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3 Big Things Today, November 4

Corn, Beans Lower in Overnight Trading; Export Sales Stay Strong Amid Low Prices.

1. Corn, Soybeans Lower Overnight on Crop Size, Election Uncertainty

Corn and soybeans were lower in overnight trading as investors worry about the size of the harvest and the upcoming presidential election.

Many traders of both commodities and equities are sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the results of Tuesday’s contentious presidential election. Investors also are concerned about uncertainty over the size of the corn and bean crops in the U.S.

The Department of Agriculture believes yields and production for both will be records this year, but growers in some areas don’t believe output will be as high as expected. Strong demand for U.S. supplies has buoyed prices.

Sales of corn since the start of the marketing year are up 85% from the same time frame a year earlier, while soybean sales have risen 24%, according to the government. Wheat sales are up 26% year over year, USDA data show.

Corn futures for December delivery fell 1¼¢ to $3.46¾ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybeans for January delivery lost 5¢ to $9.84½ a bushel in Chicago. Soy meal futures for December delivery declined 60¢ to $305.80 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.34¢ to 34.76¢ a pound.  

Wheat futures for December delivery were unchanged at $4.12 a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures declined 1¾¢ to $4.08¾ a bushel. 


2. Corn, Bean Sales Strong Another Week as Low-Cost Supplies Draw Buyers

Export sales were strong for yet another week as buyers stock up on cheap supplies from the U.S.

Corn sales jumped 84% in the week that ended on October 27 to 1.47 million metric tons, the USDA said in a report. Japan was the biggest buyer, taking 219,400 tons of the grain. Mexico was second, buying 206,100 tons, Cuba purchased 204,300 tons, Colombia bought 196,100 tons, and South Korea was in for 188,800 tons, according to the USDA.

Soybean sales also were impressive as exporters sold 2.51 million tons – the highest weekly total since the start of the marketing year on September 1. China, as usual lately, was the biggest buyer, taking a whopping 2.07 million tons. Germany followed, buying 151,700 tons, Thailand took 139,900 tons, Mexico purchased 130,200 tons, and Saudi Arabia bought 69,400 tons.

Wheat sales were unimpressive last week, totaling 234,900 tons, down 64% from the prior seven-day total, the USDA said. Mexico was the largest customers, taking 141,700 tons, followed by the Philippines, which bought 77,900 tons, Venezuela took 30,000 tons, Colombia purchased 12,600 tons, and Honduras acquired 11,500 tons. Morocco bought 10,100 tons, and Singapore took 10,000 tons, the report said.

Strong sales have propped up prices recently, though they’ve been quite choppy. Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, corn futures have risen 9.9%. Soybean futures are up 4.5% in the same time frame.

Wheat futures, however, are down 13% since the start of the marketing year on June 1, as even improved year-over-year demand can’t help the grain.

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3. Rain Expected in Southern Plains; Midwest Mostly Dry Friday

More rain is expected in the Southern Plains, including parts of Texas and New Mexico, heading into the weekend, which could cause flooding in some areas.

The Midwest is expected to be mostly dry today and Saturday, the National Weather Service said, allowing farmers who have crops left in fields to finish their harvest.

Some flooding is occurring along the Mississippi River at Keithsburg, Iowa. The river is at 14.1 feet, slightly above flood stage of 14 feet, according to the NWS.

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