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3 Big Things Today, March 24

Soybean Futures Lower in Overnight Trading; Export Sales Jump For Grains, Beans

1. Soybeans Decline Overnight on Rising U.S. Acres, Brazil Weather

Soybeans were lower overnight on prospects for increased acreage in the U.S. and favorable weather in South America.

U.S. producers are expected to increase acreage of soybeans this year. The Department of Agriculture last month said growers will plant 88 million acres with the oilseeds this year, up from last year’s record of 83.4 million. Corn area will drop by 4 million acre to about 90 million.

Rainfall in parts of Mato Grosso and Goias, major growing states in Brazil, for the next few days will boost prospects in the South American country, weather forecasters have said. Growers in Brazil are expected by the USDA to produce a record 108 million metric tons of soybeans this year.

Soybean futures fell 6 ¼ cents to $9.84 ¾ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal lost $1.10 to $319.60 a short ton and soy oil declined 0.36 cent to 32.86 cents a pound.

Corn futures fell ½ cent to $3.56 ¼ a bushel on the CBOT.

Wheat futures rose as rain that was expected to fall in the southern Plains barely materialized. In the Oklahoma panhandle, for example, there’s little chance of precipitation today, and only an 18% chance Saturday and 24% chance Sunday of rain.

Forecasters had given the region, which has been extremely dry for the past month, a slim chance of seeing rain yesterday and today.

Wheat futures for May delivery rose 2 cents to $4.32 a bushel in Chicago, and Kansas City wheat was up 2 cents to $4.30 a bushel.


2. Export Sales of Grains, Soybeans All Jump Week-Over-Week

Export sales of corn, beans and wheat all jumped from the prior week as low prices attracted myriad customers to U.S. supplies.

Corn sales in the week that ended on March 16 totaled 1.35 million metric tons, up 11% from the prior week and 59% from the previous four-week average, the Department of Agriculture said in a report.

South Korea was the biggest buyer at 593,700 tons, Japan was next at 297,000 tons and Mexico bought 162,700 tons. Saudi Arabia purchased 113,100 tons and Morocco took 103,100 tons of corn.

Soybean sales for delivery before the end of the marketing year on Aug. 31 came in at 738,200 metric tons, up 57% week-to-week and 72% from the prior average.

China was the biggest buyer at 194,200 tons, followed by the Netherlands at 143,300 tons. Unknown buyers were next on the list at 119,700 tons, Mexico bought 107,400 tons and Japan took 66,200 tons from U.S. supplies.

Wheat sales were reported at 418,500 tons, up 58% from the prior week and 17% from the four-week average, the USDA said.

Japan was the biggest buyer at 122, 400 tons, Algeria bought 120,000 tons, Mexico took 69,100 tons, China was in for 66,000 tons and Saudi Arabia purchased 60,000 tons of U.S. wheat, according to the USDA.

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3. Severe Midwest Thunderstorms Forecast to Roll Into Mississippi Valley

Severe thunderstorms that developed in the central Plains today, bringing strong winds and hail to the region, will shift to the  Mississippi Valley this afternoon.

The storm was reportedly fairly widespread through Missouri into southern Illinois, but will shift east from there.

Behind that storm is a dry region with parts of south-central Kansas, central Oklahoma and parts of Texas in a red flag warning in which burns are banned due to extremely dry weather. In the southern Plains, where rain was expected, high winds and fire risks showed up instead, according to the NWS.

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