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3 Big Things Today, March 7
1. Soybeans Decline Overnight as Investors Look For New Bullish News
Soybeans were lower in overnight trading as investors seek bullish news to continue pushing prices higher.
Fundamentally, it’s still dry in Argentina, but it may take more to push prices up from the highest levels in more than a year.
Wheat futures were lower in overnight trading as investors liquidate positions and book profits after yesterday’s run-up in prices. The weakest dollar in two weeks may help boost futures, but the greenback made a comeback in the overnight session.
Wheat futures were also lower as speculators and hedgers book profits after the recent price run-up, analysts said.
Soybean futures for May delivery fell 5¢ to $10.69¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal rose 30¢ to $388.30 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.22¢ to 32.26¢ a pound.
Corn futures for May delivery dropped ½¢ to $3.87¾ a bushel overnight.
Wheat for May delivery fell 1¾¢ to $5.05¼ a bushel overnight, while Kansas City futures lost ½¢ to $5.41 a bushel.
2. FAO Says 2018 South American Corn Crop Planted Under ‘Generally Favorable’ Conditions
The 2018 corn crop in South America was planted under “generally favorable” weather conditions as sowing in Brazil and Argentina, which make up 95% of the corn grown on the continent, is almost complete.
Planting in Argentina is pegged at about 8.7 million hectares, well above normal.
In Brazil, the country’s first crop planting was seen at 5.2 million hectares, about 5% below year-ago levels, the FAO said in a report. Farmers have started planting their second corn crop, which is estimated to be about 8% smaller than last year, reflecting two straight years of record production.
“In aggregate, Brazil’s maize plantings in 2018 are expected to remain above the previous five-year average,” the FAO said. “Cereal production reached a record level in 2017, reflecting a bumper maize output.”
Corn output in 2017 is estimated at 162.5 million tons in South America.
Wheat output is pegged at 25.8 million tons, above average but down 12% from the prior year, the agency said. The year-over-year decline is due to adverse weather in Brazil where frost damage toward the end of the season reduced output. Argentina’s crop, meanwhile, reached a record 18.5 million tons last year.
Total grain exports from South America in the 2017-2018 marketing year is expected to reach a record at 77.8 million metric tons. The reflects increased corn deliveries from Argentina and Brazil reflecting bumper harvests in 2017 and weak local currencies that increased competitiveness on the global market.
Corn exports, mostly from Argentina and Brazil, are pegged at more than 59 million metric tons, and wheat shipments are seen at 13.2 million tons amid increased deliveries from Argentina, the FAO said.
3. Midwest, Plains Blizzard Moves on After Hammering Region, Flooding Continues in South
The blizzard that had been hammering the Upper Midwest and Plains all week has finally moved on, though some flurries and light snow are still expected in parts of South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota.
Skies will clear, however, as no hazardous weather is expected for at least another week, according to the National Weather Service.
Still, travel isn’t advised, as many roads are still impassable.
In Arkansas and Tennessee, however, flooding is an ongoing issue since rainfall the past two weeks caused rivers and streams to breach their banks. Flood warnings are still in effect for rivers and tributaries along the borders between Arkansas and Tennessee and Arkansas and Mississippi, the NWS said in a report early Wednesday.