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3 Big Things Today, March 17, 2023

Grains, Soybeans Rise Overnight; Export Sales of Beans, Wheat Higher

1. Grains, Soybeans Higher in Overnight Trading

Grain and soybean futures were higher in overnight trading on signs of strong demand for U.S. corn.

Exporters reported sales of another 641,000 metric tons of corn to China, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday.

That marks the third-straight day that exporters announced sales to the Asian nation.

The USDA on Wednesday said China purchased 667,000 metric tons and on Tuesday it bought 612,000 tons of U.S. corn.

While that's good news for exporters, commitments from overseas buyers to purchase U.S. agricultural products haven't been stellar so far this year.

Since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, importers have purchased 31.9 million metric tons of U.S. corn, down 39% from the same timeframe last year. Soybean sales are down 8% to 49.3 million metric tons and wheat sales are off 6% year-over-year to 17.8 million metric tons, USDA data show.

Still, the recent purchases of corn by China are a good sign for U.S. exporters.

The fate of the Black Sea Grain Initiative that is keeping agricultural products flowing out of Ukraine is still unknown as negotiators try to hammer out a deal.

The agreement, which was originally implemented at the beginning of August and renewed in November, is set to expire tomorrow if a new deal isn't reached.

Officials from the United Nations and Turkey are again attempting to broker a deal to keep grains, soybeans and other ag products flowing out of the war-torn country.

Corn futures were up 4 1/2¢ to $6.37 ¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Wheat futures for May delivery added 4¢ to $7.03 a bushel, while Kansas City futures gained 6 1/4¢ to $8.26 a bushel.

Soybean futures for May delivery rose 4 3/4¢ to $14.96 ¼ a bushel. Soybean meal was up $1.30 to $475.30 a short ton and soy oil lost 0.51¢ to 57.22¢ a pound.

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2. Soybean, Wheat Export Sales Rise Week-to-Week

Sales of soybeans and wheat for export rose last week while corn sales declined, according to data from the USDA.

Soybean sales rose to 665,000 metric tons in the seven days that ended on March 9 from a net-reduction of 23,200 metric tons, the agency said in a report.

China bought 208,1000 metric tons, Germany was in for 121,500 tons, Indonesia took 60,700 tons, Thailand was in for 59,900 tons and the Netherlands purchased 57,400 tons from the U.S.

Exports for the week rose 33% to 773,500 metric tons.

Wheat sales also were higher, rising 26% week-to-week to 336,700 metric tons, the USDA said.

The Philippines purchased 121,900 metric tons, Japan took 81,400 tons, Vietnam bought 35,600 tons and Malaysia was in for 19,500 tons.

Exports, however, dropped 34% to 250.700 metric tons, the government said.

Corn sales declined 13% week-to-week to 1.24 million metric tons, the Ag Department said.

Japan was in for 499,500 metric tons, Colombia bought 209,800 tons, Mexico purchased 199,100 tons, South Korea took 120,000 tons and China took 73,200 tons, the agency said.

Exports for the week jumped to a marketing-year high of 1.16 million metric tons, the USDA said in its report.


3. Winter Weather Forecast For Parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin

Winter weather is still hanging around in the northern Midwest as storm warnings and advisories remain in effect in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to the National Weather Service.

A winter-storm warning is in effect until 7 a.m. tomorrow for parts of northern Wisconsin as another 3 to 7 inches of snow are expected, though up to 13 inches is forecast for some counties, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

A winter-weather advisory is in effect until 1 a.m. tonight as another 1 to 6 inches of snow are possible in northern Minnesota, the agency said.

"Gusty winds this afternoon may reduce visibility to less than a half-mile at times," the NWS said.

In southwestern Minnesota, meanwhile, a winter-weather advisory was in effect overnight. Snow is blowing this morning due to strong winds that are gusting up to 50 miles per hour, the agency said.

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