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3 Big Things Today, February 18, 2022

Soybeans Rise in Overnight Trading; Weekly Grain Export Sales Improve.

1. Soybean Futures Rise in Overnight Trading

Soybean futures were higher in overnight trading while grains were modestly lower.

South American weather is still in the spotlight as the harvest in Brazil rolls on.

Rain fell in several states in Brazil including Mato Grosso, Goias, and Sao Paulo this week, and more precipitation is on the way, said Donald Keeney, an agricultural meteorologist with Maxar.

“Rains in northern areas continue to slow soybean harvesting while dryness builds in central and southern areas,” the forecaster said.

Some improvement may come next week, Keeney said.

Keeping a lid on price gains, however, is rainfall in parts of Argentina.

“Rains in La Pampa this weekend and in Santa Fe and Entre Rios next week should improve moisture for late crop growth,” Keeney said.

Grains were lower even as tensions continue to rise between Russia and Ukraine.

Shelling by separatists backed by Russia continued overnight in parts of Ukraine in what the U.S. believes is a precursor to a Russian invasion of the country, according to media reports.

Russia has said it’s pulling some troops back from the Ukraine border, but western governments and NATO have said they’ve seen no evidence of a withdrawal.

Russia is the world’s biggest exporter of wheat and Ukraine ranks third.

Soybean futures for May delivery rose 6¾¢ to $16.02¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal was up $2.20 to $449.70 a short ton and soybean oil futures lost 0.05¢ to 66.83¢ a pound.

Corn futures for May delivery fell 2¢ to $6.47¼ a bushel.  

Wheat for May delivery lost 3¼¢ to $8.01½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures declined 1¾¢ to $8.26 a bushel.

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2. Export Sales of Corn and Wheat Improve Week-to-Week

Export sales of corn and wheat rose week-to-week while soybean sales declined, according to the USDA.

Corn sales to overseas buyers rose 39% in the seven days that ended on February 10 to 820,000 metric tons, the agency said in a report.

That’s up 39% from the previous week, but down 23% from the prior four-week average.

Japan was the big buyer at 600,200 metric tons, followed by Mexico at 103,300 tons, and Canada at 45,600 tons. The Dominican Republic took 40,000 metric tons and Colombia was in for 32,500 tons.

The total would have been higher but an unnamed country canceled orders for 68,900 metric tons.

Exports for the week were strong at 1.62 million metric tons, the highest since the marketing year started on September 1 and up 41% from the previous week, the government said.

Wheat sales for the week increased to 118,100 metric tons, a 39% increase from the previous week, but a 61% decline from the average, the USDA said.

Guatemala bought 38,300 metric tons from U.S. supplies, Mexico purchased 28,100 tons, Japan took 26,000 tons, Colombia was in for 18,500 tons, and El Salvador bought 8,200 tons. An unknown country nixed shipments of 21,500 tons.

Exports for the week rose 8% to 411,600 metric tons, the agency said.

Soybean sales, meanwhile, slid 15% week-to-week to 1.36 million metric tons. The total was still up 26% from the prior four-week average, the government said.

An unnamed country bought 371,700 metric tons, China took 224,500 tons, the Netherlands bought 188,300 tons, Spain purchased 121,500 tons, and Indonesia was in for 94,500 tons of U.S. soybeans.

Sales for the 2022-2023 marketing year that starts on September 1 totaled 1.53 million metric tons.

Soybean exports for the week declined 7% to 1.21 million metric tons, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Blizzard Warnings Issued in Parts of North Dakota, Minnesota

Blizzard warnings have been issued for much of eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota as more snow and strong winds are forecast for today, according to the National Weather Service.

Total snow accumulations in the area will total as much as 2 inches, though winds are expected to top out around 65 mph, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

“Visibility of .25 mile or less with near-zero visibility at times” is expected, the agency said.

The blizzard warning is in effect until 6 p.m.

Northern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin will go under a winter-weather advisory from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. today as snow and strong winds are forecast.

Only about an inch of snow is expected, but winds will gust up to 55 mph.

“Widespread blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility,” the NWS said. “Gusty winds could bring down tree branches. The cold wind chills as low as -30˚F. could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.”

A winter-weather advisory also has been issued for parts of northeastern Iowa.

Strong winds that will gust up to 50 mph and small amounts of snow are expected in the area, the NWS said.

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