A shorter U.S. crop than many expected earlier in the year, continued strong export demand and developing weather challenges in South America are all contributing to higher corn and soybean prices that are bucking historical trends in continuing their bullish tracks. Most notably in the U.S., corn carryout has declined largely on the brisk pace of Chinese export purchases, and the nation’s expected to meet at least half of its corn needs with grain originated from the U.S. at least through the end of 2020. But a bullish outlook isn’t without potential hiccups; as it’s proven over the years, China could abruptly change course and limit future purchases, just as Mother Nature could change course in the La Niña system that’s forecast to build in the Pacific Ocean heading into winter. While the COVID-19 pandemic remains a potential bearish factor, so too does the ethanol sector. Increasing corn prices could pressure profitability and slow the general ethanol grind moving forward. See what else to consider.