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3 Big Things Today, August 26
1. Corn, Soybeans Little Changed as Investors Digest Crop Tour Findings
Corn and soybeans were little changed overnight as investors seem unsure what to make of the crop tour results from the past few days.
Crops were generally not as good as forecast by the U.S. Department of Agriculture but, according to price declines much of the week, better than traders had expected. Yields in eastern Iowa were seen at about 190 bushels an acre, crop participants said yesterday, still below USDA projections. Corn in much of Ohio, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Illinois wasn’t as good as the government had forecast.
Favorable weather helped much of the crop throughout the growing season, but it seems several diseases – including sudden death syndrome, which occurs when there’s too much moisture – and wind damage were issues in some areas, the crop tour found.
Despite the lower-than-forecast yields, prices for corn and beans have declined this week, leading some to speculate that growers and traders alike didn’t believe the USDA’s projections for record crops.
Corn futures for December delivery fell ½¢ to $3.31½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.
Soybeans for November delivery declined 1½¢ to $9.74 a bushel, soy meal futures for December delivery fell 70¢ to $318.10 a short ton, and soy oil rose 0.07¢ to 33.39¢ a pound.
Wheat futures for December delivery lost 1¢ to $4.22¾ a bushel overnight in Chicago, while Kansas City futures declined a penny to $4.31¼ a bushel.
2. Export Sales Remain Strong Amid Low Prices, Weak Dollar
Exports of U.S. corn and soybeans remained strong last week, as prices stay low and the dollar remains weak.
Corn shippers sold 1.06 million metric tons of the grain in the week that ended on August 18, the Department of Agriculture said in a report. The biggest buyer was, expectedly, unknown destinations, which took 480,100 metric tons, followed by Mexico’s purchase of 119,000 tons and Colombia’s 99,000 tons.
Exports of the grain during the week totaled an impressive 1.05 million tons, though that figure is down 10% from the prior seven days. Japan was the biggest importer, taking 359,000, followed by Mexico’s 121,400 tons, and Colombia’s 88,400 tons.
Sales of soybeans totaled 1.94 million tons last week, the USDA said. China was the biggest buyer, taking just over 1 million tons. Unknown buyers bought 771,000 tons, South Korea took 55,000 tons, and Japan bought 40,000 tons from the U.S.
Exporters last week shipped 869,000 tons, unchanged from the prior week, with China the primary destination at 349,600 tons. The Netherlands took 285,700 tons, Mexico imported 91,100 tons, Japan imported 54,400 tons, and Malaysia took 21,000 tons, the USDA said.
Prices have stayed low this week despite findings from the ProFarmer Crop Tour that belied lofty USDA numbers, which may continue to boost exports. The dollar, which last week fell to the lowest in two months, also remains relatively weak. This should make U.S. agricultural products attractive to overseas buyers.
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3. Storm System Expected to Bring Severe Weather to Southern Plains, Midwest
A new string of severe weather is expected to rumble through parts of the Southern Plains and Midwest this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
The large storm that stretches from south-central Oklahoma into north-central Missouri may bring enough rain to cause severe flooding in some counties, the NWS said in a report on Friday morning.
“Scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms are expected across portions of the Central and Southern Plains and across portions of the lower Great Lakes,” the agency said. “Some thunderstorms may be severe with damaging winds and large hail.”
Hot weather will make its way into parts of Ohio and Kentucky today, with temperatures reaching up in the mid- to upper 90s, the NWS said.
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