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3 Big Things Today, October 7

Corn, Beans Modestly Higher Overnight; Exporters Have a Good Week as Sales Top 2 Million Tons.

1. Grains, Beans Modestly Higher on Signs of Strong Demand

Corn, soybeans, and wheat were all modestly higher in overnight trading Friday amid signs of strong demand for U.S. inventories.

Combined corn, bean, and wheat sales in the week that ended on September 29 totaled about 4.5 million metric tons, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Exporters yesterday announced the sale of 115,000 tons of hard red winter wheat to Morocco for deliver in the current marketing year that ends on May 31, the USDA said. Morocco’s grain agency reportedly said it purchased 260,000 tons of soft wheat, according to Reuters.

The USDA also said exporters sold 258,000 tons of soybeans for delivery to unknown buyers for delivery in the year that started on September 1. Earlier this week, a sale of 100,000 tons of corn to unknown destinations was announced.

Capping prices, however, are renewed calls for record crops. Researcher Informa Economics pegged soybean production near 4.3 billion bushels on yields of 51.6 bushels an acre, according to media reports. Corn output was projected at 15.2 million on yields of 174.5 bushels an acre. The USDA last month said soybean output would total 4.2 billion bushels on yields of 50.6 bushels an acre, while corn production would be 15.1 billion bushels and yields would come in at 174.4 bushels an acre.

Corn futures for December delivery rose ½¢ to $3.41 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade.  

Soybeans for November delivery gained ¾¢ to $9.59¼ a bushel in Chicago. Soy meal futures for December delivery added $1.30 to $304.40 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.10¢ to 33.20¢ a pound.

Wheat futures for December delivery rose 1¢ to $3.96¾ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures added 2½¢ to $4.07½ a bushel.  

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2. Corn, Bean Exporters Busy as Sales of Both Top 2 Million Tons

U.S. grain and oilseed exporters were busy last week.

Shippers sold 2.06 million metric tons of corn to overseas buyers for delivery in the marketing year that started on September 1, according to the USDA. Mexico bought more than half, taking 1.25 million tons, while Japan was the second-biggest buyer at 200,100 tons. Saudi Arabia followed, purchasing 136,800 tons, the government said. South Korea, Colombia, and unknown buyers also purchased U.S. supplies.

Soybean sales totaled 2.18 million tons for delivery this marketing year. China, as usual, was the biggest buyer, purchasing 1.49 million tons, the USDA said. Unknown buyers took 318,400 tons, and Indonesia bought 94,400 tons of beans. Japan and Saudi Arabia were also buyers.

Wheat sales were the laggard for the week, as exporters only sold 377,000 tons, down 34% from the prior week and 31% from the previous four-week average, the USDA said. The Philippines bought 104,000 tons, Japan took 97,800 tons, and Thailand purchased 75,400 tons. Brazil, Canada, and Kenya were buyers of wheat last week, according to the USDA.

The low prices are bringing in buyers, and, while sales have been strong recently, prices continue to be pressured by the harvest, which many are expecting to be a record for both corn and beans. Countering that, however, are farmers who are reporting less-than-stellar yields in some fields due to flooding and fungal diseases due to the excessive rain that’s been falling.

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3. Freeze, Frost Warnings Issued For Much of Central U.S., Matthew Hits Florida

Freeze and frost warnings are in effect for much of the central U.S., stretching from the Canadian border down into the Oklahoma Panhandle, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures are expected to dip below freezing and remain in the upper 20s and lower 30s for long enough to kill vegetation, according to the NWS. The affected areas include areas where some corn and soybeans may not be ready for harvest and winter wheat fields in which plants have recently emerged.

Some 20% of winter wheat is emerged, mostly in the Southern Plains, according to the USDA. Only 86% of corn was mature, and 83% of soybeans had dropped leaves at this point, government data show, leaving some crops vulnerable to a freeze.

Florida is getting pounded by Hurricane Matthew as it makes landfall. The storm has been called “extremely dangerous” and some areas may be uninhabitable for weeks after it’s over, but some people are still hunkered down in its path.

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