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3 Big Things Today, February 16

Soybeans, Grains Little Changed; Export Sales Higher For Corn, Lower For Beans, Wheat.

1. Soybeans, Grains Little Changed on Mixed Demand, Weather, Dollar

Soybeans and grains were little changed as investors weigh mixed demand, ongoing droughts in global growing areas, and a rebounding dollar.

The USDA's Export Sales Report was mixed, as corn sales were higher last week but bean and wheat sales lagged.

Prices are likely underpinned as droughts persist in much of Argentina where soybeans are grown and the U.S. Southern Plains where hard red winter wheat is overwintering.

The dollar hit the lowest in more than three years yesterday but then bounced, though only a small amount, in overnight trading.

Soybean futures for March delivery fell ½¢ to $10.23¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal futures rose $2.20 to $375.90 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.03¢ to 31.87¢ a pound.

March corn fell ½¢ to $3.67¼ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat for March delivery dropped 3¾¢ to $4.58 a bushel overnight. Kansas City futures declined ¾¢ to $4.92¼ a bushel.

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2. Corn Export Sales Higher Last Week While Soybean, Wheat Sales Decline

Export sales of corn were higher in the week that ended on February 8, while soybean and wheat were lower, according to the USDA.

Corn sales for delivery in the 2017-2018 marketing year that ends on August 31 totaled 1.97 million metric tons last week, up 12% from the prior week and 14% from the previous four-week average, the USDA said in a report.

Japan was the big buyer at 453,300 metric tons, following by unknown buyers, who took 432,900 tons, and Mexico, which bought 258,600 tons. Colombia was in for 193,800 tons, and Saudi Arabia purchased 140,000 tons.

Analysts had expected sales from 1 million to 1.5 million tons.

Soybean sales totaled 640,400 tons, down 4% from the prior week and 8% from the four-week average, according to the USDA. Analysts had pegged sales from 450,000 to 700,000 tons.

China was, as usual, the biggest buyer at 156,900 tons, followed by Mexico at 133,400 tons, the Netherlands at 84,400 tons, Germany at 79,300 tons, and Italy at 62,700 tons. The total would’ve been higher but an unknown customer canceled a contract for 159,300 tons, the USDA said.

Sales for the 2018-2019 year were reported at 197,100 tons.

Wheat sales for delivery in the marketing year that ends on May 31 came in at 311,100 tons, down 21% from last week and 2% from the average. Consensus was for sales of 200,000 to 400,000 tons.

Japan was the top buyer at 84,800 tons, followed by Indonesia at 83,300 tons, and Taiwan at 78,500 tons. Mexico purchased 58,700 tons, China took 33,00 tons, and Guatemala was in for 31,500 tons. An unknown customer canceled a sale for 130,500 tons, and South Korea canceled a 81,200-ton shipment, the USDA said.

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3. Snow, Ice Expected This Weekend Near Illinois-Wisconsin Border, Cold in North Dakota

Some snow and ice accumulation will be likely this weekend near the Illinois-Wisconsin border, and cold weather will cause ice jams along local rivers, according to the National Weather Service.

Snowfall is expected to be light and probably will be followed by several rounds of heavy rain in the area next week, the NWS said in a report early Friday morning.

In North Dakota, snowfall accumulations are forecast at about 3 inches this weekend, the agency said. A light glaze of ice is possible south of Interstate 94, as freezing drizzle mixed with the snow will make travel dangerous.

Parts of northern North Dakota and Minnesota will see wind chills around -30˚F. this weekend.

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