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3 Big Things Today, February 14, 2020

Soybeans, Grains Little Changed Overnight; Export Sales of Corn, Beans Decline Week to Week.

1. Soybeans, Grains Little Changed in Overnight Trading

Soybeans and grains were little changed overnight, as investors weigh the economic impact of the coronavirus.

China reported another 5,000 confirmed cases of the disease, bringing the total to more than 63,000, according to the nation’s government.

In the Hubei Province, where the disease was first reported, measures are being taken to control the spread of the disease including limiting travel and putting more people on lockdown.

Ten people have been evacuated in serious condition from the cruise ship that’s been quarantined in Yokohama Harbor in Japan.

Chinese factories remain closed and sales at stores selling everything from food to Valentine’s Day gifts have been hit, according to media reports.

Still, soybean and grain markets have been weathering the disease fairly well, mostly on speculation that its spread will have minimal impact. S&P Global, however, said this week that the Chinese GDP growth could take a 5% haircut from the disease.  

China is the world’s second-largest economy behind the U.S.

Soybean futures for March delivery rose 1¢ to $8.97¼ a bushel in overnight trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. So meal futures declined $1.30 to $290.60 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.14¢ to 30.86¢ a pound.

Corn futures for March delivery rose ½¢ to $3.80 a bushel.

Wheat futures for March delivery gained 3¢ to $5.47¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures added 1½¢ to $4.67½ a bushel.

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2. Export Sales of Corn, Beans Both Decline Weekly While Wheat Sales Jump

Export sales of corn and soybeans both fell week to week, while wheat sales jumped, according to the USDA.

Sales of corn in the seven days through February 6 were reported at 968,800 metric tons, down 22% from the previous week and 9% from the prior four-week average, the agency said in a report.

The amount was within the expected range of 700,000 to 1.3 million metric tons.

Japan was the big buyer at 383,000 metric tons, followed by South Korea at 193,500 tons and Colombia at 110.700 tons. Saudi Arabia bought 61,700 metric tons of U.S. corn and Mexico purchased 52,600 tons, the USDA said.

Soybean sales came in at 644,800 metric tons, down 8% week to week and 2% from the four-week average.

Analysts were expected sales from 600,000 to 1 million metric tons, according to Allendale.

China was back in the market but only purchased 132,000 metric tons, Egypt bought 120,000 tons, Bangladesh was in for 60,900 tons, the Netherlands took 56,000 tons, and Japan bought 48,400 tons from U.S. supplies.

Wheat sales for offshore delivery surged week to week, rising 90% to 643,100 metric tons. That’s also up 10% from the four-week average.

Analyst had pegged sales from 300,000 to 700,000 metric tons.

Nigeria bought 130,800 metric tons, the Philippines bought 104,800 tons, South Korea was in for 91,100 tons, Vietnam bought 81,000 tons, and Mexico purchased 79,200 tons, the USDA said in its report.

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3. ‘Dangerously’ Cold Windchills Expected in Much of Northern Midwest This Morning

Windchill warnings and wind advisories are in effect for much of the northern Midwest today as temperatures dive, according to the National Weather Service.

In north-central Iowa, “dangerously” cold windchills are expected to fall as low as -35˚F. this morning, the NWS said in an early report.

A windchill advisory is in effect for much of the eastern Dakotas, all of Minnesota and Wisconsin, most of Iowa and northern Illinois, and a sliver of northeastern Missouri this morning.

In eastern Iowa and western Illinois, cold air combined with light winds are resulting in wind chills from -20˚F. to -30˚F. Leaving skin exposed for even a short amount of time isn’t advised.

In northwestern Iowa, meanwhile, blowing snow will reduce visibility for travelers as wind speeds are expected to hit as high as 55 mph, the NWS said.

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