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3 Big Things Today, December 27

Soybean Futures Higher Overnight; Export Inspections of Corn Rise Week to Week.

1. Soybeans, Corn Rise Overnight on Bargain Buying

Soybeans and corn were higher after yesterday’s sell-off, as bargain hunters come seeking supplies after prices hit the lowest in a month, but traders are wary due to the lack of China news.

Prices yesterday dropped more than 13¢ amid no reports that China has made any purchases in the past week, disappointing investors.

The last reported acquisition of soybeans by the Asian nation was on December 20, when the USDA said exporters sold 204,000 metric tons. Still, some USDA reports including daily export sales are on hold due to the government shutdown.

China in the two weeks prior to Christmas bought more than 2.7 million metric tons of soybeans from the U.S., but the buying seems to have dried up.

Soybean futures for March delivery rose 4½¢ to $8.87½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal futures added $1.80 to $309.70 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.14¢ to 27.79¢ a pound.

Corn futures rose 2¢ to $3.75¼ a bushel overnight.

Wheat for March delivery added ½¢ to $5.10½ a bushel, and Kansas City futures gained ¾¢ to $4.96¼ a bushel.

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2. Export Inspections of Corn Rise in Week Through December 20; Soybeans and Wheat Decline

Export inspections of corn rose in the seven days that ended on December 20, while soybean and wheat assessments both declined week to week, according to the USDA.

The USDA inspected 996,098 metric tons of corn last week, up from 886,100 tons the prior week and 620,834 tons during same time frame last year.

Soybean inspections, meanwhile, fell to 651,181 metric tons from 985,677 tons seven days earlier and 1.29 million tons during the same week in 2017, the government said in a report.

Examinations of wheat for overseas delivery fell to 543,126 metric tons last week, down from 684,936 tons the previous week but up from the 520,539 tons assessed a year earlier, according to the USDA.

Inspections of corn since its marketing year began on September 1 have surged to almost 17 million metric tons, up from 9.86 million tons during the same period in 2017, government data show.

Soybean assessments have plunged year ove year in the absence of purchases from China, which was the biggest buyer of the oilseeds from the U.S. until a trade war between the countries started in July. Inspections so far this year are at 15.8 million tons, down from 27.2 million at this time last year.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are at 12.3 million metric tons, down from 14.3 million at this time a year ago, the USDA said.

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3. Blizzard, Winter Storm Warnings in Effect From Texas Panhandle to Canadian Border

Blizzard and winter storm warnings are in effect for much of the central Midwest stretching from the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles north to the Canadian border with North Dakota and Minnesota, according to the National Weather Service.

Heavy snow is expected today in North Dakota where another 4 inches of snow are forecast in addition to what’s already fallen. Total accumulations are pegged at 5 to 10 inches. Wind gusts are seen as high as 50 mph, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

“Travel will be nearly impossible,” the agency said. “Widespread blowing snow will significantly reduce visibility, especially in open country. Wind chills as low as -30˚F. will cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes tonight.”

Farther south, in central Nebraska and Kansas, up to 8 inches of snow are expected and wind gusts are expected to be as strong as 50 mph, the NWS said. Travel will be “very difficult.”

In southwestern Kansas, up to 10 inches of snow are forecast with localized amounts closer to a foot. Winds will be strong, also gusting to 50 mph, which will cause snow to blow and severely reduce visibility, the agency said.

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