3 Big Things Today, December 4, 2020

Corn, Wheat Lower Overnight; Weekly Export Sales Report Shows Weak Demand.

1. Corn and Wheat Futures Decline in Overnight Trading

Corn and wheat futures were lower in overnight trading while soybeans were little changed on continued signs of slack demand for U.S. supplies.

Export sales of corn, wheat, and soybeans all dropped week-to-week, according to the USDA. Soybean sales hit another marketing-year low.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture hasn’t reported a large sale of any of the crops to overseas buyers since Monday.

Exporters haven’t reported sales of 100,000 metric tons or more of U.S. soybeans since Nov. 9.

Despite the recent slowdown in export sales, importers have promised to buy 38.3 million metric tons of corn since the marketing year started on Sept. 1, a 162% increase from the same time frame last year, the USDA said.

Commitments to buy soybeans are now at 52.3 million metric tons, more than double the same period last year.

Wheat sales since the grain’s marketing year started on June 1 totaled 18.6 million metric tons, a 13% year-over-year increase.

Still, the slide in demand has traders worried, especially with futures at such lofty levels.

Also weighing on wheat prices was a Statistics Canada report that pegged the country’s production of the grain at 35.2 million metric tons, the biggest in seven years.

Buoying soybean prices, however, was a report from Celeres that showed the consultancy lowered its outlook for the Brazilian crop to 129.5 million metric tons, down from a previous outlook for about 134 million tons.

Corn futures fell 1½¢ to $4.25 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Wheat futures for September delivery were down 3¼¢ to $5.81¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures fell 1¾¢ to $5.48 a bushel.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell ½¢ to $11.67¾ a bushel. Soymeal dropped $2.40 to $387.60 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.46¢ to 38.19¢ a pound.

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2. Export Sales Down Week-to-Week Across The Board

Export sales of soybeans fell to a fresh marketing-year low last week while corn and wheat sales also declined, according to the USDA.

Soybean sales to overseas buyers in the seven days that ended on Nov. 26 totaled 406,900 metric tons, the lowest since the 2020-2021 year started on Sept. 1, the agency said in a report. That’s also down 47% from the previous week and 68% from the prior four-week average.

China bought 476,900 metric tons, Thailand was in for 82,400 tons, Vietnam took 78,100 tons, Spain purchased 66,900 tons and the Netherlands were in for 66,000 tons, the department said.

An unnamed buyer canceled shipments for 539,100 metric tons.

Corn sales were down 18% week-to-week and 14% from the average at 1.37 million metric tons, the USDA said.

Mexico was the big buyer at 656,900 metric tons, an unknown destination took 351,400 tons, and China was in for 154,800 tons. Japan bought 138,800 tons and South Korea was in for 62,600 tons, the agency said. Colombia nixed a shipment for 90,000 tons.

Wheat sales also declined, dropping 44% to 446,400 metric tons last week, the government said. That’s also down 5% from the prior four-week average.

Mexico purchased 89,400 metric tons, Taiwan took 83,100 tons, South Korea was in for 81,300 tons, Indonesia bought 68,200 tons, and an unnamed country took 47,000 tons.

The total would have been higher, but Venezuela canceled an 11,000-ton purchase and the Dominican Republic nixed a 6,800-ton order, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Southern Plains Temperatures Plunge While Fire Dangers Persist in Nebraska

Temperatures in parts of southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma are into the low 20s this morning with freezing fog expected to continue through sunrise, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures range from 21°F. in south-central Kansas to 28°F. farther south, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Farther north, conditions are prime for potential wildfires in central Nebraska, the agency said.

Relative humidity is pegged at about 20% this afternoon and winds are forecast to gust up to 20 mph, making fire control difficult, the NWS said.

In South Dakota, northwest winds will increase the Grassland Fire Danger Index to the “very high” category this afternoon.

“This afternoon, the combination of northwest breezes gusting as high as 20 to 25 mph, and relative humidity falling as low as 20% to 25%, could promote a few hours of near-critical fire weather conditions, mainly within counties along and west of the Highway 281 corridor,” the NWS said.

Weekend weather, however, looks quiet throughout most of the Midwest and Plains.

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