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3 Big Things Today, March 2

Soybean Futures Higher in Overnight Trading; Weekly Corn, Bean Sales Rise.

1. Soybeans Again Higher Overnight on Argentina Weather; Wheat Falls

Soybeans were again higher in overnight trading as forecasts call for dry weather in two thirds of Argentina growing areas.

Rainfall chances in the next two weeks are limited to western and far southern Argentina, with the best chance for precipitation next weekend, Commodity Weather Group said. Much of the country’s growing areas remain under drought stress, the forecaster said.

Some light showers fell yesterday in northeastern Buenos Aires, but temperatures were near 90˚F.

Wheat futures declined overnight despite calls for continued dry weather in the U.S. Southern Plains. The area has a below-normal chance for rain for at least the next 30 days, and temperatures are expected to rise in coming days, CWG said.

Soybean futures for May delivery rose 7¾¢ to $10.75¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal added $3.70 to $400.90 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.24¢ to 32.63¢ a pound.

Wheat for May delivery fell 3¾¢ to $5.11¾ a bushel overnight, while Kansas City futures lost 3¢ to $5.40½ a bushel.

Corn futures for May delivery gained 1¾¢ to $3.88 a bushel overnight.


2. Corn, Soybean Export Sales Top Expectations, Wheat Sales Miss

Export sales of corn and soybeans rose week to week, the USDA said, topping analyst expectations.

Corn sales for delivery in the 2017-2018 marketing year that ends on August 31 totaled 1.75 million metric tons last week. That’s up 13% from the prior week but down 2% from the four-week average. Analysts forecast sales from 1 million to 1.4 million tons.

Japan was the big buyer at 514,500 tons, followed by Mexico at 217,300 tons, and Egypt at 170,000 tons. South Korea purchased 134,200 tons, Saudi Arabia took 114,800 tons, and Honduras bought 101,800 tons, the USDA said.

Soybean sales of 857,900 tons last week were up “noticeably” from last week and from the four-week average, according to the government. Analysts had pegged sales from 400,000 to 700,000 tons.

Mexico bought 334,500 tons, China was a rare second at 215,600 tons, Egypt purchased 170,100 tons, South Korea purchased 63,400 tons, and Indonesia took 39,900 tons, the USDA said.  

Wheat sales for the 2017-2018 marketing year that ends on May 31, meanwhile, plunged 42% from the prior week to 191,100 tons. Analysts had expected sales from 200,000 to 500,000 tons.

Mexico was the biggest customer at 84,900 tons, followed by Yemen at 57,000 tons, Morocco at 30,200 tons, Guatemala at 22,600 tons, and Algeria at 20,000 tons. The Philippines canceled a sale for 42,000 tons, and an unknown buyer decided against a shipment of 22,300 tons.


3. Red-Flag Warning Issued in Southern Plains, While Arkansas, Mississippi Floods Persist

A red-flag warning has been issued in the Southern Plains where dry and windy weather is forecast for the weekend.

Relative humidity is as low as 15% in southwestern Kansas and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles, while winds are expected to be as high as 28 mph, according to the National Weather Service.  

Winds will pick up this weekend with gusts of up to 45 mph on Sunday and relative humidity falling as low as 8%. The red-flag index is a 2 to 4 today and will jump to a 4 to 7 on Sunday, the NWS said in a report early Friday morning.

Much of Arkansas, Mississippi, and western Tennessee are suffering from the opposite problem, as persistent rainfall leads to flooding.

Widespread floods are expected to continue through the weekend as rivers and tributaries overflow their banks, the agency said. Excessive rain fell last week and then again earlier this week, pushing water flows beyond flood stage in many areas.

The flooding will continue through the weekend, as many rivers are already in flood stage or will rise above their banks over the next couple of days, the NWS said.  

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