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3 Big Things Today, December 17, 2021

Soybean Futures Rise Overnight; Grain Sales Surge to Marketing-Year Highs

1. Soybean Futures Higher in Overnight Trading

Soybean futures were higher in overnight trading amid declining oil supplies and on signs of demand for U.S. inventories.

Stockpiles of soybean oil in the U.S. fell to 1.832 billion points at the end of November, down from 1.835 billion a month earlier, according to a report from the National Oilseed Processors Association.

Crush fell to 179.5 million bushels in November, down more than 2% from the previous month, NOPA said in a report this week. That missed expectations from analysts polled by Reuters for 181.6 million bushels.

U.S. exporters said they sold 20,000 metric tons of soybean oil to India for delivery in the 2021-2022 marketing year that started on Sept. 1, the Department of Agriculture said in a report yesterday.

Investors also are watching the weather in Brazil, where rain fell this week in west-central and south-central growing areas, according to a report from Commodity Weather Group.

Still, 20% to 25% of Brazil's corn and soybeans crops are under stress, which will continue to expand into next week, the forecaster said.

In Paraguay, southwestern Brazil and parts of Argentina, drought stress will build as temperatures reach into the triple digits next week, CWG said.

Wheat and corn also were higher amid robust export sales that topped marketing-year highs for both commodities.

Also underpinning prices is dry weather in the U.S. southern Plains where hard-red winter wheat is growing.

In Kansas, the biggest U.S. wheat grower, 20.1% of the crop was suffering from drought conditions, up from 19.4% a week earlier, the U.S. Drought Monitor said in a weekly report yesterday.

That's also up from 6.38% three months ago, the monitor said.

Soybean futures for November delivery gained 4 1/2¢ to $12.82 ¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal was up $3.60 to $372.30 a short ton, while soy oil fell 0.34¢ to 54.39¢ a pound.

Wheat futures for March delivery added 2 3/4¢ to $7.73 ¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures rose 7 3/4¢ to $8.11 ½ a bushel.

Corn futures for December delivery were up 1/4¢ to $5.91 ½ a bushel.

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2. Corn, Wheat Export Sales Hit Marketing-Year Highs

Export sales of corn and wheat soared to marketing-year highs in the seven days that ended on Dec. 9 while bean sales declined, according to the USDA.

Corn sales totaled 1.95 million metric tons, the highest since the marketing year started on Sept. 1, up 72% from the previous week and 74% from the prior four-week average, the agency said in a report.

Mexico was the big buyer at 1.29 million metric tons, Canada bought 272,600 tons, an unnamed country was in for 141,900 tons, Japan purchased 55,700 tons and Venezuela took 47,300 tons.

Exports for the week totaled 1.09 million metric tons, a 21% increase from the previous week.

Wheat sales last week were reported at 650,600 metric tons, the highest since the grain's marketing year started on June 1, and a jump from both the previous week and the four-week average, the USDA said.

Mexico bought 170,000 metric tons, Japan took 162,500 tons, Peru purchased 105,000 tons, South Korea was in for 75,000 tons and the Philippines purchased 72,100 tons.

The total would've been higher but an unnamed country nixed shipments for 22,100 tons.

Exports for the week rose 29% to 274,400 metric tons.

Soybean sales last week came in at 1.31 million metric tons, down 20% from the previous week and 6% from the average, the agency said.

China purchased 985,800 metric tons, Spain was in for 80,000 tons, Mexico took 77,700 tons, Thailand bought 70,900 tons and Egypt took 67,900 tons from U.S. inventories.

Unknown countries canceled cargoes totaling 387,500 metric tons, the government said.

Exports for the week totaled 1.92 million metric tons, down 21% from the previous week, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Winter Weather Advisory Issued For Parts of the Dakotas

A winter weather advisory will take effect at 9 a.m. local time in parts of southeastern North Dakota and northeastern South Dakota this morning, according to the National Weather Service.

As much as 5 inches of snow is expected throughout the day as the advisory runs through midnight, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Road conditions are expected to worsen as the day goes on.

Southeast in eastern Iowa and northern Illinois, meanwhile, there's a chance of rain or snow along the Mississippi River this evening into tonight, the agency said.

Temperatures will fall below freezing, creating some slippery spots on roadways.

In the southern Plains, meanwhile, dry weather continues as fire weather conditions are expected to develop this afternoon.

Winds are forecast to gust up to 25 miles an hour while relative humidity will drop as low as 15%, the NWS said.

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