on Feed Report will be released on Friday, which could temper further rally potential this week. Cash markets remained quiet, and active trade is expected to hold out until midweek. Slaughter next week will again be a holiday-shortened schedule, and reduced demand looks to limit the upward cash trade. Box beef values moved sharply in opposite directions, with choice down $271 while select jumped $2.90. December live cattle have built strong support at 167.50-168.00.