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3 Big Things Today, September 27

Wheat Futures Higher Overnight; Export Sales of Soybeans Top Million-Ton Mark

1. Wheat Rises on Adverse Weather in Northern Plains, Australia

Wheat futures were again higher in overnight trading as adverse weather continues in parts of the northern Plains where growers are attempting to harvest the last of the spring crop.

Frost or freeze conditions are possible in parts of North Dakota and western Minnesota tonight, which could hurt any spring wheat that has yet to be collected.

The cold weather will continue into Saturday morning and occur again into next week.

The good news is that most of the spring wheat crop is in the bin. As of Sunday about 87% of U.S. spring wheat was harvested. Still, that’s down from the prior five-year average of 97% for this time of year.

In North Dakota, only 85% was collected compared with the average for 95%. In Montana, where a strong winter storm is forecast, only 80% was harvested at the start of this week, well behind the normal 95% for this time of year.

Concerns about dry weather in Australia also are giving prices a bump.

Commodity Weather Group said in a report that Australia wheat and canola regions lack rain and heat is expected to build in the next two weeks, adding to losses in almost three-fourths of growing areas.

Wheat for September delivery rose 3¢ to $4.87¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City futures added 2¾¢ to $4.11 a bushel.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 1¾¢ to $8.86¾ a bushel overnight. Soymeal lost 20¢ to $295.60 a short ton while soybean oil dropped 0.12¢ to 29.05¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery lost 1½¢ to $3.71 a bushel.

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2. Export Sales of Corn 494,000 Metric Tons, Soybeans Again Top Million-Ton Mark

Export sales of corn in the seven days that ended on Sept. 19, only the second full week of the 2019-2020 marketing year, were reported at 494,000 metric tons by the USDA.

Mexico was the big buyer at 196,800 metric tons, followed by Japan at 92,900 tons; an unknown buyer took 85,300 tons; Colombia was in for 47,300 tons; and Thailand purchased 39,400 tons, the agency said in a report.

Soybean sales last week totaled 1.04 million metric tons.

China was again the big buyer at 391,400 tons. Indonesia took 95,700 tons, the Netherlands bought 69,800 tons, Japan purchased 66,600 tons, and Pakistan was in for 66,000 tons, the USDA said.

Wheat sales for delivery in the grain’s marketing year that started on June 1 totaled 283,200 metric tons, down 1% from the previous week and 40% from the prior four-week average.

Japan was in for 103,500 metric tons, the Philippines took 61,900 tons, Mexico bought 58,900 tons, Egypt purchased 50,000 tons and Yemen bought 30,000 tons, the agency said.

The total would’ve been higher but there were several cancellations.

An unknown customer nixed a shipment for 114,400 tons, South Korea canceled cargoes of 13,000 tons, and Vietnam canceled a shipment for 12,200 tons, the USDA said.

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3. First Winter Storm of Year to Hit Montana, Idaho Today; Thunderstorms Expected in Iowa

A “major winter storm” is headed toward the northern Rockies this weekend.

The first such storm of the year will hit parts of Montana and Idaho, according to the National Weather Service.

A winter storm warning is in effect for counties in northern Montana while a winter storm watch is in effect for about half of the Big Sky state and most of northern Idaho, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Heavy snow is forecast with blizzard conditions possible in the region. Total snow accumulations are expected to be around 15 to 36 inches on the Plains and 7 to 20 inches at lower elevations. Higher amounts are expected in the mountains, the agency said.

Farther east in the Corn Belt, storms in Nebraska and Iowa are expected through the weekend into next week.  

In Iowa, nonsevere thunderstorms will fire up today and extend into the middle of next week, the NWS said. So far, the threat of severe weather in the state is low.

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