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3 Big Things Today, March 3, 2023

Soybeans, Grains Higher Overnight; Export Sales Down Across the Board

1. Soybeans Higher, Grains Little Changed Overnight

Soybean futures were higher as domestic crush was up month-over-month and grains saw modest gains in overnight trading.

Processors crushed 191 million bushels of soybeans in January, up from 187 million a month earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report.

The total was still down from the 194 million bushels processed during the same month a year earlier, USDA said. That led to production of 2.25 billion pounds of oil, a 3% increase from December, but down 1% year-over-year.

Iowa was he biggest crusher of soybeans in January at 1.15 million metric tons, followed by Illinois at 679,969 tons, government data show.

The U.S. dollar fell 0.25% in overnight trading, which may make U.S. supplies more attractive to overseas customers.

Buyers have been jumping into the market after a brief selloff that lasted through early this week.

Grain futures were moderately higher in overnight trading on concerns about the future of the Black Sea Grain Initiative that's keeping agricultural products flowing out of Ukraine.

Russia has expressed concerns about the agreement that was brokered last July and renewed in November. The deal is again up for renewal.

Soybean futures for May delivery rose 5 cents to $15.14¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soybean meal was up $3.20 to $475.50 a short ton and soy oil fell 0.16 cents to 61.74 cents a pound.

Wheat futures for May delivery rose 1 cent to $7.13¾ a bushel, while Kansas City futures gained 2½ cents to $8.28½ a bushel.

Corn futures were up half a cent to $6.34¼ a bushel.

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2. Export Sales Drop as Beans Hit Marketing-Year Low

Export sales of corn and wheat both declined while soybean sales dropped to a marketing-year low, according to USDA.

Corn sales to overseas buyers were reported at 598,100 metric tons, down 27% week-to-week and 48% from the prior four-week average, the agency said in a report.

Mexico bought 207,400 metric tons, Japan was in for 111,900 tons, Colombia purchased 103,700 tons, China took 76,000 tons, and an unnamed country was in for 30,800 tons, the government said.

Exports for the week were down 3% to 666,400 metric tons.

Wheat sales dropped 16% week-to-week to 284,100 metric tons, USDA said. That's still up 39% from the same week last year.

Japan took 70,800 metric tons, Iraq bought 55,000 tons, Mexico was in for 43,000 tons, South Korea purchased 33,700 tons, and the Philippines bought 32,800 tons.

The total would've been higher but an unnamed country canceled orders for 78,000 tons.

Exports of wheat for the week were up 81% to 610,000 metric tons, USDA said.

Soybean sales, meanwhile, dropped 14% from the previous week and 25% from the average to 360,700 metric tons — the lowest since the marketing year started on Sept. 1, the agency said.

China purchased 218,400 metric tons, Germany bought 125,200 tons, Mexico was in for 91,300 tons, Pakistan bought 66,000 tons, and the Netherlands took 52,300 tons from U.S. supplies, the government said.

An unnamed country nixed cargoes of 300,700 metric tons.

Soybean exports for the week were down 45% to 880,800 metric tons, USDA said in its report.


3. Flash Floods Expected in Parts of Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky

Flood and flash flood warnings are in effect in parts of southern Missouri, southern Illinois, and western Kentucky this morning, according to the National Weather Service.

Thunderstorms in the area are producing heavy rain with downpours of an inch an hour, the NWS said in a report early this morning. Up to 2 inches of rain have already fallen with another inch or two expected.

"Flash flooding is ongoing or expected to begin shortly," the agency said.

In southern Missouri, a flood warning is in effect until 4 p.m. local time this afternoon due to flooding of rivers, creeks, and streams as excessive amounts of rain falls in the area, the NWS said.

Several rivers in Arkansas are also likely to overrun their banks, as 3 inches have already fallen in the middle of the state with another 2 inches forecast, the agency said.

Wind was also an issue in Arkansas where winds today will be sustained from 30 to 40 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph expected.

"Gusty winds will blow around unsecured objects," the NWS said. "Tree limbs could be blow down and a few power outages may result."

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