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3 Big Things Today, December 16

Soybeans Higher in Overnight Trading; Export Sales Continue to be Strong Amid Low Prices.

1. Soybeans Higher in Overnight Trading on Demand

Soybeans and corn were higher overnight amid strong demand for U.S. inventories.

Overseas buyers boosted purchases of U.S. supplies as they continue to take advantage of low prices and increased availability. Growers recently collected record crops of both commodities, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, soybean sales to overseas buyers are up 29% vs. the same time frame last year, and corn sales have jumped 77%, the USDA said yesterday. Wheat sales since the start of its marketing year on June 1 are up 27% year over year, according to the government.

Soybean futures for January delivery rose 3¢ to $10.32 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal added 80¢ to $314.80 a short ton, and soy oil fell 0.07¢ to 36.67¢ a pound.

Corn futures for March delivery rose ½¢ to $3.57 a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures for March delivery lost 1¾¢ to $4.07½ a bushel in Chicago. Kansas City futures fell 2½¢ to $4.10¼ a bushel.

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2. Export Sales of Corn, Beans Stay Strong Amid Low Prices

Overseas buyers continue to snap up corn and soybeans amid low prices and readily available supplies.

Corn sales in the week that ended on December 8 totaled 1.52 million metric tons, up 1% from last week and 8% from the previous four-week average, the Department of Agriculture said in a report on Thursday. South Korea was the biggest buyer, taking 538,200 metric tons, followed by Mexico, which purchased 342,800 tons, and Japan, which took 171,500 tons. Colombia bought 162,200 tons, and Taiwan purchased 154,000 tons, the USDA said.

Soybean sales jumped 44% week over week to 2 million metric tons, according to the government. China was, as usual, the largest customers, taking 1.32 million tons. Unknown buyers purchased 151,500 tons, Indonesia bought 112,200 tons, the Netherlands took 76,000 tons, and Germany bought 70,100 tons.

China also bought 264,000 tons, and unknown buyers purchased 132,000 tons for delivery in the marketing year that starts on September 1, the USDA said.

Wheat sales for the week totaled 531,300 tons, up 6% from the prior week but down 7% from the average. Nigeria was the biggest buyer at 96,300 tons, Morocco took 60,500 tons, and China purchased 60,000 tons. Thailand bought 54,900 tons, and Mexico took 43,400 tons, according to the government.

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3. Upper Half of U.S. Faces Adverse Weather Warnings

Most of the upper half of the U.S. is under some sort of winter weather warning as the so-called polar vortex continues to move east.

“Arctic air and strong winds will continue to bring bitterly cold wind chills from the Northern Plains to New England,” the National Weather Service said in a report on Friday morning. “A significant winter storm will continue to bring heavy snow to the Sierra and Rockies, Northern Plains, and into the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes. A wintry mix is expected late Friday into Saturday from the Middle Atlantic to southern New England.”

Wind chills are expected to range from -20˚F. to -30˚F. in much of the Upper Midwest. In northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, as much as 7 inches of snow is expected to fall through late Saturday, the NWS said.  

In parts of norther Indiana and southern Michigan, freezing rain is expected to start at about 7 p.m. tonight and persist through about noon on Saturday. Ice will accumulate, which will cause roads to become extremely slippery, the agency said. Travel is not advised.

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