3 Big Things Today, April 3, 2020

Wheat Futures Jump Overnight; Export Sales of Corn Lower Week to Week.

1. Wheat Futures Jump Overnight on Demand Prospects

Wheat futures jumped in overnight trading, rebounding from the lowest price in two weeks amid supply issues in several countries. Corn also rose while soybeans declined.

Russia on Thursday said it would establish quotas on exports of some grains until the end of June amid the spread of COVID-19, according to Reuters.

The Russian government will release 83% of its state stockpiles to the domestic market to ensure domestic supplies are healthy, the news agency reported.

In Argentina, port workers have threatened to strike in a bid as they demand better safety measures to keep them from contracting the virus. Some safety precautions have reportedly been slowing shipments from both Argentina and Brazil, according to World Grain.

Demand for U.S. wheat could improve if global buyers need immediate supplies.

The number of cases globally is now at 1.03 million with the death toll hitting 53,974, according to Johns Hopkins University. That’s up from 941,949 cases and 48,284 deaths a day earlier.

In the U.S., the number of cases is now at 245,573, up from 217,722 a day earlier, and the death toll now stands at more than 6,000 vs. 5,100 yesterday, the university said.

Wheat futures for May delivery jumped 10¾¢ to $5.52½ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City futures added 10¢ to $4.74 a bushel.

Corn futures rose 3½¢ to $3.37 a bushel overnight.

Soybean futures for May delivery fell 2¢ to $8.56¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal lost $1.50 to $307.60 a short ton, and soy oil fell 0.01¢ to 26.23¢ a pound.

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2. Export Sales of Corn Fall Week to Week, While Soybean Sales Rise

Export sales of corn declined week to week, while soybean sales improved, according to the USDA.

Corn sales to overseas buyers were reported at 1.08 million metric tons in the seven days that ended on March 26, the USDA said in a report. That’s down 41% from the previous week and 13% from the prior four-week average.

Mexico was the big buyer at 314,600 metric tons, followed by Japan at 239,000 tons and an unknown buyer at 170,800 tons. South Korea purchased 136,100 tons and Colombia was in for 97,600 tons.

Sales for delivery in the 2020-2021 marketing year that starts on September 1 totaled 20,300 tons.

Exporters sold 957,400 metric tons of soybeans to offshore buyers, up 6% from the previous week and 75% from the four-week average, the USDA said.

Mexico also was the big buyer of soybeans at 388,000 metric tons, followed by China at 131,000 tons and Bangladesh at 108,300 tons. Indonesia bought 97,800 tons and Egypt purchased 55,000 tons.

For the 2020-2021 marketing year, sales totaled 114,000 tons.

Wheat sales plunged, however, falling to 72,900 metric tons, a 90% decline from the prior week and an 86% drop from the average due to cancelations, the USDA said.

Mexico took 84,900 metric tons of U.S. wheat, the Philippines was in for 60,000 tons, Malaysia purchased 42,900 tons, Chile took 40,000 tons, and Bangladesh bought 25,000 tons.

An unknown buyer, however, canceled shipments for 125,800 metric tons, Indonesia nixed cargoes for 65,600 tons and Nigeria canceled orders for 25,000 tons. Panama canceled a shipment for 22,000 tons and the Dominican Republic nixed an order for 17,300 tons of U.S. wheat.

Sales in the 2020-2021 marketing year that starts on June 1, sales totaled 185,900 metric tons, the government said.

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3. Winter Weather Continues as Storms Stretch From North Dakota Into South-Central Kansas

Winter storm warnings and advisories are still in effect for a large chunk of land stretching from the Red River Valley along the North Dakota-Minnesota border south into south-central Kansas, according to the National Weather Service.

Along the border of North Dakota and Minnesota, a winter storm warning is in effect as snow and freezing drizzle continue to fall.

Another inch to 2 inches is expected with snowfall heavy at times, the NWS said in a report early this morning. A light glaze of ice is expected with the snow, the agency said.

Farther south where South Dakota meets Nebraska and Iowa, mixed precipitation is forecast for much of the through the morning.  

Light snow will fall, adding another inch to the accumulation, while a light glaze of ice will make roadways slippery, the NWS said. Travel could be dangerous.

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