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3 Big Things Today, April 12

Soybeans, Grains Slightly Higher Overnight; Weekly Export Sales of Beans, Wheat Plunge.

1. Soybeans, Grains Slightly Higher in Overnight Trading

Soybeans and corn were a touch higher in overnight trading on optimism about the ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and China.

China said it would further open its cloud computing sector to foreign investment as a way to encourage the U.S. to make a trade deal, the Wall Street Journal first reported.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an interview on CNBC that negotiators reached a deal on a mechanism to enforce whatever trade pact is signed, which had been a sticking point in the ongoing negotiations.

Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are scheduled to travel to Beijing next week to continue the talks.

Soybeans for May delivery rose 1¢ to $8.96¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal added 50¢ to $307.70 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.07¢ to 29.05¢ a pound.

Corn futures rose ¾¢ to $3.60¾ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures for May delivery gained 2½¢ to $4.63 a bushel overnight, while Kansas City wheat gained 1¾¢ to $4.39¼ a bushel.

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2. Export Sales of Soybeans, Wheat Drop Week to Week, While Corn Sales are Up Slightly

Export sales of soybeans and wheat plunged week to week, while corn sales to overseas buyers were up slightly.

Soybeans sales in the seven days through April 4 were down 86% from the prior week and 76% from the previous four-week average as China was conspicuously absent, according to the USDA.

Indonesia was the biggest customer last week at 73,700 metric tons, followed by Mexico at 71,000 tons, and the Netherlands at 66,300 tons, the USDA said in a report. Egypt bought 54,700 tons and Japan was in for 48,700 tons.

Unknown customers canceled deliveries for 99,300 metric tons.

Wheat sales also were down for the week, declining 61% from the previous week and 37% from the prior average to 273,000 metric tons, the government said.

Mexico was the biggest buyer at 89,100 metric tons, followed by South Africa at 49,900 tons, Japan at 49,400 tons, the Philippines at 40,400 tons, and Peru at 40,200 tons. Unknown buyers canceled cargoes of 111,600 tons.

Corn sales were reported at 548,000 metric tons for the 2018-2019 marketing year, up 2% from the previous week but down 18% from the prior four-week average, the USDA said.

Colombia was the biggest buyer last week, taking 181,500 metric tons. An unknown buyer took 169,900 tons, South Korea was in for 138,900 tons, Mexico bought 76,600 tons, and Saudi Arabia purchased 71,600 tons, according to the government.

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3. Blizzard Conditions in Upper Midwest Wind Down Slowly Today as Storm Moves Northeast

Blizzard conditions that include heavy snow and strong winds are starting to slowly wind down in the Upper Midwest today as the storm moves across Lake Superior and into Ontario, Canada, according to the National Weather Service.

A blizzard warning remains in effect for eastern South Dakota until 1 p.m. local time as another 3 inches of snow will fall on top of what has already fallen. Winds in the area are expected to gust up to 40 mph, the NWS said in a report this morning.

That likely will lead to blowing snow that could “significantly” reduce visibility.

A winter storm warning is in effect for much of northern Minnesota, where snow will linger throughout the day as the low-pressure system responsible for the storm moves toward Lake Superior.

Additional snowfall from 1 to 4 inches or more is expected along the north shore of the lake, though temperatures may be warm enough for the precipitation to turn to rain, the NWS said.

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