3 Big Things Today, November 22, 2019

Wheat Rises in Overnight Trading; Exports Sales Higher Week-to-Week Across the Board

1. Wheat Higher on Signs of Demand; Corn, Beans Little Changed

Wheat futures were higher in overnight trading on solid demand news for the grain and concerns about the condition of the winter crop.

Corn and soybeans were little changed.

Sales of wheat for overseas delivery were on the high side of expectations last week while purchases by importing countries were up year-over-year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report yesterday.

About 95% of the winter crop was planted as of Sunday, on par with the prior five-year average, the USDA said. About 83% of the crop was emerged vs. 86% normally.

Crop ratings, however, are down year-over-year as 52% was deemed good or excellent at the start of the week compared with 54% seven days earlier and 56% at this point in 2018.

Market-watchers also are keeping a close eye on trade negotiations between the U.S. and China as the so-called phase one trade deal seems to be crumbling.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the countries – the world’s two largest economies – may not have a deal signed by Dec. 15 when the next round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese products is set to kick in.

Myron Brilliant, the senior executive vice president of the organization, said on CNBC that China wants the U.S. to repeal some of its tariffs, as do American business owners, but it’s unlikely all of the tariffs imposed on the Asian nation’s goods will be repealed in the first treaty.

Wheat for September delivery rose 3¢ to $5.15 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City futures gained 2¾¢ to $4.31¼ a bushel.

Soybean futures for January delivery fell 1¼¢ to $8.99¾ a bushel. Soymeal lost 60¢ a short ton while soybean oil rose 0.27¢ to 31.15¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery rose ¼¢ to $3.68 ¾ a bushel.

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2. Export Sales of Corn, Wheat, Beans All Improve Week-to-Week, USDA Says

Export sales of corn, wheat and soybeans all surged in the seven days that ended on November 14, according to the USDA.

Corn sales to overseas buyers were reported at 788,000 metric tons last week, up 36% from the previous week and 49% from the four-week average, the agency said.

Mexico was the biggest buyer at 386,600 metric tons, followed by Colombia at 124,900 tons, and Japan at 82,300 tons. Honduras bought 78,300 metric tons, and Costa Rica purchased 64,800 tons, the USDA said in a report.

Analysts were expecting sales from 400,000 to 900,000 metric tons, according to researcher Allendale.

Wheat sales came in at 437,700 metric tons for the week, up 83% from the previous week and 29% from the four-week average.

An unknown customer took 134,200 metric tons, Japan bought 58,300 tons, Indonesia purchased 58,000 tons, and Colombia was in for 31,000 tons, government data show.

Sales were pegged at 200,000 to 500,000 tons.

Soybean sales improved 22% week-to-week to 1.52 million metric tons, the USDA said. The total was up 39% from the average.

China bought 568,600 metric tons from the U.S., Germany purchased 198,000 tons, Spain was in for 129,000 tons, Egypt took 122,200 tons, and Bangladesh bought 105,000 tons, the USDA said.

Analysts had forecast sales from 800,000 to 1.4 million tons.

Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, commitments by overseas buyers to purchase U.S. corn are down 45% from the same time frame a year earlier. Soybean sales are up 5% year-over-year, the agency said.

Wheat sales since the beginning of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are up 7%, the USDA said.

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3. Band of Snow Expected Along Colorado, Kansas Border; Rain Forecast in Missouri

Weather maps are mostly quiet this morning with some exceptions.

A narrow band of heavy snow is expected to move east through northeastern Colorado into northwestern Kansas today, according to the National Weather Service.

Snowfall rates of up to an inch an hour are expected, though the storm will only last about an hour, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

In parts off north-central Missouri, rainfall is expected early this afternoon.

The precipitation will turn to snow tonight after sunset, though the storm will leave the area Saturday morning. Only a dusting to a half-inch of snow is likely to accumulate.

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