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3 Big Things Today, December 8

Soybeans Higher in Overnight Trading; Export Sales of Beans Strong, Grains in Range

1. Soybeans, Corn Higher, Stuck in Trading Range on Weather Vs. Exports

It’s been an up-and-down week in the markets, as prices overnight were again higher after falling on Thursday.

Soybeans broke above $10 earlier this week but can’t seem to get much beyond that level. Underpinning futures is dry weather in Argentina that’s threatening the crop there, but capping prices are large global supplies and, so far this marketing year, weak export sales from the U.S.

A report showed strong sales of beans last week, but year-to-date sales are still lagging behind last year’s pace, according to the USDA.

Corn also drifted higher overnight. Fundamentals are the same for the grain as the dry weather in Argentina and already low prices are keeping some buyers interested, but the dismal export sales have kept investors on the sidelines.

Trading is expected to be quiet through next week’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) Report, analysts said.

Soybean futures for January delivery gained 3¢ to $9.95 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal rose $1.80 to $337 a short ton, and soy oil fell 0.08¢ to 33.25¢ a pound.

Corn futures for March delivery added 1¾¢ to $3.53¼ a bushel in Chicago.

Chicago wheat for March delivery rose 1½¢ to $4.32 a bushel overnight, and Kansas City futures gained 2¢ to $4.22¾ a bushel.


2. Soybean Export Sales Easily Top Expectations, Grains Within Forecast Range

Export sales of soybeans in the week that ended on November 30 easily topped expectations, while corn and wheat sales were within the expected range.

Soybean sales for delivery in the marketing year that started on September 1 last week totaled 2.02 million metric tons, according to the USDA, beating forecasts for sales of 1 million to 1.65 million tons.

China was, as usual, the biggest buyer at 1.29 million metric tons, followed by Thailand at 141,800 tons, and Indonesia at 101,500 tons. Germany was in for 69,300 tons and the Netherlands also bought 69,300 tons, the USDA said in a report. Unknown buyers canceled a purchase of 54,600 tons.

Corn sales totaled 876,400 tons, up 46% from the prior week but down 3% from the previous four-week average, the government said. That’s within the expected range, albeit on the low end, of 800,000 to 1.3 million tons.

Colombia was the big buyer at 173,700 metric tons, Mexico was next at 150,300 tons, unknown buyers took 127,100 tons, Peru was in for 124,800 tons, and Japan purchased 117,800 tons.

Wheat sales last week came in at 321,400 metric tons, up 74% from the prior week, which was dismal, but down 22% from the four-week average. Analysts had pegged sales from 250,000 to 450,000 tons.

An unknown buyer bought 69,800 tons from the U.S. Japan took 63,100 tons, Taiwan was in for 36,200 tons, Mexico bought 34,400 tons, and Morocco purchased 30,000 tons. The French West Indies canceled a contract for 10,300 tons.


3. Winter Storm Warning Issued Starting Tonight For Southern Michigan, Northern Indiana

A winter storm warning has been issued for parts of southern Michigan and northern Indiana as isolated storms hit the area.

Heavy lake-effect snow is expected with 4 to 7 inches likely to accumulate in the area and localized amounts of up to 9 inches, according to the National Weather Service. The warning starts late tonight and runs through Saturday.

Wind gusts of up to 35 mph will accompany the snow, the agency said.  

In the Southern Plains, conditions are expected to be extremely windy today and this weekend, with gusts around 50 mph possible, the NWS said in a report early Friday morning.

Winds should begin decreasing gradually this afternoon, however, though dry conditions are expected to persist. A red-flag warning has been issued for several counties in extreme eastern Colorado, maps show.

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