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3 Big Things Today, January 3

Soybeans Lower Overnight on South America Rain; Perdue Looks Like Ag Secretary Pick.

1. Soybeans Modestly Lower in Overnight Trading on South America Rain

Soybeans were lower in overnight trading as rainfall boosts crop prospects in parts of South America.

Rain is expected in northwestern Buenos Aires and southern Cordoba states in Argentina in the next six to 10 days, eliminating any remaining dry spots in the states, MDA Information Services said in a forecast today. Still, some parts of La Pampa and southern Buenos Aires will remain dry.

In Brazil, central areas are expected to see precipitation in the next 10 days, the forecaster said.

“Additional showers in southern areas this week continue to ease remaining dryness there,” Senior Ag Meteorologist Donald Keeney said in a report on Tuesday morning.

Soybean futures for March delivery fell 3¼¢ to $10.00¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal futures lost $2.90 to $313.70 a short ton, and soy oil futures added 0.30¢ to 34.96¢ a pound.

Corn futures were unchanged at $3.52 a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat for March delivery in Chicago added ¼¢ to $4.08¼ a bushel, and Kansas City futures lost ½¢ to $4.18 a bushel.

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2. Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue Reportedly Picked as Ag Secretary

Sonny Perdue III is expected to be President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for secretary of agriculture, according to multiple news reports.

Perdue, who has no relation to the family that owns the chicken company, is the former governor of Georgia and may have topped other candidates including Texas A&M University President Elsa Murano, Texas Ag Commissioner Sid Miller, and Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

The 70-year-old was a state senator, who in 2003 became the governor of Georgia. He left the office in 2011 and started Atlanta-based Perdue Partners, a trading firm that “facilitates commerce focusing on the export of U.S. goods and services through trading, partnerships, consulting services, and strategic acquisitions,” according to a profile on Bloomberg.com.

Perdue wouldn’t confirm or deny to Politico reports that he would be the successor to Tom Vilsack, the current secretary of agriculture.

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3. Winter Weather Advisory Issued For Michigan as Storm Rolls In

A winter weather advisory has been issued for parts of Michigan as a storm moves east off of Lake Michigan, according to the National Weather Service.

“Lake-effect snow showers will develop tonight and continue into Thursday,” the NWS said in a report on Tuesday morning.

Snowfall will total up to 10 inches, and strong winds and drifting snow will reduce visibility. Roads will become snow-packed and hazardous starting tonight, according to the NWS.

A winter storm in parts of northern North Dakota and Minnesota will begin to wind down, though another 2 inches of snow on top of what’s already fallen is expected, the agency said. Winds are expected to cause blowing and drifting snow, though they’re forecast to slow enough that visibility will improve starting this afternoon.

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