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3 Big Things Today, December 15

Soybeans Higher in Overnight Trading; Corn, Bean Sales Mixed, Wheat Jumps

1. Soybeans Higher Overnight After Yesterday’s Decline; Grains Little Changed

Soybeans were higher in overnight trading as the give and take in prices continues. Grains were little changed.

Futures rose overnight after falling double digits yesterday. Fundamentally, the weather has been dry in Argentina, but rainfall is now in the forecast in some dry areas.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this week raised its outlook for soybean stockpiles at the end of the marketing year while lowering exports. Demand since September 1 when the 2017-2018 marketing year started has been dismal thus far.

Still, investors don’t seem to be willing to get too short soybeans as South American crops are still in question. Prices will likely trade in a range at least through the end of the year due to the so-called holiday trade, analysts said.

Soybean futures for January delivery rose 2¾¢ to $9.70 ½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal added 30¢ to $321.90 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.29¢ to 33.47 cents a pound.

Corn futures for March delivery rose ¾¢ to $3.49¼ a bushel in Chicago.

Chicago wheat for March delivery added ¾¢ to $4.19 a bushel overnight. Kansas City futures also gained ¾¢ to $4.19 a bushel.

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2. Corn, Soybean Export Sales Mixed While Wheat Sales Jumped in Latest Report

Export sales of corn and soybeans were on the low end of expectations while wheat sales surged in the week that ended on December 7.

Corn sales for delivery in the marketing year that ends on August 31 totaled 866,900 metric tons last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report. That’s down 1% from the previous week, but within expectations for sales of 700,000 to 1.1 million metric tons.

Japan was the biggest buyer at 182,900 tons, followed by Colombia at 126,400 tons. The Dominican Republic was next, taking 88,000 tons; China bought 65,800 tons; South Korea took 65,300 tons; and Jamaica purchased 63,600 tons.

Exporters sold 1.45 million metric tons of soybeans last week, down 28% from the previous week but up 20% from the four-week average, the USDA said.

China, as usual, was the big buyer at 872,300 tons. Japan followed at 151,800 tons; Taiwan was in for 88,800 tons; and the Netherlands took 70,700 tons. Mexico bought 69,900 tons and Egypt purchased 65,500 tons.

Net sales for the 2018-2019 marketing year that starts on September 1 totaled 113,200 tons, the USDA said.

The total would’ve been higher, but an unknown customer canceled an order for 130,200 tons.

Wheat sales were the stars of the USDA report as exporters sold 588,800 metric tons, up 83% from the previous week and almost double the prior four-week average. Analysts had expected sales from 250,000 to 450,000 tons.

Thailand was the big buyer at 96,000 metric tons, followed by Morocco at 90,000 tons and Mexico at 83,300 tons. Unknown buyers purchased 64,800 tons and Taiwan bought 63,000 tons. The United Arab Emirates canceled a planned purchase of 30,000 tons, the USDA said.

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3. Extremely Dry Weather Continues in Southern Plains, Snow Expected in Michigan, Indiana

Dangerously dry weather continues in much of southwestern Kansas through Saturday as warmer temperatures will further reduce relative humidity.

That, along with strong winds, will elevate the risk of wildfires, the National Weather Service said in a report early Friday morning.   

Farther north, scattered snow showers are forecast today for much of southwestern Michigan and northern Indiana.

“Light accumulations and gusty winds may create difficult travel conditions in spots,” the NWS said in its report.

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