3 Big Things Today, December 9

Beans, Corn Rise in Overnight Trading; Export Sales Surge For Corn Amid Low Prices.

1. Corn, Beans Slightly Higher Overnight as Bargain Hunters Pounce After Sell-off

Corn and soybeans were modestly higher after yesterday’s sell-off as bargain hunters jumped back into the market.

Soybeans fell 23¢ and corn was down 6¢ yesterday as investors booked profits after a short run up in prices. Those seeking contracts likely believe the contracts are at fair value considering how strong demand has been in recent months.

Sales of soybeans since the start of the 2016-2017 marketing year on September 1 are up 27% from the same time frame a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Corn sales have jumped 74% year over year, USDA data show.

Still, prices have been capped by the fact that growers produced record bean and corn crops.

Soybeans for January delivery rose 4½¢ to $10.31½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal futures for December delivery added $2.80 to $316.50 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.14¢ to 37.12¢ a pound. 

Corn futures gained 2¢ to $3.55½ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures for March delivery fell ¾¢ to $4.07½ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures declined 1¼¢ to $4.03½ a bushel. 

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2. Export Sales of Corn Jump Week Over Week; Soybeans Also Rise

Export sales of corn surged last week, while soybean sales gained, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Exporters sold 1.5 million metric tons of corn for delivery in the current marketing year, almost double the prior week and up 12% from the four-week average, the USDA said in a report on Thursday.

Peru was the biggest buyer, taking 426,000 metric tons. Japan followed with purchases of 320,800 tons, and Mexico was third, buying 218,800 tons. South Korea bought 206,100 tons, and Saudi Arabia purchased 182,000 tons, according to the USDA.

Soybean sales rose 10% week over week to 1.46 million metric tons, though reductions hurt the overall figure, the USDA said.

China, as usual, was the biggest buyer, taking 1.57 million tons, followed by Pakistan, which purchased 76,000 tons, the Netherlands bought 70,1000 tons, Vietnam purchased 67,700 tons, and Mexico took 63,300 tons. Unknown buyers canceled a contract for 501,400 tons, which hurt the overall sales figure, the USDA said.

Wheat sales rose modestly, gaining 4% last week to 503,100 tons, the USDA said. Still, that’s down 22% from the prior four-week average.

Taiwan was the biggest buyer, taking 125,300 tons, followed by Japan’s purchase of 103,400 tons. China took 57.700 tons, Mexico bought 57,600 tons, and Nigeria bought 39,200 tons, the USDA said. Unknown buyers canceled a contract for 89,100 tons, however.

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3. Dakotas, Michigan Face Winter Storms Bringing Snow, Extreme Cold

The Dakotas continue to get blasted by wintry weather as several inches of snow are expected in South Dakota and Minnesota and as extreme cold sweeps into North Dakota, according to the National Weather Service.

“Light to moderate snow will begin late tonight (in South Dakota) and persist through the day Saturday, with snow continuing over eastern areas into Sunday morning,” the NWS said in a report early Friday. “In general, 2 to 4 inches are expected east of the Missouri River.”

In North Dakota, wind chills are expected to drop to -35˚F., the NWS said. Frostbite and hypothermia are possible for people who stay outside too long.

In Michigan, snow showers will continue in much of the eastern half of the state throughout the day, though they may taper off this afternoon, the NWS said. Another inch to 3 inches of snow are expected, creating whiteout conditions and making travel extremely dangerous.

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