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3 Big Things Today, March 8

Crop Futures Little Changed Overnight; Soybean Export Sales Miss Expectations

1. Soybeans, Corn Little Changed as Trade Wait Continues

Soybeans and corn were little changed overnight as investors continue to await any news on a trade deal between the U.S. and China.

Fervor about a potential deal was high earlier this week, but since then, no news has flowed from either Washington or Beijing.

Negotiators are reportedly attempting to hammer out the final details of an agreement that would end the months-long tit-for-tat trade war between the world’s two largest economies. Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping are likely to meet later this month to finalize a deal, according to media reports.

The U.S. decided against raising its tariff rate on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese goods on March 1 to 25% from 10% since negotiations were going so well.

Trump earlier this week said the trade talks were going well and that the negotiations will either end with a good deal or no deal at all.

Soybeans for March delivery rose ½¢ to $9.03 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained 20¢ to $306.50 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.08¢ to 29.59¢ a pound.

Corn for March delivery rose 1¢ to $3.66¼ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat for March delivery rose 2½¢ to $4.40¾ a bushel overnight, while Kansas City futures added 2½¢ to $4.30 a bushel.

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2. Soybean Export Sales Badly Miss Projections, Corn Sales Within Expected Range

Export sales of soybeans in the week through February 28 were well below forecasts, while corn sales were with within expectations.

Soybean sales last week for delivery in the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 marketing years totaled a combined 383,400 metric tons, according to the USDA. Researcher Allendale said consensus was for 600,000 to 1.15 million metric tons.

China was the biggest buyer, taking only 146,300 tons for delivery in the current marketing year. Egypt was in for 94,900 tons, the Netherlands bought 76,500 tons, Mexico purchased 58,000 tons, and Indonesia took 35,000 tons.

Corn sales came in at a combined 1.25 million metric tons, the USDA said in a report, on the high end of the expected range of 800,000 to 1.4 million metric tons.

Mexico was the biggest customer last week at 375,300 tons, according to the government. Japan took 306,700 tons, Colombia was in for 199,100 tons, South Korea purchased 65,500 tons, and Canada bought 34,200 tons.

Wheat sales for the combined marketing years that started on June 1 totaled 826,700 metric tons, the USDA said. That was ahead of expectations for 200,000 to 600,000 tons, Allendale said.

Mexico was the big buyer of supplies for delivery in the current marketing year that ends on May 31 at 156,600 metric tons, followed by South Korea at 127,500 tons, the Philippines at 85,900 tons, Malaysia at 62,400 tons, and Egypt at 55,000 tons. An unknown buyer canceled a shipment for 62,700 tons, the USDA said.

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3. Winter Storm Stretching From Montana to Wisconsin May Bring a Foot of Snow

A winter storm warning is in effect for a wide swath of land stretching from eastern Montana into western Wisconsin.

The warning is in effect for almost all of South Dakota and Minnesota and counties in southern and eastern North Dakota, according to the National Weather Service.

In South Dakota, heavy snow and light ice are expected starting tonight, the NWS said in a report early this morning. As much as 7 inches of snow are possible along with a light glaze of ice.

Winds will gust up to 40 mph.

In Minnesota and western Wisconsin, snow will fall at a rate of 1 to 2 inches an hour starting tomorrow morning and lasting through early evening before easing Saturday night, the agency said. Total accumulations are pegged from 7 to 12 inches.

“Strong northwest winds will develop Saturday night and Sunday morning with gusts of 40 to 45 mph possible across southern and western Minnesota,” the NWS said. “This will lead to areas of blowing and drifting snow, but widespread blizzard conditions are not currently expected. The winter storm warning continues through Sunday morning across western and portions of southern Minnesota due to the potential for blowing snow.”

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