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3 Big Things Today, December 31, 2021

Soybeans, Grains Little Changed Overnight; Weekly Corn Export Sales Improve.

1. Soybeans and Grains Little Changed Overnight

Soybean and grain futures were little changed overnight heading into the last day of the year.

Trading is likely to be light today as many traders start their New Year’s revelry early. Prices will move mostly on technical trading as investors square positions before the end of 2021.

Fundamentally, not much has changed.

Some precipitation in Brazil is weighing on prices as showers continue in northern Brazil, with up to 2 inches reaching more of central and southwestern Parana state than originally expected, Commodity Weather Group said in a report.

“Drought stress briefly narrows to 25% to 30% of Brazil soy (and 75% of Paraguay),” CWG said.

Rain in parts of central Argentina will limit expanding drought stress to a third of the corn and bean crops, but dry weather in the 11- to 15-day time frame is forecast to expand concerns to about half of crop-growing areas in the country, the forecaster said.

In the U.S. Southern Plains, light rain and snow this weekend will have “minimal benefit,” though the threat of winterkill is low, CWG said in its report.

Harvest started in Brazil, the world’s largest exporter of soybeans, a bit earlier than normal.

Producers in the South American country are expected to produce a record-high 144 million metric tons of soybeans this year, up from 138 million a year earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Exports are pegged at 94 million metric tons, up from 81.7 million last year, the USDA said earlier this month.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 1½¢ to $13.40 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal gained 60¢ to $404.30 a short ton and soy oil added 0.3¢ to 56.38¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery fell ¾¢ to $5.95¼ a bushel.

Wheat futures for December delivery fell 4¢ to $7.75¾ a bushel, while Kansas City futures lost 1¢ to $8.11¾ a bushel.

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2. Corn Export Sales Rise Week-to-Week

Export sales of corn were higher week-to-week while bean sales dropped to a marketing-year low, according to the USDA.

Corn sales to overseas buyers rose 27% to 1.25 million metric tons, the agency said in a report. Still, that’s down 2% from the prior four-week average.

Japan purchased 385,800 metric tons, Canada took 200,100 tons, unknown buyers were in for 163,800 tons, Mexico bought 149,100 tons, and Guatemala took 94,600 tons.

Exports for the week were reported at 921,400 metric tons, down 16% from the previous week, the USDA said.

Soybean sales, meanwhile, dropped to 524,000 metric tons, down 35% from the previous week and 56% from the average, the government said.

That marks the lowest total since the marketing year started on Sept. 1.

China bought 432,800 metric tons of U.S. beans, Turkey was in for 119,500 tons, the Netherlands purchased 83,900 tons, Thailand was in for 77,400 tons, and the U.K. purchased 66,000 tons.

The total would have been higher but unnamed countries canceled cargoes totaling 494,500 metric tons, the agency said.

Wheat sales last week were reported at 199,500 metric tons, down 53% from the prior week and 43% from the average for this time of year.

Taiwan bought 110,000 metric tons, Guatemala took 35,600 tons, Nicaragua purchased 30,000 tons, Haiti took 27,500 tons, and Mexico was in for 19,100 tons.

Unknown countries nixed shipments of 70,600 tons, bringing down the total.

Exports for the week, however, jumped 76% from the previous week to 335,000 metric tons, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Winter-Storm, Windchill Warnings Issued in Central U.S.

Weather maps are lit up like Christmas lights that probably should be taken down soon as we head into the new year.

Winter-storm warnings and watches are in effect for much of the central Midwest, according to the National Weather Service.

In eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, up to 5 inches of snow may fall tonight and all day tomorrow with wind gusts as high as 35 mph, the NWS said in a  report early this morning.   

Windchills will fall as low as -20°F.

In central and eastern Iowa, a winter-storm warning will take effect at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning and last through midnight, the NWS said.

Up to 8 inches of snow with wind gusts of 35 mph in the forecast. Travel will be "difficult" as blowing snow reduces visibility. Windchills also will create dangerously cold conditions, the agency said.

In the Dakotas, windchills will get extremely low starting about noon today.

In northern North Dakota, windchills will fall as low as -55°F., the NWS said.

Hypothermia and frostbite are real dangers and can happen in as little as five minutes at those temperatures, the agency said.

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