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3 Big Things Today, December 6, 2019

Soybeans Rise as China Makes Concessions; Weekly Export Sales Slump Across the Board.

1. Soybeans Rise as China Offers Tariff Exemptions on Some Ag Products

Soybeans and grains were higher in overnight trading after China said it plans to exempt some agricultural products from tariffs in a bid to ease trade tensions with the U.S.

China’s Finance Ministry said today that it would exempt soybeans and pork for companies that applied for exemptions. No further details were available.

Analysts expect that a so-called phase one trade deal will be implemented soon despite ongoing rhetoric between the two countries – the world’s largest economies – as both sides have incentive to come to an agreement.

The U.S. is expected to increase tariffs on more than $150 billion worth of Chinese goods on Dec. 15, and President Donald Trump has said he plans to implement the new levies. With trade tensions easing, however, many market-watchers are skeptical that Washington would actually raise those tariffs.

Soybean futures for January delivery rose 5¢ to $8.89¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal gained $1.30 to $302.80 a short ton while soybean oil rose 0.29¢ to 30.79¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery added 1½¢ to $3.78¼ a bushel.

Wheat for September delivery rose 1½¢ to $5.25¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures gained 1¢ to $4.36½ a bushel.

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2. Export Sales of Corn, Beans, Wheat All Plunge in Week Through Nov. 28

Export sales of corn, soybeans, and wheat all plunged in the seven days that ended on Nov. 28, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Corn sales fell to 546,100 metric tons last week, down 32% from the previous week and 18% from the prior four-week average, the agency said in a report. Analysts had pegged sales from 500,000 to 900,000 metric tons, researcher Allendale said.

Japan was the big buyer at 236,700 metric tons, an unknown customer took 130,900 tons and Colombia bought 70,500 tons. Mexico purchased 44,200 tons and Canada was in for 19,300 tons.

Soybeans sales plunged 59% week-to-week to 683,800 metric tons, which was down 55% from the average for this time of year, the USDA said. Analysts expected sales from 700,000 to 1.3 million metric tons.

China bought 298,600 metric tons, Thailand took 89,700 tons, Indonesia was in for 79,200 tons, Pakistan purchased 66,100 tons, and Saudi Arabia bought 65,000 tons.

The total would’ve been higher but an unknown customer canceled cargoes totaling 142,500 metric tons, government data show.

Wheat sales dropped to 228,100 metric tons, down 63% week-over-week and 45% from the four-week average. Analysts expected sales from 300,000 to 700,000 tons.

An unknown buyer purchased 102,000 metric tons, Mexico was in for 45,100 tons, the Philippines took 27,000 tons, Italy bought 19,800 tons and Jamaica was in for 17,100 tons, the USDA said.

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3. Freezing Fog Developed in Western South Dakota, Nebraska, Along Colorado-Kansas Border

Freezing fog has developed in parts of western South Dakota and western Nebraska and is expected to continue through early this morning, according to the National Weather Service.

The fog will reduce visibility to less than .25 mile and with temperatures below freezing, it will likely make roads slippery, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Freezing fog also has been reported along the Colorado and Kansas border, reducing visibility to less than a mile, the agency said.

Farther north, snow is expected in parts of northern Minnesota this afternoon and tonight. The storm will move into parts of Wisconsin and could drop as much as 2 inches of snow.

Light accumulations are expected in parts of northern Minnesota and Wisconsin Sunday and Monday, along with cold air that will bring low wind-chill values, the NWS said.

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