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3 Big Things Today, August 24

Wheat Futures Decline Fifth Session; Weekly Corn Sales Fall, Beans Increase.

1. Wheat Futures Lower Fifth Straight Session on Weak Demand

Wheat futures were lower for a fifth straight session as investors focus on weak demand and shrug off global production concerns.

Sales of U.S. wheat to overseas buyers last week missed expectations, dropping to the lowest level in six weeks, according to the USDA.

Still, extremely dry weather in parts of the European Union, Russia, and Australia have curbed global output. Traders seem to be dismissing the weather concerns and, instead, seem to be focused on the weak sales report.  

Soybeans, meanwhile, were slightly higher overnight, as bargain hunters jump into the market.

Wheat for December delivery fell 4½¢ to $5.37¼ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures lost 4¾¢ to $5.49¾ a bushel.

Soybean futures rose 2¾¢ to $8.45¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal futures rose 60¢ to $317.10 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.12¢ to 28.49¢ a pound.

Corn for December delivery rose ¼¢ to $3.61¼ a bushel overnight.

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2. Export Sales of Old-Crop Corn Lower, Soybeans Higher Week to Week

Weekly export sales of corn were lower, while soybean sales were higher with just over two weeks to go in the marketing year.

Sales of corn for delivery to overseas buyers in the week that ended on August 16 were reported at 173,400 metric tons, down 49% from the previous week and 55% from the prior four-week average, according to the USDA.

Analysts had pegged sales from 200,000 to 500,000 tons.

Japan was the big buyer at 131,000 metric tons, Mexico took 100,400 tons, Colombia was in for 78,000 tons, Indonesia bought 73,500 tons, and Saudi Arabia purchased 70,500 tons, the USDA said in a report. An unknown customer canceled cargoes of 476,100 tons.

For the 2018-2019 marketing year that starts on September 1, export sales totaled 1.05 million tons. An unknown buyer bought 403,700 tons, Mexico took 280,200 tons, and Egypt purchased 110,000 tons, the USDA said. Analysts expected new-crop sales from 700,000 to 1 million tons.

Soybean sales last week totaled 152,700 for the 2017-2018 year, up 14% from the prior week but down 37% from the average, the government said. Analysts had expected sales from 100,000 to 300,000 tons.

Indonesia bought 88,700 metric tons, the Netherlands took 85,900 tons, Germany purchased 79,400 tons, Egypt was in for 57,400 tons, and Spain bought 50,000 tons. Unknown buyers canceled purchases of 343,900 tons.

New-crop bean sales totaled 1.15 million metric tons as Mexico bought 403,100 tons, an unknown buyer took 360,000 tons, Taiwan was in for 127,500 tons, and Thailand purchased 91,000 tons, the USDA said. Analysts had pegged new-crop bean sales from 400,000 to 650,000 tons.

Sales of wheat for delivery in the grain’s marketing year that started on June 1 were reported at 239,800 metric tons, down 70% from the previous week and 49% from the average, according to the government.

Iraq bought 200,000 tons, Yemen took 84,000 tons, Colombia purchased 59,100 tons, Mexico was in for 47,200 tons, and the Philippines bought 24,000 tons, the USDA said.

Analysts had pegged sales from 450,000 to 850,000 tons.  

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3. Thunderstorm Causing Flooding in Northern Missouri as Up to 5 Inches of Rain Falls

An overnight thunderstorm producing heavy rain is causing flooding in parts of northern Missouri, according to the National Weather Service.

The heaviest rainfall has been in northeastern Missiouri where 1 to 2 inches of additional rain has fallen since 4 a.m., resulting in a total of 3 to 5 inches overnight. Flash flooding is occurring or will begin shortly, the NWS said in a report early Friday morning.

Up to another inch of rain is expected in the area.

Storms are possible in several parts of the Midwest today and into the weekend as a line from eastern Iowa to central Illinois likely will see severe weather, possibly including tornadoes, the NWS said.

“Showers and scattered storms will persist through the morning commute across most of the area,” the agency said. “Expect frequent lightning and periods of heavy rain.”

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