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3 Big Things Today, December 13

Grains, Beans Little Changed in Overnight Trading; Ag Groups Have Mixed Views on Trump.

1. Grains, Beans Little Changed as Investors Weigh Demand, Production

Grains and soybeans were little changed in overnight trading as investors weigh strong demand against uncertain crops in Argentina and Brazil.

Demand for U.S. corn, beans, and wheat have been strong since the start of their respective marketing years. Sales of corn since September 1 are up 69% from the same time frame a year earlier, soybean sales are up 30%, and wheat purchases have jumped 39%, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Growers in the U.S., however, have harvested bumper crops, and despite some dry weather in South America, it seems that rainfall has come at the right time, leaving traders, speculators, and hedgers unsure about which direction to take – at least for now.

Soybeans for January delivery rose 1¢ to $10.32 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal futures for December delivery lost 30¢ to $315.90 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.02¢ to 36.95¢ a pound. 

Corn futures for March fell ½¢ to $3.60 a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures for March delivery declined 1¼¢ to $4.16 a bushel in Chicago, and Kansas City wheat lost ½¢ to $4.14¼ a bushel.

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2. Trump Presidency Means Less Regulation, Trade Concerns For Ag Industry

Agriculture leaders in Kansas have a give-and-take view of President-elect Donald Trump.

Senators and ag groups alike are optimistic that Trump will lessen burdensome regulatory rules governing the industry but are concerned that his trade aspirations – or lack thereof – will hurt sales of grains and oilseeds to overseas buyers, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported this week.

The Kansas Farm Bureau after the November 8 election simply said it was encouraged that its federal leaders would work with the new administration “to lessen the burden of overregulation and improve a national economy to benefit all of America.” Warren Parker, a spokesman for the group, told the Capital-Journal that he’s optimistic that there will be “a seat at the table for agriculture.”

Still, Kansas Senator Pat Roberts told the newspaper that the agriculture industry has its “work cut out” to make Trump, who has no connection to agriculture being a real-estate mogul from New York City, “understand the value of agriculture trade.”

Trump has promised to end U.S. involvement in certain trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, both of which benefit agricultural producers. Exiting NAFTA would be “disastrous,” the Kansas Livestock Association vice president of legal affairs told the newspaper.  

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3. Polar Vortex Brings Dangerously Low Wind Chills to Much of Northern U.S.

The so-called polar vortex has struck again, bringing extremely low temperatures to much of the northern U.S.

Another round of bitter cold is hitting the Dakotas and Minnesota today, according to the National Weather Service. A wind chill advisory is in effect for much of the region this morning with values falling as low as -25˚F., the NWS said. The coldest wind chills will be this morning.

Wind chills will become dangerous in much of the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and east into Michigan. Some of the cold will be accompanied by snow, the NWS said. As much as 2 inches of snow is expected in most of Ohio this afternoon.

“Snow is expected to overspread the region early this morning,” the NWS said in a report on Tuesday morning. “The snow may mix briefly with freezing rain and sleet at the onset.”

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