3 Big Things Today, December 27
1. Soybeans Higher on Dry South American Weather, Grains Little Changed
Soybeans were a touch higher in overnight trading, while grains were little changed.
Rainfall over the weekend in South America was disappointing, and forecasts are calling for more dry weather in the next 10 days.
Technical indicators also turned higher yesterday, which is giving soybeans a bit of an underpinning, though volume is extremely light this week, as usual, traders noted.
Soybean futures for March delivery rose 3¾¢ to $9.74¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal futures added $2 to $321.40 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.12¢ to 33.54¢ a pound.
Corn for March delivery fell ½¢ to $3.52¼ a bushel in Chicago.
Wheat for March delivery declined ¾¢ to $4.21½ a bushel overnight, while Kansas City futures lost ¼¢ to $4.19¾ a bushel.
2. Export Inspections Fall Week to Week, Marketing-Year Sales Trail 2016
Export inspections in the seven days that ended on December 21 were down for corn, beans, and wheat week to week, according to the USDA.
The USDA’s weekly Inspections Report was released on Tuesday due to Christmas.
Inspections for overseas delivery of corn fell to 609,281 metric tons, the government said. That’s down from 636,851 tons a week earlier. Assessments a year earlier totaled 981,879 tons.
Soybean inspections totaled 1.28 million metric tons last week, well below the prior week’s 1.79 million tons, according to the USDA. During the same week in 2016, inspectors reviewed 1.72 million tons for export.
Wheat inspections totaled 493,550 metric tons, down considerably from the week earlier’s 624,942 tons, the government said. A year ago, inspectors examined 540,613 tons for overseas delivery.
Export inspections so far this marketing year have trailed the year-ago pace, USDA data show.
Corn inspections since September 1 have been reported at 9.84 million metric tons. That’s well behind the year-ago pace of 16.4 million tons for the same time frame.
About 27.2 million tons of soybeans have been examined for overseas delivery. At this time last year, 31.4 million tons had been examined.
Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are up to 14.2 million tons, and while that’s respectable, it’s still behind the year-ago level of 15.1 million tons, according to the USDA.
3. Midwest, Northern Plains Plunged Into Deep Freeze With Wind Chills to -40˚F.
Almost the entire Midwest and Northern Plains have been plunged into a deep freeze as Arctic air moves takes over in the northern half of the country.
“Bitterly cold temperatures and wind chills will affect the Northern Plains, Upper Midwest, and Northeast through Wednesday,” the National Weather Service said in a report early Wednesday. “Meanwhile, heavy lake-effect snowfall will continue, especially near Lakes Erie and Ontario.”
Wind chills in the central Midwest will fall as low as -30˚F. today, according to the NWS. Farther north, wind chills are expected as low as -40˚F. in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin, the agency said.
The Southern Plains, where hard red winter wheat is overwintering, wind chills are expected as low as -20˚F., which puts any exposed plants at risk. The wind-chill warning is in effect for counties throughout Kansas until 10 a.m.