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3 Big Things Today, October 27

Beans, Corn Rise in Overnight Trading; Dow Reports Sales Gain on Strong Demand.

1. Soybeans, Corn Rise Overnight as Demand Remains Focus

Soybean and corn futures rose overnight on signs of strong demand for U.S. supplies.

Sales of soybeans since the start of the marketing year on September 1 are up almost 30% vs. the same time frame a year ago, according to the Department of Agriculture. Sales of corn have jumped almost 90% year over year, USDA data show.

Export sales have jumped this year, as overseas buyers take advantage of low prices.

Soybeans for November delivery rose 6½¢ to $10.27½ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal futures for December delivery added $3.80 to $322.90 a short ton, and soy oil fell 0.10¢ to 35.62¢ a pound.  

Corn futures for December delivery rose 3¼¢ to $3.57¼ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures for December delivery gained 4¼¢ to $4.15¾ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures added 2¢ to $4.19 a bushel. 

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2. Dow Sales Top Forecasts on Surprisingly Strong Demand

Things are looking up at Dow, which just reported earnings for the third quarter that rose from last year and topped analyst estimates, just before the company plans to merge with rival DuPont.

Dow reported sales in the quarter of $12.5 billion, a 4% increase from the same quarter a year earlier, as revenues increased in almost all of the company’s segments. Analysts had expected sales of $12 billion.

Sales volume grew 6% in the quarter, as demand for the company’s chemicals rose 6% in North America, 9% in Europe, Middle East, Africa, and India (EMEAI), 4% in Asia, and 1% in Latin America, the company said.

The company still plans to merge with DuPont sometime in the first quarter of 2017. The transaction, valued at $59 billion, has been delayed due to concerns from regulators over the impact on the agriculture industry of such a combination.

The companies plan to merge, then split into three separate companies, including an agriculture firm that would be bigger than Monsanto and Syngenta. The Dow-DuPont merger is one of several large mergers and acquisitions in the industry, as Monsanto is being courted by Bayer and ChemChina is buying Syngenta.

Andrew Liveris, the chief executive at Dow, said he was pleased with the company’s quarterly results that showed strong performance in a difficult environment.

“We have now achieved four full years – 16 consecutive quarters – of year-over-year operating earnings growth and margin expansion, during which time Dow has also delivered three consecutive years of volume growth,” he said. “We accomplished all of this in the face of a persistently slow-growth global economic environment.”

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3. Midwest to Stay Mostly Dry Through End of Week

The Corn Belt will again be mostly dry today. That's good news for growers trying to get their crops out of the ground, though a few isolated rain storms are possible.

Some rain may fall in parts of eastern Iowa and northern Illinois today, the National Weather Service said on Thursday.

Rainfall in the Midwest was heaviest in southern Minnesota, northern Iowa, and Wisconsin yesterday, where as much as 3 inches fell. Showers will be limited to the northeastern quarter of the region this weekend, and rain next week in the northern half of the Midwest may slow the harvest, according to Commodity Weather Group.

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