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3 Big Things Today, February 10

Soybeans Rise in Overnight Trading; Wheat Biggest Winner on WASDE, Export Sales Day.

1. Soybeans Higher in Overnight Trading as Grains Little Changed

Soybeans were higher, while grains were little changed in overnight trading.

Prices of the oilseed were supported by reports that China imported almost 8 million metric tons in January, the most since 2010, an indication that the Asian country is stockpiling inventories.

Soybeans also were higher after the Rosario Grain Exchange earlier this week cut its forecast for production in Argentina to 54.5 million metric tons and the U.S. Department of Agriculture lowered its forecast to 55.5 million tons from 57 million.

Wheat was little changed overnight after jumping double digits yesterday amid a USDA report that showed stockpiles in the marketing year ending May 31 would fall more than analysts had expected.

Soybean futures for March delivery rose 4¼¢ to $10.54¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal added $2 to $340.40 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.12¢ to 34.55¢ a pound.

Corn futures rose ¼¢ to $3.69¾ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures for March delivery lost ½¢ to $4.43 a bushel. Kansas City futures rose a penny to $4.52¼ a bushel.

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2. Big Report Day Sees Wheat Win on WASDE, Export Sales

It was a big day on Thursday with the Department of Agriculture releasing its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) Report and its Weekly Export Sales Report.

The biggest surprise, or at least the number that offered the biggest market reaction, was the wheat ending stockpiles estimate, which declined to 1.139 billion bushels from 1.186 billion the prior month and trade estimates for 1.180 billion. The forecast pushed prices up double digits on the day.

Corn inventories at the end of the marketing year on August 31 were pegged at 2.32 billion bushels, down slightly from last month’s 2.355 billion and the average estimate of 2.335 billion. Soybean carryout was estimated at 420 million bushels, unchanged from last month and higher than the trade estimate for 41 million bushels.

Wheat also was the winner in yesterday’s Export Sales Report.

Exporters sold 527,300 metric tons of the grain to overseas buyers in the week that ended on February 2, up 17% from the prior week and 9% from the previous four-week average, according to the USDA. The biggest buyer was Japan, which bought 90,600 tons. Mexico took 67,300 tons, the Philippines bought 64,600 tons, and Chile purchased 60,000 tons.

Corn sales fell 15% week over week to 971,700 tons, which is down 13% from the prior four-week average, the government said. The biggest buyers were Japan, which was in for 401,700 tons, unknown buyers, who bought 183,600 tons, and Mexico, which bought 149,500 tons, according to the USDA.

Soybean sales totaled 536,300 tons, down 14% from both the previous week and the average, according to the USDA. China, as usual, was the biggest buyer at 259,900 tons. Mexico was next on the list at 105,600 tons, the Netherlands followed at 75,700 tons, and Bangladesh bought 57,900 tons.   

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3. Red-Flag Warnings in Much of Southern Plains, Midwest

A red-flag warning is in effect for much of eastern Colorado, extreme northeastern New Mexico, and the Texas Panhandle, according to the National Weather Service.

Extremely low humidity and warm temperatures and strong winds are making for tinderbox conditions in the region, the NWS said in a report early Friday morning. Winds are expected to be sustained at 15 mph, with gusts up to 30 mph, and relative humidity is forecast to be as low as 11% today.

A red-flag warning also has been issued for most of central and eastern Oklahoma, southwestern Missouri, and parts of extreme northwestern Arkansas, according to the NWS.

Winds in Fayetteville, Arkansas, are forecast at 35 mph. The agency said the potential is high that fire could spread as fast as 229 feet per second if started, so no activities involving fire are advised for today.

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