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3 Big Things Today, March 27, 2020

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

1. Soybean Futures Higher in Overnight Trading, Grains Mixed

Soybeans were higher in overnight trading on speculation that Argentina will curb shipments to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

A labor union in Argentina has reportedly asked the government to shut ports for 15 days to help slow the spread of the new coronavirus, Reuters reported on Thursday. If the ports are shut, that may drive buyers to seek U.S. supplies.

Argentina has than 500 confirmed cases of the disease and eight deaths, according to the report.

Globally, the number of cases confirmed is now up to 542,417 and the death toll is at 24,353, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 123,000 people have recovered from the virus.

That’s up from 480,450 cases and 21,570 deaths yesterday.

In the U.S., the number of cases has jumped to almost 86,000 from 69,000 a day earlier. The death toll surged to 1,300 from about 900 yesterday, the university said.

Prices also are getting a bump on expectations that the House will pass the $2 trillion stimulus package passed earlier this week by the Senate.

Soybean futures for May delivery added 7¼¢ to $8.87½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal gained $4.10 to $327 a short ton and soy oil rose 0.15¢ to 26.65¢ a pound.

Corn futures fell 1½¢ to $3.47¼ a bushel overnight.

Wheat futures for May delivery gained 4¾¢ to $5.74¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures rose 8¢ to $4.95¼ a bushel.

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READ MORE: Friday's wheat trade has retreated, remains higher

2. Export Sales Surge Across The Board as China Jumps Into The Market

Export sales of corn surged to a marketing-year high last week while soybean and wheat sales also jumped, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Corn sales to overseas buyers increased considerably in the seven days that ended on March 19 to 1.81 million metric tons, which also was up 81% from the prior four-week average, the USDA said in a report.

Analysts pegged sales from 900,000 to 1.9 million metric tons, researcher Allendale said.

China was the big buyer at 756,000 metric tons, followed by Japan at 333,000 tons and Mexico at 219,200 tons, the government said. Colombia was in for 152,900 metric tons and South Korea bought 132,000 tons.

An unknown country canceled shipments worth 42,000 tons, and El Salvador nixed a cargo of 23,300 tons.

Sales for the 2020-2021 marketing year were reported at 82,900 tons

Soybean sales also surged, rising to 904,300 metric tons, the USDA said. That’s up 43% week-to-week and considerably from the prior four-week average.

Analyst expected sales from 400,000 to 900,000 metric tons.

An unknown buyer purchased 406,100 metric tons, China was in for 199,3000 tons, and Indonesia took 69,400 tons, the agency said. Bangladesh bought 55,000 tons, and Peru took 37,400 tons.

Wheat sales jumped noticeably from the previous week to 740,000 metric tons, which was up 73% from the average, according to the government.

Analysts had forecast sales from 350,000 to 950,000 metric tons.

China was the big buyer at 200,000 metric tons, followed by South Korea at 146,100 tons and Japan at 144,000 tons. Nigeria took 87,300 tons and Mexico was in for 64,300 tons.

The total would’ve been higher but Bangladesh canceled a cargo of 29,800 metric tons, an unknown customer nixed a shipment of 24,600 tons and Jamaica canceled a purchase of 11,700 tons.

Sales for the 2020-2021 marketing year that starts on June 1 were reported at 366,400 metric tons as China bought 285,000 tons, the USDA said.

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3. Flood Watch in Effect For Parts of Nebraska and South Dakota This Weekend

A flood watch is in effect in parts of central Nebraska and southeastern South Dakota for this weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

Occasionally heavy rain will develop tomorrow morning and last through the evening, the NWS said in a report early this morning. Up to 3 inches of rain is expected.

“This moderate rainfall on top of saturated ground, may lead to significant ponding of water,” the agency said. “In addition, area streams and rivers may rise and reach or exceed flood levels.”

Farther south, a red flag warning is in effect for much of eastern Colorado and New Mexico as wind gusts are forecast to be strong and humidity is expected to be low.

Winds will be sustained at 25 to 40 mph with gusts of up to 55 mph. Humidity is projected to fall to about 15%, the NWS said. A cold front will move into the region starting tonight, which will bring cooler weather to the region tomorrow.

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