3 Big Things Today, January 20, 2021

Soybeans, Grains Plunge Overnight; Export Inspections of Corn, Wheat Fall.

1. Soybean, Grain Futures Plunge in Overnight Trading

Soybean futures plunged in overnight trading on speculator selling and rainfall in South America. Grains also declined.

Speculative investors cut their net-long positions, or bets on higher prices, in soybeans to the lowest level since August, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Rainfall in the past few days in several growing states in Brazil and areas of Argentina likely improved soil moisture, said Donald Keeney, an agricultural meteorologist with Maxar.

In Brazil, rains fell over the past weekend in Mato Grosso, Goias, Mato Grosso do Sul, Sao Paulo, Parana, Santa Caterina, Rio Grande do Sul, and west Minas, he said.

“Rains in western and south-central areas will further improve moisture, but dryness will expand again in northeastern areas” of Brazil, Keeney said.

In Argentina, rain fell in Cordoba, Santa Fe, Enter Rios, La Pampa, and Buenos Aires. That will help soil moisture in those states, but dryness will expand in other areas, the forecaster said.

It hasn’t been as dry in the main-producing regions of Brazil and Argentina in recent days, but sustained precipitation will be needed to make up for any deficits, according to Weathertrends360.  

Soybean crushers processed about 183.2 billion bushels of beans in December, the second-highest level on record but just short of expectations for 185.7 billion bushels, according to the National Oilseed Processors Association.

Soybean futures dropped 27¢ to $13.58¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal was down $9.20 to $441.30 a short ton and soy oil lost 0.15¢ to 41.55¢ a pound.

Corn for March delivery fell 8¼¢ to $5.17¾ a bushel.

Wheat futures for March delivery lost 13¼¢ to $6.59 a bushel, while Kansas City futures fell 7¾¢ to $6.36¼ a bushel.

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2. Corn and Wheat Inspections Fall While Bean Examinations Rise

Inspections of corn and wheat for export fell week-to-week while bean assessments improved.

Corn inspections in the seven days that ended on Jan. 14 dropped to 876,774 metric tons, down from 1.31 million tons a week earlier, the USDA said in a report.

Wheat assessments last week totaled 276,898 metric tons, down modestly from 281,087 tons the previous week, the agency said.

Examinations of soybeans for offshore delivery, meanwhile, improved to 2.06 million metric tons from 1.85 million tons.

Since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, the USDA has inspected 17.3 million metric tons of corn for overseas delivery.

That’s well above the 9.48 million tons assessed during the same time frame a year earlier, the agency said.

Soybean assessments since the beginning of September are now at almost 43 million metric tons, up from 24.2 million metric tons during the same period last year.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 now stand at 15.6 million metric tons, just behind the 16 million metric tons examined for offshore delivery during the same time frame a year earlier, the USDA said.

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3. High-Wind Warning in Effect Today in North-Central North Dakota

A high-wind warning has been issued for parts of North Dakota today as gusts of up to 60 mph are expected, according to the National Weather Service.

Northwest winds are forecast to be sustained from 35 to 40 mph, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

The warning is for north-central and parts of northwestern North Dakota.

In eastern Iowa and northern Illinois, winds are expected to gust up to 40 mph today, which will push wind chills to around 0°F., the agency said.

In the southern Plains, meanwhile, “warm temperatures and breezy to gusty winds could result in elevated fire weather conditions today,” the NWS said.

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