3 Big Things Today, January 17, 2020
1. Corn, Wheat Higher After Senate Passes USMCA
Grains were higher in overnight trading after the U.S. Senate passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, to the desk of President Trump yesterday.
The Senate approved the trilateral agreement in a landslide bipartisan 89-10 vote. The House approved the deal last month, and Trump is expected to sign the document sometime next week.
The USMCA will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement that governed trade between the three countries for the past 25 years.
Corn futures for March delivery rose 3¾¢ to $3.79¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.
Wheat futures for March delivery gained 3½¢ to $5.68¾ a bushel, while Kansas City futures rose ½¢ to $4.85¼ a bushel.
Soybean futures for March delivery fell ½¢ to $9.23½ a bushel. Soy meal futures rose 30¢ to $300.90 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.16¢ to 32.87¢ a pound.
2. Export Sales of Grains, Beans All Jump Week to Week
Export sales of corn, wheat, and beans all jumped week to week, according to the USDA.
Corn sales for overseas delivery were up noticeably to 784,800 metric tons in the seven days that ended on January 9, the agency said in a report. That was a 4% increase from the prior four-week average.
Analysts were expecting sales from 500,000 to 950,000 metric tons, according to researcher Allendale.
Japan was the big buyer at 373,100 metric tons, followed by Colombia at 168,200 tons, and Mexico at 116,400 tons. South Korea bought 66,300 tons and Guatemala was in for 40,000 tons. The total would’ve been higher but an unknown country canceled shipments for 109,200 tons, the USDA said.
Wheat sales jumped to 650,000 metric tons, also up considerably from the previous week and 32% from the average, government data show. Analysts were expecting sales from 200,000 to 500,000 tons.
An unknown buyer took 130,500 metric tons, followed by the Philippines, which bought 127,900 tons, the agency said. Indonesia was in for 70,800 metric tons, Mexico purchased 63,400 tons, and Thailand took 60,400 tons of U.S. wheat, the USDA said.
Soybean sales surged to 711,500 metric tons, which was a 3% increase from the prior four-week average.
Analysts had expected sales from 400,000 to 850,000 tons.
China was the big buyer at 216,600 metric tons, followed by the Netherlands at 197,500 tons, and Egypt at 121,000 tons. Mexico bought 115,800 metric tons and Japan was in for 86,000 tons. An unknown country nixed shipments totaling 377,300 metric tons, the agency said in its report.
3. Blizzard, Winter Storm Warnings Issued From Oklahoma to Canadian Border
The Midwest is getting blasted with winter weather today as storms are rolling from Oklahoma to the Canadian border and from Idaho to Ohio.
A blizzard warning is in effect for much of eastern North Dakota, eastern South Dakota, western Minnesota, and northwestern Iowa, according to the National Weather Service. A winter storm warning is in effect for the rest of Minnesota, much of Iowa, and western Wisconsin.
Almost the entirety of the Midwest from a few counties near the Texas panhandle all the way through Michigan to the Canadian border are in a winter storm advisory, the NWS said this morning.
In eastern South Dakota, only about 2 inches of snow are expected to accumulated, but wind gusts as high as 55 mph will “significantly” curb visibility, the agency said in a report.
Wind chills will drop as low as -35˚F. and could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.
In eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota, it’s a similar outlook but with as much as 4 inches of snow accumulating. Wind gusts are forecasts to be as high as 50 mph, the NWS said.
Iowa will see snow along with wind gusts of up to 45 mph along with “flash freeze” conditions that could make travel extremely dangerous, the agency said.