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3 Big Things Today, February 17

Soybeans, Corn Lower in Overnight Trading; Sales of Wheat, Beans Higher Week-to-Week

1. Soybeans, Corn Lower on Argentina Weather, Trade Concerns

Soybeans and corn were lower in overnight trading, extending losses from yesterday’s trading session.

Prices are down amid favorable weather in South America that’s given crop prospects a boost, and on worries about exports as lawmakers attempt to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Wet weather in Argentina is expected to improve conditions for soybeans corn in the country, while rainfall benefits wheat production in Europe, according to weather forecasters.

Investors also may be nervous as negotiations will likely begin on redrafting NAFTA, which some policymakers worry will harm agricultural exports. Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, told Successful Farming that he will let the administration know that farmers may be harmed in a renegotiated NAFTA.

Soybean futures for March delivery fell 6 ½ cents to $10.37 ¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal declined $1.30 to $340.70 a short ton and soy oil lost 0.46 cent to 33.06 cents a pound.

Corn futures for declined 3 cents to $3.70 ½ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures for March delivery fell 3 ¾ cents to $4.44 a bushel. Kansas City futures lost 3 ¾ cents to $4.54 ¼ a bushel.


2. Export Sales of Beans, Wheat Rise as Corn Declines Week-Over-Week

Export sales of soybeans and wheat rose week-over-week while corn declined, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Soybean sales in the week that ended on Feb. 9 jumped 93% from the prior week to 890,000 metric tons, the USDA said in a weekly report. That’s also up 41% from the prior four-week average.

China was the biggest buyer, taking 262,300 tons, unknown countries took 175,600 tons, Germany bought 152,400 tons, Taiwan was in for 79,700 tons and Spain purchased 71,500 tons, according to the agency.

Wheat sales were reported at 569,100 tons, up 8% from the prior week and 10% from the four-week average.

Unknown importers were the biggest buyers, purchasing 149,000 tons, the USDA said. Mexico was next on the list at 99,600 tons, Nigeria bought 62,000 tons, South Korea purchased 61,700 tons and Yemen took 50,000 tons, the USDA said.

Sales of corn were lackluster week-to-week, falling 19% to 783,500 tons.

Japan was the biggest customer, purchasing 708,800 tons, Peru was next at 83,600 tons, Mexico bought 69,200 tons and Chile took 43,600 tons, according to the USDA

It’ll be interesting to see if Mexico will slow purchases moving forward after a senator from the country this week suggested importers seek supplies from other countries. Most analysts said the threat was idle, but not inconceivable.

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3. Eastern Nebraska, Western Iowa Likely to See Record Temperatures Today

It’s time to open the windows and `let the house out’ as a relative heat wave is rolling through the Midwest this weekend.

Record temperatures are expected in parts of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa today and tomorrow, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures are expected to hit almost 75 degrees today, cooling back into the 60s tomorrow before jumping again Sunday and Monday to nearly 70.

While it will give people a hint of spring and a chance to get outside, the NWS recommends burning be kept to a minimum.  

“The heat will combine with low relative humidity of 18% to 25% to create very high fire danger across most of the area this afternoon,” the agency said. “If fires develop, they may become difficult to control. Outdoor burning is discouraged during this time.”

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