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3 Big Things Today, December 2

Grains, Beans Higher in Overnight Trading; Export Sales Down Week Over Week.

1. Grains, Soybeans Rise in Overnight Trading as Dollar Falls, Sales Fair

Wheat, corn, and soybean futures were modestly higher in overnight trading Friday as the dollar fell for a second straight day and export sales were fair.

The greenback was lower in the overnight session, heading for a second straight decline against a basket of global currencies. A weaker dollar will improve purchasing power for overseas buyers, and with the harvest wrapped up in the U.S., traders will be closely watching demand.

Export sales were good but not great – down from the prior week but still relatively strong.

Wheat futures for December delivery rose 4¼¢ to $3.99¾ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City futures gained 4¢ to $4.07 a bushel. 

Corn futures added 2½¢ to $3.45 a bushel in Chicago.

Soybeans for January delivery gained 1¼¢ to $10.31 a bushel. Soy meal futures for December delivery added $1.30 to $314 a short ton, and soy oil fell 0.15¢ to 37.70¢ a pound. 

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2. Export Sales of Grains, Beans Dip Week to Week, Still Relatively Strong

Export sales of corn, beans, and wheat were all down in the week that ended on November 24, but were still relatively strong, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report.

Soybean sales were reported at 1.4 million metric tons last week, down 26% from the prior week and 17% from the prior four-week average, according to the USDA. China, again, was the biggest buyer, taking 1.08 million tons. The Netherlands was the next-closest buyer, purchasing 85,000 tons, Mexico bought 79,4000 tons, Spain took 73,100 tons, and Egypt bought 60,000 tons.

Corn sales were down 55% from the prior week and 50% from the four-week average, the USDA said in its weekly report. Japan bought 228,300 tons, making it the big buyer for the week. South Korea was in for 140,900 tons, and Mexico purchased 77,800 tons, the government said. Taiwan bought 66,700 tons, and Honduras purchased 63,400 tons.

Wheat sales totaled 483,500 tons, down 32% from the prior week and 16% from the average, according to the USDA. Indonesia bought 140,000 tons, Mexico took 86,500 tons, and South Korea purchased 61,700 tons. China bought 60,000 tons, and Bangladesh purchased 55,000 tons.

Sales, while down week over week for all three commodities, were still decently strong, analysts said. It remains to be seen if importers continue to seek U.S. supplies as they have been for the past three months.  

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3. Rainfall May Turn to Snow this Weekend in Southern Plains

Rainfall is forecast in much the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles where a winter weather advisory has been issued, according to the National Weather Service.

“Rain is expected across the panhandles today before transitioning to a wintry mix this evening through Saturday morning,” the NWS said in a report early Friday. “The best chance for snow will be across the far western and northern Texas panhandle as well as the Oklahoma panhandle.”

While the amount of snow is in question, as much as 2 inches are possible, the agency said. Some ice may accumulate, which will make travel hazardous. The storm is expected to move southeast, bringing rain to much of Texas throughout the weekend.  

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