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3 Big Things Today, August 18

Beans, Grains Little Changed Overnight; Export Sales of Soybeans, Wheat Surprisingly Good.

1. Soybeans, Grains Little Changed Ahead of Next Week’s Crop Tour

Soybeans and grains were little changed overnight ahead of next week’s crop tour that’s left growers, traders, and analysts uncertain about what they’ll find.

The Farm Journal Pro Crop Tour this year will again take those interested in the potential of the soybean and corn crops through several Midwest states, stopping in about 2,000 fields. The weather this year in the Midwest has been extremely variable.

The USDA hasn’t been much help after last week raising soybean and corn yields in its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report.

It seems many overnight investors this morning are sitting on the sidelines ahead of the crop tour next week.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 1¾¢ to $9.31¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal lost 70¢ to $299.30 a short ton, and soy oil futures added 0.05¢ to 33.60¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery fell ½¢ to $3.63¾ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat for December delivery added 1½¢ to $4.42¼ a bushel in Chicago. Kansas City futures gained a penny to $4.43 a bushel.

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2. Old-Crop Soybean, Wheat Sales Surprisingly Good in Seven Days Through August 10

Export sales of old-crop soybeans in the week that ended on August 10 were surprisingly good due to a big buy from China.

Sales of U.S. soybeans totaled 453,200 metric tons for week, up noticeably from the prior seven days and previous four-week average, according to the USDA. Analysts had forecast sales from 50,000 to 300,000 tons.

China bought 342,100 tons from the U.S. The Netherlands purchased 85,200 tons, Germany took 75,900 tons, Bangladesh was in for 52,700 tons, and Mexico bought 30,700 tons, the USDA said.

For the 2017-2018 marketing year that starts on September 1, net sales totaled 899,4000 tons as China was again the big buyer at 395,400 tons. Unknown buyers took 388,200 tons, Taiwan was in for 27,800 tons, and Mexico bought 21,800 tons, according to the government.

Old-crop corn sales came in at a paltry 62,400 tons, though that’s up 20% from the prior week and within the range of expectations. Still, it’s down 61% from the prior week.

While the sales were disappointing, it’s not unusual considering there are only a couple weeks left in the marketing year and buyers are forward-purchasing their contracts.

South Korea was the big buyer at 71,900 tons, China took 68,200 tons, Colombia was in for 50,400 tons, Peru purchased 48,300 tons, and Mexico bought 47,600 tons. The total would’ve looked better if not for cancelations of 260,800 tons by unknown buyers and 25,000 tons by Portugal.

New-crop corn sales totaled 671,800 tons as Mexico bought 283,300 tons, unknown buyers bought 168,800 tons, and Japan was in for 102,000 tons, according to the USDA.

Wheat sales for the marketing year that started on June 1 came in at 633,600 tons, up 37% from the previous week and 43% from the prior four-week average.

Thailand was the big buyer at 110,100 tons, Indonesia was in for 90,000 tons, Mexico bought 89,900 tons, Nigeria purchased 76,000 tons, and Japan was in for 72,600 tons. Analysts had expected sales from 200,000 to 500,000 tons.

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3. Variable Weather Reigns as Scattered Weekend Storms Possible in Much of Midwest

Variable weather seems to be the ongoing theme in the Midwest as we head into the weekend.

Scatters storms are expected in the Missouri Valley starting today, with some severe weather forecast, according to the National Weather Service.

Flooding is still a problem in isolated parts of eastern Nebraska, though it’s limited to just a few small rivers and streams. Still, isolated thunderstorms are expected in the area stretching into western Iowa this morning.

Chances of storms return on Saturday and will extend into Tuesday, and while organized severe weather isn’t forecast, some gusty winds and locally heavy rains are possible, the NWS said in a report early Friday.

Farther east in Illinois, northern Indiana, and southern Michigan, there’s a slight chance of storms starting tonight, though severe weather isn’t expected. The odds of rainfall extend into Monday and Tuesday evening, according to the NWS.

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