3 Big Things Today, December 24, 2019

Soybeans Lower Overnight Amid Light Volume; Export Inspections Lower For Corn, Beans

1. Soybeans Lower Overnight on Profit Taking, Light Volume

Soybeans were lower in light volume overnight ahead of a shortened Christmas Eve session as some investors booked profits and others kept an eye on trade developments between the U.S. and China.

Prices have risen in the past couple of weeks after the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, was announced and passed by the House, and after a so-called phase one trade deal with China was agreed upon.

The USMCA will move to the Senate in early January, while the agreement with China also is expected to be approved next month, according to government officials.

Trading volume is expected to be light for at least the next week.

The grain markets will close at noon today and be shut all day tomorrow. Trading resumes at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in Chicago. 

Soybean futures for January delivery fell 5¢ to $9.29 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal lost $1.70 to $304.10 a short ton while soybean oil dropped 0.15¢ to 33.90¢ a pound.

Corn futures for March delivery declined 1/4¢ to $3.88 ½ a bushel.

Wheat for September delivery rose 3/4¢ to $5.40 ¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures gained 3/4¢ to $4.59 ¼ a bushel.

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2. Corn, Soybean Inspections Decline Week-to-Week, Wheat Assessments Improve

Inspections of corn and soybeans for overseas delivery were both lower week-to-week while wheat assessments increased, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Corn inspections in the seven days through Dec. 19 were reported at 387,188 metric tons. That’s down from 699,673 metric tons a week earlier and the 1.01 million tons examined during the same week in 2018, the USDA said in a report.

Soybean assessments came in at 1.08 million metric tons, and while that’s a lofty number, it’s still below the 1.34 million tons inspected the previous week. It was, however, up from the 699,629 metric tons examined for overseas delivery during the same week in 2018.

Wheat inspections, however, rose to 578,458 metric tons last week from 510,183 tons, the agency said. The total was almost on par with the 578,794 tons assessed at the same time last year.

Since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, the USDA has inspected 7.63 million metric tons of corn for offshore delivery. That’s down from the 17 million tons assessed during the same period a year earlier.

Soybean inspections since the start of September are now at 19.8 million metric tons, up from the 15.9 million tons assessed at this point in 2018.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 now stand at 14.2 million metric tons, up from 12.3 million tons during the same timeframe last year, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Freezing Fog Advisory in Effect in Illinois; Freezing Drizzle in Minnesota

T’was the day before Christmas and in northern Illinois,

A freezing fog advisory was in effect, reducing the joy.

The advisory’s in effect, ‘til 10 in the morn.

Freezing the unharvested, fields of field corn.

In Indiana, they may see freezing fog,

So it’s probably time to bring your cat and your dog.

In Minnesota, way further north,

They’re facing freezing drizzle, and snow, and so on and so forth.

Freezing drizzle is possible, on Christmas Day,

So leave the truck at home and just take the sleigh.

Be careful out there as the roads are a fright,

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

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