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3 Big Things Today, June 15

Soybeans, Grains Lower Overnight; Export Sales of Corn, Beans Top Expectations.

1. Soybeans Fall After Trump Decision on Chinese Tariffs

Soybean futures plunged in overnight trading after the White House said it's moving forward with plans to impose tariffs on Chinese products, which will likely cause the Asian nation to put its own retaliatory duties on U.S. products.

The White House said in a statement this morning that due to China's theft of intellectual property and other "unfair" trade practices, the U.S. will impose a 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of goods from China that contain "industrially significant technologies." 

Beijing had threatened to impose a 25% tariff on U.S. soybeans should the U.S. move ahead with plans to impose the duties. The U.S. exported about $14 billion worth of soybeans to China last year, according to the USDA. 

The American Soybean Association, the National Corn Growers, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, and the National Association of Wheat Growers in a joint statement yesterday emplored the president to avoid imposing such tariffs.

Soybean futures for July delivery dropped 15¢ to $9.12¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal declined $3.90 to $339.30 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.28¢ to 29.86¢ a pound.

Corn futures fell 2½¢ to $3.60½ a bushel overnight.

Wheat for July delivery dropped 6¢ to $4.95½ a bushel overnight in Chicago, while Kansas City futures lost 7¢ to $5.15¼ a bushel.

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2. Old-Crop Corn, Soybean Export Sales Topped Expectations Last Week

Old-crop corn and soybean export sales both topped expectations in the seven days that ended on June 7, according to the USDA.

Corn sales for delivery in the 2017-2018 marketing year that ends on August 31 totaled 936,400 metric tons last week, up 12% from the prior week and 2% from the previous four-week average. Analysts had pegged old-crop sales from 600,000 to 900,000 tons.

South Korea was the big buyer at 402,000 tons, followed by Vietnam at 138,000 tons, and Japan at 105,100 tons, the USDA said. Mexico bought 98,300 tons and Morocco purchased 79,500 tons. An unknown buyer canceled a shipment for 247,600 tons.

For 2018-2019, sales were reported at 240,200 tons as Korea bought 68,000 tons, Taiwan took 65,000 tons, and Japan purchased 50,000 tons, the government said. Analysts forecast new-crop sales from 200,000 to 400,000 tons.

Soybean sales for delivery before August 31 totaled 519,600 metric tons, which is up noticeably from the previous week and the four-week average, the USDA said. Analysts expected sales from 100,00 to 400,000 tons.

Indonesia was the biggest buyer, taking 133,100 metric tons, while an unknown customer took 73,500 tons. Egypt bought 70,000 tons, Japan purchased 64,800 tons, and Portugal was in for 45,000 tons.

China was again absent from the report.

New-crop sales came in at 291,00 tons as Mexico bought 154,600 tons and unknown buyers took 123,000 tons, the government said. Analysts had said sales would total 100,000 to 400,000 tons.

Wheat sales for delivery in the marketing year that started on June 1 totaled 302,300 metric tons, within the forecast range of 150,000 to 450,000 tons.

The Philippines was the biggest buyer at 94,600 tons, followed by Japan at 48,700 tons, and Ecuador at 36,900 tons. Guatemala bought 34,000 tons and Brazil took 33,000 tons, the USDA said.  

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3. Heat Advisories Issued For Much of Central Midwest Through Weekend

Heat advisories are in effect for much of the central Midwest this morning.

A wide chunk of land stretching from eastern Nebraska to eastern Illinois and from northern Iowa to central Missouri is under the advisory, according to the National Weather Service.

In central Iowa, heat index values are expected to top 105˚F. today through Sunday, the NWS said in a report early Friday morning.

Counties around St. Louis, Missouri, are under an excessive heat warning, indicating a dangerous combination of heat and humidity. Heat indexes are expected to be around 107˚F. today, the NWS said. Little relief is expected from the heat overnight.

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