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3 Big Things Today, May 24

Grain, Soybean Futures Higher Overnight; Weekly Corn Export Sales Decline, Beans Improve.

1. Corn, Soybean Futures Higher on Continued Wet Weather

Corn and soybean futures were higher overnight as wet weather that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere continues to keep growers out of fields.

About 49% of the corn crop was in the ground at the start of the week, down from the prior five-year average of 80%, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture; 19% had emerged vs. the average of 49% for this time of year.

Soybean seeding was only 19% complete, well behind the average of 47% for this time of year, the USDA said. About 5% of the crop was out of the ground as of Sunday, compared with the normal 17%.

Showers are falling or forecast in many parts of the Midwest today and through the weekend including in Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois, according to the National Weather Service.

Corn futures for May delivery rose 4¢ to $3.93¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybeans for May delivery added 2¾¢ to $8.24¼ a bushel. Soymeal rose 40¢ to $297.60 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.21¢ to 26.99¢ a pound.

Wheat for May delivery was up 6¼¢ to $4.76½ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City wheat gained 5¾¢ to $4.31 a bushel.


2. Corn Export Sales Fall Week-to-Week While Soybeans Improve, USDA Says

Export sales for corn declined week-to-week while soybean sales jumped, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Corn sales in the seven days that ended on May 16 totaled 442,100 metric tons, down 20% from the previous week and four-week average, the USDA said in a report.

Japan was the big buyer at 185,800 metric tons, followed by an unknown buyer of 42,600 tons and Colombia at 40,900 tons. Costa Rica was in for 30,800 tons, and Guatemala bought 27,700 tons, the government said.

For the 2019-2020 marketing year that starts on Sept. 1, corn sales totaled 183,900 tons as Panama bought 65,000 tons, Costa Rica took 33,500 tons, Honduras was in for 24,400 tons, El Salvador took 16,000 tons, and Guatemala purchased 12,800 tons.

Soybean sales last week jumped 45% to 535,800 metric tons, which was up considerably from the four-week average, the USDA said.

An unknown buyer took 255,500 tons, Indonesia was in for 78,000 tons, and China made an appearance on the buyer rolls at 71,000 tons. Egypt bought 55,000 tons, and Japan was in for 15,900 tons. For the 2019-2020 marketing year, sales totaled 5,100 tons.

Wheat sales in the 12 months that end on May 31 hit a marketing-year low at 48,400 metric tons, the USDA said. That’s down 58% week-to-week and 74% from the average.

Indonesia bought 129,900 tons, Taiwan was in for 56,700 tons, Kenya purchased 30,700 tons, Canada took 25,000 tons, and Ecuador bought 23,300 tons. Those purchases were offset by reductions by an unknown customer of 249,000 tons.

For the 2019-2020 marketing year that starts on June 1, sales totaled 344,900 metric tons as unnamed customers bought 196,000 tons, Japan took 62,000 tons, Mexico purchased 39,300 tons, and Thailand was in for 25,000 tons, the government said.


3. Strong Storms Continue to Hammer the Corn Belt With Rain, Hail, Wind

Storms that have already affected parts of the Midwest and southern Plains continue to hammer the Corn Belt, according to the National Weather Service.

Severe thunderstorm warnings and flash flood warnings are in effect for parts of northwestern Kansas, eastern Nebraska, western Iowa, and northwestern Missouri, the agency said in a report early this morning.

A severe thunderstorm with winds topping 60 mph, small hail, and heavy rainfall is hitting parts of northwestern Missouri this morning. Flash flood watches also have been put in place as the area is ripe for flooding, the NWS said.

The threat for strong storms continues tomorrow through Tuesday with heavy rainfall and flooding possible.

In eastern Iowa and northern Illinois, meanwhile, flood warnings and flash flood watches are in effect as more rainfall is expected in the area.

Showers and thunderstorms will hit this morning with more likely tonight. The biggest risks include up to half-dollar-size hail, wind gusts up to 70 mph, and a “limited” possibility of a tornado, the NWS said.

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