Friday opened as ugly as expected with everything gapping much lower, before some rumors of Chinese buying interest helped to lift corn to a higher close.
One could say Friday's close on corn could open us up to another leg of buying and a potential test of old contract highs put in place late last spring. However, as we've said numerous times these past few weeks, though technicals are a great short-term indicator, reversals have seemed to mean very little beyond the day they take place in these markets.
Early Friday morning it appeared we were dealing with the Nu variant of Covid, however the World Health Organization determined the Nu variant had already been discovered and we are now dealing with Omicron.
At this point there is a lot of uncertainty over just how dangerous Omicron is. Conversations over the weekend indicate there is confidence vaccines can handle the variant, or at the very least will be able to within the next 100 days. Some officials in South Africa where the variant appears to have originated have also said though the variant has new or different symptoms it doesn't appear to be more dangerous or deadly at this point.
While World Health Organization officials say they need time to study the disease, government officials the world over aren't waiting. Over the weekend we saw the U.S. announce travel restrictions out of South Africa, while Japan and Israel have suspended the entry of foreign visitors with other countries like Australia postponing their reopening to outside travelers.
Fear of the virus and the thin holiday trade saw crude take its 9th biggest one day plunge in over 30 years. We appear to be recovering a bit of that this morning however, as right now it seems that though we could see a short-term drop in demand many folks are just going to continue living their lives, potentially keeping that demand drop somewhat limited.
In other global news, we are watching Russian/Ukrainian interactions closely this week as over the weekend Ukrainian President Zelensky held a news conference saying indications were Russia was planning a coup to overthrow his government on December 1st. The Kremlin denies the claim, of course, though the troop buildup along the border appears to continue.
Looking ahead, we will continue to monitor news updates when it comes to Omicron and what it could mean as we work further into the holiday season. Iranian nuclear talks are expected to kick off today in Vienna, while Opec+ has delayed their scheduled meeting until later in the week to get a better handle on what all of this could mean to both supply and demand from a global perspective for oil.
We will also get updated commitment of traders figures after the close, with weekly export inspections on tap at 11 a.m. Eastern.
Corn steady to 1 higher
Beans 7 - 8 higher