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3 Big Things Today, February 4, 2022

Soybeans, Grains Higher Overnight; Corn Export Sales Drop Week-to-Week.

1. Soybean, Grain Futures Higher in Overnight Trading

Soybean and grain futures rose in overnight trading as investors again look at the fundamental picture for agriculture commodities.

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange in Argentina cut its outlook for soybean production to 42 million metric tons yesterday from a prior forecast for 44 million metric tons due to severe drought the past two months.

The Rosario grains exchange last month cut its production estimate 11% to 40 million metric tons.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture in January projected soybean output in Argentina at 46.5 million metric tons, down from 49.5 million tons the previous month. The agency is scheduled to update its forecast on February 9.

Wheat futures also were higher in overnight trading amid ongoing concerns about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, two of the world’s biggest exporters of the grain.

The U.S. said Russia is planning a fake video that would indicate Ukraine forces attacked Russian soil even after Russia moved more than 100,000 troops in recent weeks to the border separating the countries.

The U.S. has backed off its assertion that an attack by Russia is imminent but said it’s still a possibility. Talks between the U.S. and Russia have been slow.

Russia’s demand that Ukraine never be allowed to become a member of NATO has been a nonstarter, according to U.S. officials. Russia, on the other hand, said NATO is undermining security in the region.

Soybean futures for March delivery rose 4½¢ to $15.48¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal was down 20¢ to $436.90 a short ton and soybean oil futures added 0.69¢ to 66.44¢ a pound.

Corn futures for March delivery added ¾¢ to $6.17½ a bushel.  

Wheat for March delivery gained 4¼¢ to $7.56 a bushel, while Kansas City futures added 8¢ to $7.77 a bushel.

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2. Export Sales of U.S. Grains Decline Week-to-Week

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

Corn sales in the seven days that ended on January 27 were reported at 1.18 million metric tons, down 16% from the previous week, the agency said in a report.

That’s still up 47% from the prior four-week average.

Japan was the big buyer at 475,300 metric tons, followed by Mexico at 210,100 tons and Colombia at 136,100 tons. Guatemala bought 120,700 metric tons and Canada took 55,600 tons from U.S. supplies.

Exports for the week plunged 19% to 1.17 million metric tons.

Wheat sales dropped to 57,500 metric tons, down 92% from the previous week and 83% from the average, the USDA said.

Colombia purchased 52,800 metric tons, Nigeria was in for 52,000 tons, Haiti took 27,000 tons, Nicaragua bought 21,000 tons, and the Dominican Republic took 17,000 tons.

The total would have been higher but an unnamed country nixed shipments of 75,000 metric tons, the Philippines canceled cargoes of 46,900 tons, and Mexico canceled contracts on 21,000 tons of U.S. wheat, the agency said.

Exports for the week, however, rose 6% to 383,600 metric tons.

Soybean sales rose 7% from the previous week to 1.1 million metric tons, the Ag Department said. That's also up 56% from the prior four-week average.

Mexico bought 356,600 metric tons, Egypt was in for 135,000 tons, the Netherlands purchased 132,000 tons, an unknown country bought 90,600 tons, and Japan took 88,000 tons.

Singapore canceled shipments of 66,000 tons and China nixed cargoes of 28,600 tons, bringing the weekly total down.

Exports in the seven days through Jan. 27 totaled 1.33 million metric tons, a 17% decline week-to-week, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Extremely Cold Weather Forecast For Northern, Southern Plains

Extremely cold weather persists in much of the Northern Plains and Southern Plains while Texas and the northeast are still getting slammed by storms, according to the National Weather Service.

In much of North Dakota, a wind-chill advisory is in effect until noon as values are expected to hit -40°F., the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Winter-weather advisories, meanwhile, are set to take effect starting overnight into the weekend in northern Minnesota as 2 to 4 inches of snow and wind gusts of up to 35 mph are expected.

Wind-chill advisories also have been issued for much of the Southern Plains.

Values are forecast to fall as low as -20˚F. in parts of the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles, the agency said. The advisories will expire at noon today.

In central Texas, a winter-storm warning remains in effect until 10 a.m. as ice and sleet accumulated yesterday and remain on some roadways, the NWS said. Numerous accidents and road closures have been reported.

Winter storms that affected much of the central U.S. this week have moved into the northeastern U.S. In  upstate New York, heavy snow is expected throughout the morning into this afternoon, the agency said.

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