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3 Big Things Today, November 23

Corn, Soybeans Lower in Overnight Trading; Winter Wheat Conditions Look Decent

1. Corn, Soybeans Lower Overnight as Investors Book Profits

Corn and soybeans were lower in overnight trading as some investors close their long positions after four straight days of gains.

The crops’ winning streaks may be halted today as traders leaving for the Thanksgiving holiday and book profits to avoid any uncertainty over export sales or South American weather. While overseas buyers have been extremely active in recent weeks – corn sales since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1 are up 90%, soybean sales are up 25% and wheat sales since June 1 are up 29% year-over-year -- the harvest of what’s expected to be record crops is keeping a lid on prices.

South American weather thus far has been benign, though some concerns have popped up about excessive amounts of rainfall in some parts of Argentina.

Soybeans for January delivery fell 4 ¾ cents to $10.25 ¼ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal futures for December delivery declined $1 to $323.90 a short ton and soy oil fell 0.15 cent to 34.33 cents a pound. 

Corn futures for December delivery fell 4 ¾ cents to $10.25 ¼ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures for December delivery declined 4 cents to $4.23 ¼ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures lost 3 ¼ cents to $4.31 a bushel. 


2. Corn, Soybean Harvest Finishes as Winter Wheat Earns Lofty Conditions Ratings

The U.S. corn and soybean crops are all but in the bin while winter wheat is getting off to a relatively good start, according to the Department of Agriculture.

The corn harvest was 97% complete while soybean collection was effectively finished, the USDA said in a report.

About 97% of winter wheat was planted as of Sunday, and 89% was emerged from the ground. The crop is rated 58% good or excellent, up from 53% last year but down a point from the prior week, according to the USDA.

In Kansas, the biggest producer of winter wheat, some 55% of the crop earned top ratings, the government said. Subsoil moisture in the state looks decent with 66% being adequate and 2% of Kansas with a surplus.

About 56% of hard-red winter wheat in Oklahoma was rated good or excellent, and 59% of the state had adequate or surplus subsoil moisture, according to the USDA.

Despite the somewhat lofty ratings, little or no rain has fallen in much of the southern Plains in the past 30 days, according to the National Weather Service. That’s kept prices well above $4 a bushel recently, and it looks like the region is in for more dry weather this week.

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3. Upper Midwest Storm Moves East, Brings Precipitation to Great Lakes

A storm that dropped several inches of snow and brought cold weather to much of the upper Midwest has moved east.

Rainfall is expected today in a stretch of land from the southern Great Lakes to the Mississippi River Valley, according to the National Weather Service. As much as 4 inches of snowfall is expected in parts of the northern Great Lakes region, the agency said in a Wednesday report.

The rest of the Midwest looks clear but cool for Thanksgiving Day. In parts of western Kansas where winter wheat is grown, the weather will be warm and windy, bringing a threat of wildfire the rest of the week. In the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles, temperatures will top out in the high-60s and low-70s with no rain in sight.

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