3 Big Things Today, December 31, 2019

Soybeans, Grains Little Changed Overnight; Corn Export Inspections Increase Week-to-Week

1. Soybeans, Grains Little Changed Heading Into New Year

Soybeans and grains were little changed in overnight trading as investors largely have already started celebrating New Year’s Eve.

Traders have been keeping an eye on the ongoing trade saga between the U.S. and China after the South China Morning Post reported yesterday that Vice Premier Liu He would accept an invitation to fly to Washington this weekend to sign an agreement.

White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro said on Fox News that he expects the agreement will be signed “within the next week or so.”

Still, volume is light on the last day of the decade, and some investors or hedgers may be booking profits before the end of the year after the recent run-up since the trade deal was announced.

Volume is generally low between Christmas and New Year’s, a trend that’s continued this year. Trading hours will be normal today but will be suspended tomorrow to celebrate New Year’s Day.

Soybean futures for January delivery fell ¾¢ to $9.51¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal lost 50¢ to $302.80 a short ton while soybean oil declined 0.31¢ to 35.14¢ a pound.

Corn futures for March delivery fell 1¢ to $3.87¼ a bushel.

Wheat for September delivery rose 1½¢ to $5.57½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures gained 1½¢ to $4.82 a bushel.

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2. Export Inspections of Corn Rise Week-to-Week; Soybean, Wheat Assessments Fall

Inspections of corn for overseas delivery was up week-to-week while soybean and wheat assessments declined, according to the USDA.

Corn inspections in the seven days that ended on Dec. 26 rose to 408,946 metric tons from 401,894 tons the previous week, the agency said in a report. The total, however, was down from the 952,881 tons examined during the same week in 2018.

Soybean inspections, meanwhile, declined to 911,482 metric tons from 1.1 million the prior week. The amount was still higher than the 756,153 tons inspected at this time last year.

Wheat assessments for offshore delivery were reported at 312,017 metric tons, down from 605,545 tons the previous week and the 380,421 inspected during the same week a year earlier, the USDA said in its report.

Since the start of the marketing year on Sept.  1, the government has inspected 8.05 million metric tons of corn for overseas delivery. That’s less than half the 18 million tons assessed during the same period in 2018, the agency said.

Soybean inspections since the start of September now stand at 20.7 million tons, up from 16.3 million assessed at this point last year.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 now stand at 14.5 million metric tons, up from the 12.7 million examined during the same time frame last year, the USDA said.

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3. Winter Storm Warnings in Effect in Northern Minnesota, Snow Continues in Michigan

A winter storm that blasted much of the upper Midwest over the weekend has moved into extreme northern Wisconsin and across Lake Michigan, according to the national Weather Service.

Winter storms warnings are in effect for extreme northern Minnesota and the upper peninsula of Michigan, weather maps show.

As much as 2 inches of snow along with wind gusts of up to 35 mph are expected into this morning, the NWS said in a report early this morning. Roads are expected to be slippery.

On the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, snow and blowing snow are expected into this evening the agency said.

Snow is projected to fall at a rate of up to an inch an hour, and snow is expected to fall into the early evening hours, the NWS said.

As much as 6 inches of snow is expected in the western half of Michigan after another inch or two falls starting this morning. Snow showers are forecast to end by midnight.

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