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3 Big Things Today, April 17, 2020

Corn, Soybeans Higher Overnight; Weekly Export Sales Decline Across the Board.

1. Corn and Soybean Futures Rise in Overnight Trading

Corn and soybean futures were higher in overnight trading on optimism about a plan from the White House to slowly reopen the economy despite the number of cases in the U.S. topping 662,000.

Projections expected today from the White House likely will show the number of cases growing at a slower pace as social distancing restrictions remain in place and the majority of Americans stay home to prevent the disease’s spread.

President Donald Trump on Thursday presented a three-stage approach to revive the economy in which states would need to show a declining number of cases for 14 days before proceeding.

The president said to reporters that the country will not open at once, and states must restart “one careful step at a time.” He said earlier in April that the country would reopen with a “big bang,” according to Reuters.

The number of cases in the U.S. is now at 662,045 and the death toll is up to almost 29,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Corn futures for May delivery rose 2¾¢ to $3.22½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybean futures for May delivery rose 3½¢ to $8.49¼ a bushel overnight, while soy meal added $1.20 to $297.30 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.12¢ to 26.80¢ a pound. 

Wheat futures for May delivery fell 3¢ to $5.27½ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, and Kansas City futures declined 1¢ to $4.75¾ a bushel.

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2. Sales of Grains and Beans to Overseas Buyers Plunged Last Week, USDA Says

Export sales of grains and soybeans plunged in the seven days that ended on April 9, according to the USDA.

Corn sales last week tumbled to 906,600 metric tons, down 51% from the previous week and 36% from the prior four-week average, the agency said in a report.

Japan was the big buyer at 290,100 metric tons, Mexico purchased 206,400 tons, and Colombia bought 134,200 tons. An unknown buyer took 125,400 tons and Saudi Arabia purchased 65,000 tons. Jamaica canceled a cargo for 22,000 tons.

For 2020-2021, net sales were reported at 62,900 metric tons.

Soybean sales tumbled to a marketing-year low of 244,700 metric tons, down 53% from the previous week and 68% from the average, the USDA said.

Egypt was the big buyer at 114,100 metric tons, Japan bought 38,900 tons, Mexico took 22,400 tons, Indonesia was in for 16,000 tons, and Colombia purchased 14,700 tons. Sales for the 2020-2021 marketing year that starts on September 1 totaled 60,000 tons, the government said.

Wheat sales fell 31% from the previous week and 49% from the four-week average to 178,300 metric tons.

Mexico bought 84,700 metric tons, China took 55,000 tons, Ecuador was in for 32,900 tons, Brazil purchased 30,000 tons, and an unknown country bought 20,400 tons.

The total would’ve been higher, but Peru canceled shipments for 35,000 metric tons, South Korea nixed cargoes for 19,000 tons, and Chile canceled an order for 14,500 tons.

For the 2020-2021 marketing year that starts on June 1, sales totaled 419,400 metric tons. China bought 110,000 tons, Japan took 93,900 tons, an unknown buyer bought 82,700 tons, and Thailand was in for 59,500 tons, the USDA said.

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3. Winter Storm Moves East, Drops 9 Inches of Snow in Parts of Iowa  

A storm is moving east after dropping several inches snow throughout much of the western Midwest in the past 48 hours.  

A winter storm warning is in effect for parts of southeastern Iowa and some counties in western Illinois this morning as 4 to 6 inches of snow are expected when it’s all said and done, according to the National Weather Service.

Almost 9 inches of snow fell in Blakesburg, Iowa, and 8 inches fell in Ottumwa, weather maps show. The warning ends at 7 a.m. CDT today.

The snow will be heavy and wet and may snap tree limbs or down power lines, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

“Snow will taper off in intensity to mainly light snow and flurries across much of the area through daybreak,” the NWS said. “Still, a few bands of moderate snow and additional light accumulations are possible, mainly north of I-80. If driving this morning, be alert for the potential of slippery travel conditions.”

Farther east, a freeze warning is in effect for much of Indiana and parts of western Ohio this morning.

Temperatures are expected to fall to around 26˚F. tonight into Saturday morning, the NWS said.

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