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3 Big Things Today, March 29

Grains, Beans Higher in Overnight Trading; USDA Likely to Tweak Acreage Slightly.

1. Grains, Soybean Futures Higher Overnight on Bargain Hunting

Grain and soybean futures were higher as investors seeking bargains jump into the markets.

With little fundamental news to trade, those seeking to get into the agriculture markets are taking advantage of the current low prices.

Wheat prices were higher despite a  storm in the Southern Plains bringing much-needed rain to the region.

Sales of U.S. corn to overseas buyers since the start of the marketing year on September 1 are up 51% year over year, and soybean sales have risen 24% vs. the same time frame a year earlier, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Wheat sales since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are up 37% compared with the prior-year period, USDA data show.

Corn futures for May delivery rose 1¾¢ to $3.59½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybean futures added 1¾¢ to $9.73¾ a bushel. Soy meal rose $1 to $316.30 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.04¢ to 32.51¢ a pound.

Wheat futures for May delivery rose 2¼¢ to $4.26¾ a bushel in Chicago. Kansas City wheat gained 2½¢ to $4.26½ a bushel.


2. USDA Likely to Boost Acreage Forecasts Only Slightly From Outlook Forum

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expected to raise its forecasts for corn, soybean, and wheat acreage in its Prospective Plantings Report this week.

The USDA like will peg corn acreage at a shade under 91 million acres, analysts polled by Reuters said, down from a prior projection at its annual Outlook Forum conference of about 90 million.

Soybean acreage is seen at about 88.2 million, little changed from the previous forecast for 88 million, Reuters said.

Wheat acres will probably be pegged at 46.1 million, also little changed from the 46 million estimated at the Outlook Forum.

Reuters also said the USDA will peg stockpiles of corn at 8.53 billion bushels, up from 8.21 last year, while soybean inventories will increase to 1.68 billion from 1.63 billion. Wheat carryout will jump to 1.63 billion bushels from 1.37 billion a year earlier.

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3. Storms Will Continue in Southern Plains, Helping Hard Red Winter Wheat

Thunderstorms are expected to continue in the Southern Plains this week, bringing much-need moisture to the region, the National Weather Service said in a report Wednesday morning.

The storms have been dropping rain in the area, which hadn’t seen any precipitation for the past 30 to 45 days, curbing prospects for hard red winter wheat.

It’s likely the storms will continue for several days, which is good news for wheat growers and for firefighters battling several blazes caused by the dry conditions.

“Thunderstorms will be possible across portions of the panhandles Friday night through Monday,” the NWS said. “Some of the storms may get strong with hail and gusty winds possible. However, no widespread severe weather is expected at this time.”

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