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3 Big Things Today, August 17

Wheat Futures Jump Overnight; Export Sales For Old-Crop Corn, Beans Decline.

1. Wheat Rises Overnight on Australian Outlook, Falling Production

Wheat futures jumped overnight after posting solid gains Thursday after the Australian government said September will be drier than average, which will likely further damage already-parched crops.

“A drier-than-average September is more likely across much of the eastern half of mainland Australia, the south-west of Western Australia, and the Northern Territory, with parts of the south-east having a greater than 80% chance of a drier-than-average month,” the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences said in a report yesterday.

Only a trace of rain fell in parts of New South Wales last week, while just over a half inch fell in parts of Victoria. Parts of western Australia, where wheat is also grown, had up to 2 inches.

The USDA last week lowered its outlook for global production of wheat to 729.6 million metric tons for the 2018-2019 marketing year that started on June 1. That’s down from the July outlook for 736.3 million tons.

The USDA’s forecast for the European Union crop fell to 137.5 million tons from 145 million tons, while Australian output was pegged at 22 million tons, unchanged from the month earlier projection.

Wheat futures for September delivery jumped 9¢ to $5.71 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City wheat added a dime to $5.85 a bushel.

Corn for December delivery rose 1¢ to $3.80¾ a bushel overnight.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 2¾¢ to $8.94½ a bushel. Soy meal futures gained 40¢ to $337.40 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.12¢ to 28.60¢ a pound.

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2. Corn, Bean Sales Drop Week to Week, Wheat Hits Marketing-Year High

Old-crop corn and soybean export sales plunged week to week, while wheat sales hit the highest since the grain’s marketing year started on June 1.

Corn sales totaled 339,000 metric tons for delivery in the marketing year that ends on August 31, down 39% from the previous week and 26% from the four-week average, the USDA said in a report.

Japan was the biggest buyer, taking 263,100 metric tons of the grain. Colombia bought 133,300 tons, Mexico purchased 61,400 tons, Peru took 43,300 tons, and El Salvador was in for 13,300 tons, according to the USDA.

The total would’ve been better but an unknown customer canceled an order for 157,700 tons and Vietnam decided against cargoes totaling 60,000 tons.

New-crop sales for delivery in the marketing year that starts on September 1 were strong, totaling 1.04 million metric tons, the government said.

An unknown buyer purchased 320,000 tons, Mexico was in for 298,100 tons, South Korea bought 126,000 tons, Japan was in for 70,500 tons, and Taiwan purchased 58,600 tons, the USDA said.

Soybean sales last week totaled 133,400 metric tons, down 68% from the previous week and 52% from the prior four-week average.

Iran bought 133,500 tons, the Netherlands was in for 108,600 tons, Peru purchased 19,900 tons, Colombia bought 18,200 tons, and Indonesia took 18,000 tons. An unknown buyer canceled cargoes totaling 205,500 tons, and China nixed a shipment for 3,000 tons.

For 2018-2019, sales totaled 571,600 tons as an unknown customer bought 373,200 tons, Mexico purchased 102,000 tons, Turkey was in for 30,000 tons, and Canada took 20,000 tons.

Wheat sales jumped to a marketing-year high of 803,000 metric tons, up noticeably from the prior week and four-week average, the USDA said.

Mexico bought 247,800 metric tons, the Philippines was in for 177,900 tons, Nigeria bought 140,000 tons, Japan bought 60,500 tons, and Thailand purchased 24,100 tons, the USDA said.

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3. Thunderstorms Likely Today in Parts of Missouri, Iowa, Western Illinois

Thunderstorms are possible today and through the weekend in parts of southern Missouri and eastern Kansas where it’s been extremely dry this growing season, according to the National Weather Service.

Isolated thunderstorms are possible through the early morning hours in much of southwestern Missouri and southeastern Kansas, though the weather system that brought flooding to parts of Oklahoma this week has lost steam, reducing the likelihood of severe weather.

Still, thunderstorm chances increase Sunday and Monday, and some locally heavy rainfall may be a concern in parts of the region, the NWS said in a report early Friday morning.

Storms are also likely in parts of eastern Iowa and western Illinois today, which may result in heavy rainfall in the region.

Rain is expected on Sunday and probably will continue through Tuesday across the area, the NWS said.

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