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3 Big Things Today, May 12

Soybeans Lower Overnight in Chicago; Weekly Export Sales For Corn, Wheat Plunge.

1. Soybeans Down Slightly in Overnight Trading on Bigger Brazil Crop

Soybean futures were modestly lower in overnight trading after Brazil’s agricultural consultancy raised its outlook for the country’s crop and as dry weather moves into the Midwest.

Statistics agency Conab said on Thursday that the domestic crop would total a record 113 million metric tons, up from a month-earlier projection of 110.2 million. Argentina’s crop was pegged by the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange at 57.6 million tons, up 1 million from a prior estimate.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report on Wednesday that it expects Brazilian growers to harvest 111.6 million tons of soybeans.

Meanwhile in the U.S., some dry weather is on the way to the Midwest where as much as six times the normal amount of rain has fallen in the past two weeks, according to the National Weather Service. The break in the rain should allow growers to get into muddy fields to plant their corn and soybean crops, which are behind the normal pace for this time of year.

Soybean futures for July delivery fell 3¾¢ to $9.62½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal declined 20¢ to $314.70 a short ton, and soy oil futures lost 0.20¢ to 32.29¢ a pound.

Corn futures were unchanged to $3.69¼ a bushel in overnight trading.

Wheat futures for July delivery fell ½¢ to $4.33¼ a bushel in Chicago. Kansas City futures declined ¾¢ to $4.40 a bushel.

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2. Export Sales of Corn, Wheat Plunge in Week That Ended May 4

Corn and wheat sales plunged week-over-week to their respective marketing-year lows, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Corn sales for delivery in the seven days that ended May 4 totaled 277,700 metric tons, down 64% from the previous week and 66% from the prior four-week average and the lowest since the marketing year started on September 1, the USDA said in a report.

Mexico was the biggest buyer, taking 109,400 metric tons, Japan was in for 89,500 tons, Venezuela took 30,000 tons, Jordan bought 26,300 tons, and Ireland purchased 19,600 tons.

Wheat sales also plummeted last week as exporters actually saw net reductions in sales for the marketing year that ends May 31. While it’s not terribly unusual this close to the end of the fiscal season to see sales decline, total sales last week came in a minus-24,200 tons.

Purchases of 66,500 tons by Indonesia, 63,000 tons by China, 51,600 tons by Egypt, 32,400 tons by Chile, and 30,900 tons by Algeria were more than offset by cancellations. Unknown buyers curbed a purchase of 315,400 tons, Japan cancelled a sale of 34,700 tons, and Nigeria nixed a cargo of 4,500 tons.

Sales for the 2017-2018 marketing year that starts on June 1 totaled 273,400 metric tons with China the big buyer, taking 60,000 tons. Mexico was in for 56,000 tons, an unknown buyer purchased 46,000 tons, and the Philippines took 45,000 tons.

Soybean sales weren’t terrible at 381,400 tons, up 20% from the prior week but down 4% from the four-week average.

Unknown buyers took 89,400 tons, Japan bought 60,000 tons, and Bangladesh purchased 58,300 tons, according to the USDA. The Netherlands was in for 57,700 tons, and Indonesia bought 31,400 tons.

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3. Drier Weather Expected Through at Least the Weekend in Most of Eastern Midwest

Drier weather is in store for much of the eastern Midwest where rain has been prevalent for the past few weeks, at least for a while.

No rain is in the forecast for northern Illinois or Indiana through the weekend, with the first chance of storms popping up on Monday night, though the risk of a thunderstorm is “limited,” according to the National Weather Service.

Flooding will still continue as rivers have already breached their banks in many areas including northern and north-central Illinois, the NWS said in an early report on Friday.

In the southern Plains, meanwhile, it’s going to be a “picture perfect” weekend with warm weather and sunshine forecast, the agency said. That should help some fields dry out a bit as they head into the homestretch before the harvest.

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