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3 Big Things Today, November 16, 2020

Wheat Futures Drop Overnight; Soybean Sales Hit Marketing-Year Low.

1. Wheat Futures Drop Overnight on Slack Demand

Wheat was lower in overnight trading while corn and soybeans were little changed amid a slump in demand for U.S. inventories.

Exports haven’t reported any sales of more than 100,000 metric tons of grains or soybeans in almost a week.

The last time export sales were reported was on Nov. 10 when the U.S. Department of Agriculture said South Korea bought 130,000 metric tons of corn for delivery in the 2020-2021 marketing year, though it’s possible smaller purchases have been made.

Exporters are only required to report sales of more than 100,000 metric tons of wheat, corn or soybeans to the government.

Export sales last week dropped for all three commodities.

Futures had been moving higher in recent weeks as demand was robust across the board until last week’s declines.

Accumulated exports of wheat since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are up 1% from the same timeframe last year, while corn shipments have jumped 67% and soybean cargoes are up 87% year-over-year, the USDA said.

A pullback in buying by large funds and other speculative investors also may be contributing to this morning’s price declines.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission will release its weekly commitment of traders report today, a day later than usual due to last week’s Veterans Day holiday.

Wheat futures for December delivery fell 6 1/2¢ to $5.87 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade while Kansas City futures declined 6 3/4¢ to $5.45 ¼ a bushel.

Corn futures for December delivery rose 1/4¢ to $4.10 ¾ a bushel overnight.  

Soybean futures for January delivery gained 1/4¢ to $11.48 ¼ a bushel. Soymeal was up $1.20 to $389.30 a short ton and soy oil lost 0.31¢ to 36.82¢ a pound.

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2. Export Sales of Beans Drop to Marketing-Year Low While Corn and Wheat Sales Plunge

Export sales of soybeans dropped to a marketing-year low last week while corn and wheat sales also plunged, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Soybean sales dropped to 1.47 million metric tons in the seven days that ended on Nov. 5, the agency said in a report.

That’s down 4% from the previous week and 26% from the four-week average, and the lowest since the 2020-2021 year started on Sept. 1.

China was still the big buyer, taking 745,600 metric tons, followed by Thailand at 92,000 tons and Vietnam at 89,500 tons. Italy purchased 74,400 tons and Germany bought 68,900 tons, the USDA said.

Corn sales were reported at 978,300 metric tons, down 63% from the prior week and 47% from the four-week average.

An unknown destination purchased 260,600 metric tons, Mexico bought 258,600 tons, South Korea was in for 128,100 tons, Japan took 90,600 tons and Colombia was in for 82,700 tons.

Wheat sales also fell, dropping 50% week-to-week to 300,500 metric tons. That was down 46% from the prior four-week average, the agency said.

Guatemala bought 92,500 metric tons from U.S. supplies, Japan took 55,800 tons, El Salvador purchased 35,700 tons, Chile was in for 30,000 tons and South Korea took 26,800 tons, the agency said. An unnamed country canceled shipments of 36,000 tons and Mexico nixed cargoes of 16,800 tons, the USDA said in its report.


3. Dry, Warm Weather Leads to Fire Dangers in Several Parts of the Midwest Monday

Weather maps look relatively quiet to start the week, though some dry weather could cause wildfires to spread in parts of Nebraska and South Dakota, according to the National Weather Service.

Gusty winds, low humidity and warm weather will lead to increased fire danger in parts of the states that don’t have snow, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

The dry weather will continue as “much warmer conditions” and strong southwesterly winds will increase fire risks again Wednesday, the agency said.

The same type of weather pattern is moving into the southern Plains where warm temperatures and a dry airmass will result in elevated concerns about wildfires across much of the region where hard-red winter wheat is growing.

Fire dangers in parts of east-central Missouri also are a concern today due to low humidity and strong winds, the NWS said.

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