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3 Big Things Today, August 3

Wheat Slightly Higher Overnight; Weekly Export Sales of Soybeans, Corn Decline.

1. Wheat Slightly Higher Overnight on Ukraine Concerns

Wheat futures were slightly higher in overnight trading after yesterday reaching the highest price in three years.

Futures yesterday jumped on reports that Ukraine would curb exports of the grain due to drought, but the Ministry of Agriculture later clarified, saying it plans instead to discuss export volumes, paring gains.

The so-called Black Sea region is still a concern due to the ongoing drought.

Wheat has been rising in recent weeks after a subpar U.S. winter wheat crop and on speculation that the spring crop isn’t as good as it looks from the road. Production of hard red winter varieties in the U.S. is pegged at 657 million bushels in the marketing year that started on June 1, down from 750 million a year earlier, according to the USDA.

Spring output, however, is pegged at 584 million bushels, up from 385 million a year earlier, the USDA said. Still, the annual spring wheat tour that recently toured North Dakota indicated crops prospects were below average.

Soybeans were again lower overnight amid escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

Wheat for September delivery rose ½¢ to $5.61 a bushel in overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City futures gained ¾¢ to $5.70 a bushel.

Corn futures for December delivery gained 1¼¢ to $3.82½ a bushel overnight.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 3¾¢ to $8.93¾ a bushel in Chicago. Soy meal fell $1 to $331.60 a short ton, and soy oil rose 0.05¢ to 28.66¢ a pound.


2. Export Sales of Soybeans Plunge, Corn Sales Lower in Week Through July 26

Export sales of soybeans plunged in the week that ended on July 26, while corn sales declined, according to the USDA.

Soybean sales for delivery in the marketing year that ends on August 31 totaled 93,700 metric tons, down 76% from the previous week and 71% from the prior four-week average, the USDA said in a report.

Germany was the big buyer at 143,300 metric tons, followed by Pakistan at 68,500 tons, and the Netherlands at 66,600 tons. South Korea bought 60,000 tons and Tunisia was in for 33,000 tons.

Sales would’ve been decent, but an unknown buyer canceled a shipment for 316,200 metric tons and China nixed cargoes totaling 120,000 tons, the government said.

For the 2018-2019 marketing year that starts on September 1, sales totaled 543,300 metric tons. An unknown buyer purchased 411,600 tons, Switzerland bought 60,000 tons, and Japan was in for 30,000 tons.

Corn sales were down 14% from the previous week and 36% from the prior four-week average, according to the USDA.

Old-crop sales totaled 292,000 metric tons with Japan being the biggest buyer, taking 126,400 tons, the government said. Taiwan was in for 78,600 tons, South Korea took 73,800 tons, Mexico bought 53,700 tons, and Colombia purchased 52,300 tons.

An unknown customer canceled a shipment for 144,300 tons.

For the 2018-2019 marketing year, sales totaled 986,100 tons. An unknown buyer purchased 372,500 tons, Mexico was in for 286,100 tons, Japan bought 106,000 tons, Saudi Arabia took 70,000 tons, and South Korea bought 69,000 tons.

Wheat sales for the marketing year that started on June 1 were reported at 382,500 metric tons, down 1% from the prior week but up 21% from the average, the USDA said.

Taiwan was the big buyer at 104,900 tons, followed by the Philippines at 104,00 tons, Indonesia at 70,000 tons, Sri Lanka took 60,000 tons, and Mexico bought 30,700 tons. An unknown customer canceled a shipment for 32,900 tons and Algeria turned down an order for 22,800 tons, according to the government.


3. Thunderstorms Expected in Parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin This Weekend

Thunderstorms may form in parts of eastern Minnesota and much of Wisconsin starting today and extending into the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

The storms aren’t expected to be severe but will bring some precipitation and possibly some lightning, the NWS said in a report early Friday morning.

Storms may strengthen into the weekend with severe weather possible in the area Saturday and Sunday, with the main threat being strong winds and lightning.

Farther south, a fire hazard has been issued for parts of northeastern Kansas and northwestern Missouri, according to the NWS. The risk of fire is at “moderate” levels as winds are expected to be sustained from 15 to 25 mph and humidity is pegged from 25% to 30%.

Still, a few isolated thunderstorms are possible in eastern Kansas and western Missouri starting on Saturday, according to the agency.

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