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3 Big Things Today, August 16

Crop Futures Higher Overnight; Export Sales of Corn Improve Week-to-Week

1. Crops Higher Overnight as Investors Snap Up Cheap Supplies

Soybeans and grains were higher as investors seeking a bargain jump into the market to secure cheap supplies.

Prices fell the first three days of the week after a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that farmers had planted more corn but fewer soybeans than expected.

Growers planted 90 million acres with corn, topping consensus compiled by Reuters for 88 million, the USDA said in its report on Monday. Yield was seen at 169.5 bushels an acre, well ahead of forecasts for 164.9 bushel. That put production at 13.9 billion bushels, also topping expectations for 13.2 billion bushels.

Soybean acreage was seen at 76.7 million, the USDA said. Yield is expected at 48.5 bushels an acre, resulting in production of 3.68 billion bushels, down from the previous outlook for 3.845 billion.

Many traders, analysts, and farmers are skeptical about the corn numbers, though some believe they’re accurate.

Rain is expected in much of the Mississippi Valley this weekend, which should give crops a needed drink of water.

Storms also are forecast in parts of the central Corn Belt including Iowa and Illinois, the largest corn and soybean producers.

Soybean futures for November delivery gained 5½¢ to $8.76¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal rose $1.70 to $298.50 a short ton, while soybean oil added 0.21¢ to 29.66¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery rose 3½¢ to $3.74½ a bushel.

Wheat for September delivery added 2½¢ to $4.77 a bushel, while Kansas City futures gained 3¢ to $3.92¾ a bushel.

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2. Old-Crop Corn Sales Rise; New-Crop Corn, Bean Sales Also Higher Week-to-Week

Corn sales to overseas buyers for the 2018-2019 marketing year that ends at the end of this month rose week-to-week while soybean sales resulted in net-reductions due to cancelations or shifts to the next year, according to the USDA.

Export sales of old-crop corn in the seven days that ended on Aug. 8 totaled 56,100 metric tons, up 32% from the previous week but down 56% from the prior four-week average, the agency said.

Japan bought 107,000 metric tons, Mexico took 86,000 tons, New Zealand purchased 28,600 tons, Costa Rica was in for 20,000 tons, and El Salvador bought 16,500 tons. Unknown buyers canceled sales of 151,300 tons, China nixed a shipment of 60,000 tons, and Guatemala canceled cargoes of 20,000 tons.

For the 2019-2020 marketing year that begins on Sept. 1, sales rose to 307,600 metric tons, up from 197,000 tons the previous week, the USDA said.

Mexico was the big buyer at 80,300 metric tons, unknown buyers took 79,300 tons, China was in for 60,000 tons, and Japan bought 53,500 tons.

Old-crop soybean sales came in at a net-reduction as purchases of 127,000 metric tons by the Netherlands, 71,400 tons by Pakistan, 62,900 tons by Japan, 56,000 tons by Germany, and 37,500 tons by Taiwan were offset by cancelations of 422,700 tons by China and 124,000 tons by unknown customers.

For the 2019-2020 year, sales were reported at 817,400 metric tons, well above the previous week’s 318,300 tons, the agency said.

Unknown buyers purchased the bulk of the total at 586,000 tons, Mexico was in for 104,400 tons, Pakistan took 57,000 tons, Egypt bought 55,000 tons, and Malaysia purchased 23,000 tons. Taiwan canceled a shipment of 30,500 tons.

Wheat sales for the grain’s marketing year that started on June 1 fell 5% week-to-week and 2% from the prior average to 462,200 metric tons, the USDA said.

Japan bought 106,700 tons, South Korea was in for 106,2000 tons, Sri Lanka purchased 75,000 tons, Vietnam bought 57,300 tons, and Italy was in for 42,000 tons, the agency said. Unknown customers canceled shipments for 126,500 tons.

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3. Storms Move Into Central Midwest With Tornadoes, Hail, Damaging Winds Possible

Some unsettled weather has moved into the Midwest as the weekend approaches, according to the National Weather Service.

“Severe thunderstorms will be possible from the central High Plains into the mid-Mississippi Valley,” the NWS said. “These storms will feature large hail, damaging winds, perhaps a tornado or two, and locally heavy rainfall, which may result in flooding.”

Severe thunderstorm watches are in effect for parts of west-central Missouri this morning as strong to severe storms churn through the area, the agency said in a report this morning.

Most of Missouri saw a limited tornado risk overnight, but some hail, wind, flooding and “significant” lightning. Storms are again possible Friday afternoon and Friday night. Scattered storms are possible through the weekend.

“Showers and thunderstorms will again be possible Friday afternoon and Friday night,” the NWS said. “Severe thunderstorms with large hail and damaging winds will be possible along and north of Interstate 44, especially during the evening and overnight hours. Frequent cloud-to-ground lightning and locally heavy rainfall will also be possible. Locations across central Missouri may see a flooding threat develop if repeated rounds of rainfall occur.”

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