3 Big Things Today, March 29
1. Soybeans, Corn Little Changed as Talks Continue
Soybeans and corn were again little changed overnight as the latest round of talks between the U.S. and China moves into a second day.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are in Beijing for high-level negotiations that started yesterday. Little news is flowing from the talks, as usual, though Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is scheduled to visit Washington next week.
The sides have been talking for months in a bid to end the tit-for-tat trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
Traders are cautiously optimistic that the sides will eventually reach a deal, though negotiations have dragged on longer than expected.
Soybeans for May delivery rose 1¢ to $8.90½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained a dime to $306.60 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.02¢ to 28.65¢ a pound.
Corn futures fell ¾¢ to $3.73¼ a bushel in Chicago.
Wheat futures for May delivery dropped 2½¢ to $4.62 a bushel overnight, while Kansas City wheat declined 1¾¢ to $4.37 a bushel.
2. Corn, Wheat Sales Rise Week to Week While Soybean Sales Plunge
Sales of corn and wheat in the seven days through March 21 were up week to week while soybeans plunged, according to the USDA.
Corn sales totaled 904,500 metric tons, up 6% from the prior week and 5% from the previous four-week average, the USDA said in a report.
China was the big buyer at 300,000 metric tons, Japan followed with 228,800 tons, and Mexico was in for 191,500 tons. Taiwan bought 136,000 tons, and Colombia purchased 84,100 tons of U.S. corn. An unknown buyer canceled shipments for 128,900 tons.
Sales for the 2019-2020 marketing year that starts on September 1 totaled 85,400 tons.
Wheat sales came in at 475,700 metric tons last week, up 59% from the prior seven-day period and 15% from the four-week average, the USDA said.
Mexico bought 153,300 tons, Japan was in for 75,500 tons, and Indonesia took 67,000 tons. The Philippines purchased 50,000 tons, and Uganda took 44,000 tons, the agency said. Sales for the 2019-2020 year that starts on June 1 were reported at 35,400 tons.
Soybean sales, meanwhile, plunged 52% to 181,800 metric tons last week, government data show. That’s down 85% from the four-week average. China was conspicuously absent.
Egypt bought 123,600 metric tons, the Netherlands took 82,400 tons, South Korea was in for 63,500 tons, Japan purchased 45,600 tons, and Mexico bought 27,200 tons, the USDA said. Unknown customers canceled cargoes for 259,900 tons.
Sales of U.S. soybeans for the 2019-2020 year starting September 1 were reported at 17,100 tons.
3. Flood Watch Issued For Much of Central Missouri as Rainfall Expected Into Saturday
The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for much of central Missouri and counties in east-central Kansas starting at 1 p.m. this afternoon and stretching into Saturday morning.
“Several rounds of showers and thunderstorms are expected across the area today and tonight,” the NWS said in a report early Friday morning. “The heaviest rain is expected across portions of central Missouri this evening and tonight.”
An inch or two of rain is expected with higher amounts locally, the report said. Soils are already saturate, which will likely lead to flooding of creeks, streams, and low-water crossings, the NWS said.
The Missouri River stretching from the Nebraska-Iowa border along the Kansas-Missouri border is still over its banks. The river also is flooding throughout central Missouri.
The Mississippi River also is still above flood stage in several spots from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.