3 Big Things Today, March 6, 2020
1. Soybeans and Grains Decline in Overnight Trading
Soybeans and grains fell in overnight trading on concerns about global demand for U.S. supplies.
The spread of the coronavirus has put a dent in Chinese demand for soybeans and has delayed purchases promised in a preliminary trade agreement between the two countries.
China’s National Health Commission said Friday that it now has 80,552 confirmed cases and 3,042 deaths.
The World Health Organization said yesterday that there are now 95,333 confirmed cases of the disease globally and 267 deaths outside of China. Some 85 countries have reported cases.
Five new countries or territories – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gibraltar, Hungary, Slovenia, and the occupied Palestinian territory – have reported cases of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, in the past day, WHO said.
The U.S. now has more than 200 cases, and the death toll is at 12. Three states – Washington, California, and Maryland – have declared emergencies.
It’s so far unclear how much of an effect the coronavirus will have on the global economy. Refinitiv said in a report this week that its spread will have a “significant” impact on commodities trading globally.
Agriculture trading will “continue to see significant issues” amid weaker demand from China, the researcher said.
Soybean futures for May delivery fell 3¼¢ to $8.93¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal rose $1 to $304.80 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.49¢ to 28.90¢ a pound.
Corn futures dropped 2¼¢ to $3.79½ a bushel overnight.
Wheat futures for May delivery declined 1½¢ to $5.17¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures lost ¼¢ to $4.46 a bushel.
2. Export Sales of Corn Down Week to Week, While Bean and Wheat Sales Increase
Export sales of corn declined week to week, while soybeans and wheat were higher, according to the USDA.
Corn sales in the seven days that ended on February 27 were reported at 769,200 metric tons, the USDA said in a report. That’s down 11% from the previous week and 29% from the prior four-week average.
Analysts had expected sales from 700,000 metric tons to 1.3 million metric tons, according to researcher Allendale.
Mexico was the week’s big buyer, purchasing 248,100 metric tons, followed by Colombia at 88,000 tons, Vietnam at 66,000 tons, and Saudi Arabia at 65,700 tons, the agency said.
Weekly soybean sales were up 2% despite China again being absent as a buyer. Still, the government reported sales of 345,000 metric tons, down 35% from the four-week average and badly missing expectations for 500,000 to 1.025 million metric tons.
Mexico was the big buyer at 164,000 metric tons, followed by Egypt at 91,500 tons and the Netherlands at 56,200 tons. Malaysia bought 50,300 tons and Japan was in for 42,300 tons, the USDA said. An unnamed customer canceled shipments for 135,200 tons.
Wheat sales, meanwhile, jumped to 542,400 metric tons, up 42% weekly and 27% from the four-week average.
Analysts had forecast sales from 375,000 to 675,000 metric tons, Allendale said
Taiwan bought 102,500 metric tons, South Korea took 85,800 tons, Indonesia purchased 77,000 tons, and Mexico was in for 75,000 tons. Unknown buyers canceled cargoes of 76,700 tons, the USDA said.
3. Flooding Is Still a Concern in Parts of the Northern Plains Heading Into The Weekend
Flooding is still a major concern in parts of North Dakota and western Minnesota this morning as snowmelt is expected to continue, according to the National Weather Service.
Warm air in the Red River Basin near the Fargo-Moorhead area that will leave temperatures above freezing overnight could cause additional melting and pooling of water, the NWS said in a report.
In South Dakota, the James River that runs from central North Dakota is already over its banks near Aberdeen, Huron, and Mitchell, the agency said.
In Stratford, South Dakota, which is near Aberdeen, the river was over 16 feet yesterday afternoon, above its flood stage of 14 feet in the area, the NWS said. At Columbia, South Dakota, the river was at 14.6 feet, topping the flood stage of 13 feet.
In northern Illinois and Indiana, meanwhile, strong winds are expected along the Lake Michigan shore. Gusts of up to 45 mph are expected, the NWS said.