3 Big Things Today, January 8, 2021

Soybeans, Grains Higher Overnight; Export Sales Drop Across the Board.

1. Soybean and Grain Futures Improve in Overnight Trading

Soybeans and grains were higher overnight on concerns about South American supplies amid dry weather in parts of Argentina and Brazil.

Argentina’s government plans to implement a corn-export ban, though it said yesterday that it will review that decision, Reuters reported.

The move is a bid to ensure ample domestic supplies.

A strike by grain inspectors in Argentina who’ve been demanding improved wages for the past month ended after they reached a contract with exporters, which along with a recently ended port-workers’ strike could help return shipping from the South American country to normal.

Rainfall in Argentina, meanwhile, likely will be too light in central and eastern growing areas over the weekend, Donald Keeney, an agricultural meteorologist with Maxar, said in a note to clients.

Still, precipitation may improve soil moisture in southwestern Cordoba state, the forecaster said.

In Brazil, the world’s largest exporter of soybeans, rains yesterday favored northern Mato Grosso, central Mato Grosso do Sul and parts of Minas, Sao Paulo, and central Parana, Keeney said.

Soil moisture, however, will remain low in most of Mato Grosso, the biggest soybean-producing region in Brazil, he said.

Soybean futures for January delivery jumped 16¢ to $13.71¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal added $3.90 to $436.10 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.22¢ to 44.01¢ a pound.

Corn futures for March delivery were up 3½¢ to $4.97½ a bushel overnight.

Wheat futures for March delivery rose 5¢ to $6.47¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures added ¼¢ to $5.98¾ a bushel.

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2. Export Sales of Corn and Wheat Lower While Beans Hit a Marketing-Year Low

Export sales of corn and wheat declined and soybeans plunged to a marketing-year low in the last week of 2020, according to the USDA.

Corn sales in the seven days that ended on Dec. 31 were reported at 748,900 metric tons, down 22% from the previous week and 39% from the prior four-week average, the agency said.

Japan was the big buyer at 174,500 metric tons, followed by an unknown destination at 153,000 tons and Mexico at 101,300 tons. China bought 90,400 metric tons from U.S. supplies and Peru took 81,000 tons.

Wheat sales last came in at 275,300 metric tons, down 47% from both the week earlier and the prior four-week average, the USDA said.

Taiwan purchased 82,300 metric tons of U.S. wheat, China bought 55,400 tons, Mexico took 33,700 tons, the Philippines bought 33,000 tons, and Nigeria was in for 33,000 tons, government data show.

Italy canceled a shipment for 10,000 metric tons and Vietnam nixed a cargo of 4,000 tons.

Soybean sales to overseas buyers dropped to a marketing-year low of 37,000 metric tons, down 95% from the previous week and 94% from the average for the last week of the year.

China bought 369,000 metric tons, Germany took 122,700 tons, Spain was in for 72,500 tons, Pakistan bought 70,100 tons, and Portugal took 60,500 tons.

Still, an unnamed country canceled shipments totaling 769,500 metric tons, resulting in the abysmal net sales for the week, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Snow Forecast For Southern Plains This Weekend, NWS Says

Snow is expected in the southern Plains this weekend according to the National Weather Service, where hard-red winter wheat is growing.

An inch or two of snow is forecast for parts of southwestern Kansas and the Oklahoma panhandle, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

“Snow will develop across far southwest Kansas Saturday evening and spread minor snow accumulations across the area though Sunday morning,” the agency said.

Farther north, dense and freezing fog are expected to be a problem today and tonight in parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

Dense, freezing fog will reduce visibility to .5 mile or less in the region throughout the morning. Freezing fog is expected to develop again tonight and continue into Saturday morning, the NWS said.

In southern Indiana, up to about 1.5 inches of snow are forecast today. Road conditions may turn dangerous in some areas, the agency said.

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