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3 Big Things Today, October 28

Soybeans, Corn Little Changed in Overnight Trading; Sales Stay Strong For Beans, Wheat.

1. Soybeans, Corn Mixed as Investors Weigh Demand, Harvest

Soybean and corn futures were mixed in overnight trading, as investors weigh strong demand against harvest pressure.

Sales of soybeans since the start of the marketing year on September 1 are up 24% vs. the same time frame a year ago, according to the Department of Agriculture. Sales of corn have jumped almost 85% year over year, the USDA said in a report on Thursday.

Still, 61% of corn and 76% of soybeans have been harvested so far, bringing supplies to the market. The USDA still believes production of both crops will be record high this year.

Soybeans for November delivery rose a penny to $10.26 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal futures for December delivery fell $1.60 to $326 a short ton, and soy oil rose 0.32¢ to 35.43¢ a pound.  

Corn futures for December delivery lost 1¢ to $3.56½ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures for December delivery fell 1½¢ to $4.13 a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures declined 1¢ to $4.16 a bushel. 

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2. Export Sales Rise For Beans, Wheat While Corn Stays Strong

Export sales of soybeans continue to be strong, as sales climbed slightly from last week’s large number, the Department of Agriculture said in a report.

Soybean sales in the week that ended on November 20 totaled 2.05 million metric tons, up 2% from the prior week and 12% from the previous four-week average, according to the USDA. China is a big buyer of U.S. beans, purchasing 1.83 million tons. Mexico, the second-biggest buyer, took 94,500 tons, Italy bought 85,100 tons, Iran purchased 80,300 tons, and the Netherlands bought 75,800 tons, the USDA said.

Wheat sales were strong last week, as well. Overseas buyers bought 646,100 tons for delivery in the marketing year that ends on May 31, up 26% week over week and 32% from the average, the USDA said.

Unknown countries bought 217,800 tons, Taiwan was the second-largest buyer at 80,700 tons, Japan took 75,200 tons, Thailand bought 56,000 tons, Colombia purchased 55,200 tons, the Philippines took 45,000 tons, and Guatemala bought 31,300 tons.

Corn sales, though down from the prior week, were still pretty decent. Exporters sold 799,300 tons to offshore buyers. Mexico accounted for the bulk of sales, taking 545,200 tons, the USDA said. The Netherlands bought 68,800 tons, Japan took 65,000 tons, Guatemala purchased 38,100 tons, and the Dominican Republic bought 33,500 tons.

Sales have been strong so far this marketing year as buyers stock up on cheap U.S. supplies.  

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3. Wildfires a Risk Amid Dry Conditions in Parts of Midwest

Weather maps are quiet this morning, as little in the way of severe storms are expected.

Fires are the biggest risk today, according to the National Weather Service.

While no warnings have been issued, strong winds and low humidity put the risk of wildfires high in several areas including western Nebraska, southeastern Kansas, and parts of southern Missouri, the NWS said in a report on Friday morning.

“There is an elevated risk in unharvested crop fields mainly south of Interstate 80 (in Nebraska) this afternoon due to unseasonably warm and breezy conditions,” the NWS said. “If wildfires were to ignite in the fields, they would spread rapidly.”

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