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3 Big Things Today, January 17

Beans, Corn Higher in Overnight Trading; Argentina Rain Threatens Country’s Crops.

1. Soybean, Corn Futures Higher on Argentina Weather Woes

Soybeans and corn were higher in overnight trading on weather woes in Argentina, among the biggest producers of both crops.

Excessive rainfall has delayed planting in parts of the South American country, and growers are at risk of missing their window for seeding, according to market reports and the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange.

While growers in much of the country are almost finished with seeding, those in northern growing regions are well behind normal and are at risk of not getting their crops in the ground.

Soybean futures for March delivery rose 17½¢ to $10.63¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal futures added $7.60 to $341.50, and soy oil gained 0.39¢ to 35.99¢ a pound.

Corn futures rose 3½¢ to $3.62 a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat for March delivery gained 1½¢ to $4.27½ on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City futures fell a penny to $4.48 a bushel.  

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2. Excessive Rainfall in Argentina Threatens Crops as Northern Fields Too Wet

The farmers in Argentina are about 91% finished with planting, those in northern growing regions are well behind due to excessive rainfall, according to analysts and the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange.

The exchange said in a report late last week that central Santa Fe, eastern Cordoba, and western Buenos Aires states have all suffered from too much rain. Soybean production is expected to fall to 56 million metric tons in the 2016-2017 marketing year vs. 58.8 million tons last year, the country’s Agriculture Ministry said. It hasn’t yet forecast corn output.

“The problem is that only between 60% and 80% of the crop in the north to northeastern section of the country has been planted, and farmers are running out of time for their ideal planting window,” said Tomm Pfitzenmaier, the president of Summit Commodity Brokerage in Des Moines, Iowa.

“To add to their troubles, there were two major storm systems that hit Argentina over the weekend, dropping between 2½ and 5 inches of rain on areas that were already wet.”

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3. More Ice Falling May Add to Glaze Left Over Weekend

Freezing rain remains a problem in much of the central U.S. today, according to the National Weather Service.

“Ice and freezing rain will impact north-central Kansas, eastern Nebraska, much of Iowa, southern Minnesota, and Wisconsin into southern Michigan through Tuesday,” the NWS said in a report on Tuesday morning. “A lesser threat will expand into portions of New York State and southern New England Wednesday. Meanwhile, heavy rain will impact portions of Texas and the Lower Mississippi Valley this week.”

The ice left a glaze on much of the Midwest over the long weekend, making travel dangerous and forcing schools and businesses to close. The weather system may move east, though slowly, giving those affected a break.

In Wisconsin, a winter storm warning has been issued for much of the central part of the state. Freezing rain along with snow and sleet will make travel “extremely hazardous,” the NWS said.

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