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3 Big Things Today, March 15

Soybeans, Corn Touch Higher Overnight; Export Sales of Corn in Line With Expectations.

1. Soybeans, Corn Modestly Higher in Overnight Trading

Soybeans and corn were a touch higher overnight, as trade negotiations drag on and export sales reports were mostly benign.

Little news has been released about the ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and China with both Washington and Beijing remaining tight-lipped.

Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping were scheduled to meet later this month to sign an accord, but media reports indicate that meeting has been called off, at least for now. China suggested making Xi’s visit to the U.S., whenever it happens, an official state event.

Trump has said he’s in “no rush” to complete an agreement with China.

Negotiators from the world’s two largest economies have met several times in the past few months in a bid to end the tit-for-tat tariffs they’ve imposed on each other. A March 1 deadline set by the White House came and went without an agreement.

Export sales for corn was within analyst forecasts while those for beans were on the high end of expectations.

Soybeans for March delivery rose 1¾¢ to $9.00¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained 80¢ to $306.70 a short ton, and soy oil dropped 0.07¢ to 29.50¢ a pound.

Corn for March delivery gained ¼¢ to $3.70½ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat for March delivery fell 1¼¢ to $4.51½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures declined ½¢ to $4.36 a bushel.

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2. Corn Export Sales Through March 7 Within Trade Expectations, Soybeans on High End

Export sales of corn in the week that ended on March 7 were within expectations while soybean sales were at the high end of forecasts.  

Combined corn sales in the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 marketing years totaled 846,600 metric tons last week, according to the USDA. That’s within the 800,000 to 1.5 million range of expectations, Allendale said.

South Korea was the biggest buyer for supplies delivery in the current marketing year that ends on August 31, purchasing 120,200 metric tons, the USDA said in a report. Japan took 110,600 tons, Guatemala was in for 73,700 tons, Taiwan bought 68,900 tons, and Colombia purchased 61,800 tons.

For the 2019-2020 marketing year, Mexico bought 269,600 metric tons, and Japan was in for 202,000 tons.

Soybean sales totaled 1.91 million metric tons for the combined marketing years, though only 3,000 of the total is for delivery next year. That was on the high end of expectations for 1.2 million to 2.05 million, Allendale said.

China was the big buyer at 1.71 million metric tons, Mexico took 67,500 tons, Bangladesh bought 57,000 tons, Japan was in for 40,800 tons, and Colombia purchased 21,800 tons, the USDA said.

Wheat sales totaled 263,000 tons in the current marketing year that ends on May 31 and 83,000 tons for delivery next year, for a total of 346,000 tons. That missed forecasts for 450,000 to 750,000 tons in sales.

For the current marketing year, Nigeria bought 106,300 metric tons of U.S. wheat, Japan was in for 62,500 tons, Yemen bought 44,000 tons, Vietnam took 32,800 tons, and Malaysia purchased 27,600 tons. For the 2019-2020 year that starts on June 1, Nigeria bought 48,000 tons, Mexico took 12,200 tons, Peru was in for 11,800 tons, and an unknown buyer bought 11,000 tons, the USDA said.

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3. Towns, Farmland Under Water in Nebraska, Iowa as Rivers Continue to Rise

Dozens of towns in the eastern half of Nebraska and western two thirds of Iowa are under water after severe flooding in the region.

Flood warnings were in effect for the entire area this morning as water overtook roadways, homes, and businesses, according to the National Weather Service.

Near Louisville, Nebraska, the Platte River was at 11.6 feet, well higher than the 9-foot flood stage, the NWS said in a report early this morning. The river will continue to rise to about 12.3 feet by this evening.

“At 12 feet, widespread flooding occurs, as a wide expanse of the river has spread out horizontally across the flood plain,” the agency said.   

In Iowa, the Des Moines River at Fort Dodge was at 9.8 feet as of 5 a.m. Friday, just below flood stage of 10.5 feet, but the river is expected to rise to 13.2 feet by Saturday afternoon. At 13 feet, industries are threatened as are residences, the NWS said.

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