3 Big Things Today, November 20, 2020

Soybeans Surge in Overnight Trading; Weekly Export Sales of Corn Improve.

1. Soybeans Jump Overnight on Continued Demand Optimism

Soybeans jumped overnight as investors ran back to the market on optimism that demand will again pick up after a recent lull.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly export sales report was abysmal as it showed soybean and wheat sales last week at marketing-year lows, though corn sales were higher.

Still, since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, importers of U.S. supplies have promised to buy 51.3 million metric tons of soybeans, up 117% from the same time frame a year earlier, the department said in a weekly report.

Corn sales are at 35.3 million metric tons, a 166% jump from the same period in 2019.

Wheat sales since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are now at 17.4 million metric tons, an 11% year-over-year increase, the USDA said.

Investors are betting on the expectation that China and other importing countries will continue to purchase U.S. agricultural products.

Traders also have their eyes on the weather in Brazil.

About 40% of the South American country’s soybean- and corn-growing areas are facing a precipitation deficit and stress will rebuild “rapidly” if a drier weather pattern comes to fruition in the next two weeks, according to Commodity Weather Group.

Showers, however, expanded in parts of west-central and southwestern Brazil in recent days, and short-term stress has narrowed to a quarter of growing areas in western Mato Grosso do Sul, northwestern Parana, and Rio Grande do Sul, CWG said.   

Soybean futures for January delivery jumped 11¼¢ to $11.88¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal was up $4.80 to $398.50 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.06¢ to 38.87¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery gained 5¢ to $4.32¼ a bushel overnight. 

Wheat futures for December delivery rose 2½¢ to $6.01¼ a bushel while Kansas City futures gained 1¾¢ to $5.58¾ a bushel.

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2. Corn Export Sales Rise While Soybean and Wheat Hit Marketing-Year Lows

Export sales of corn were higher last week while soybean sales hit a marketing-year low, according to the USDA.

Corn sales in the seven days that ended on Nov. 12 were reported at 1.09 million metric tons, up 11% week-to-week, the agency said in a report. That was still down 43% from the prior four-week average.

Mexico was the big buyer at 244,300 metric tons, followed by Japan at 203,400 tons and China at 174,700 tons. Colombia was in for 171,700 tons and Taiwan took 138,000 tons of U.S. corn, the government said.

The total would’ve been higher but an unnamed country canceled cargoes for 162,000 metric tons, Guatemala nixed shipments for 28,300 tons, and France canceled orders for 20,000 tons.

Soybean sales last week hit a fresh marketing-year low of 1.39 million metric tons, down 6% from the previous week and 18% from the average, the USDA said.

China bought 1.06 million metric tons, Mexico took 155,900 tons, Spain purchased 144,700 tons, Taiwan was in for 83,400 tons, and Indonesia took 77,700 tons from U.S. supplies.

An unknown destination canceled shipments for 436,600 metric tons, the agency said.

Wheat sales also dropped to a marketing-year low, falling 36% week-to-week and 62% from the four-week average to 192,400 metric tons, government data show.

China purchased 125,000 metric tons, Mexico was in for 28,700 tons, and Japan bought 25,400 tons, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Thunderstorms Expected in Parts of Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles This Weekend

Thunderstorms are in the forecast starting tomorrow in parts of the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, according to the National Weather Service.

The storms are expected to last from Saturday night into Sunday, then refire again Monday night and Tuesday morning, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Little to no rain has fallen in much of the panhandles in the past two weeks, according to the agency’s precipitation page. Hard-red winter wheat has emerged and is growing in the area.

Farther north in North Dakota and Minnesota, cold weather along with recent precipitation will make for some slippery roads this weekend.

Light snow is likely starting tomorrow over west-central Minnesota and southeastern North Dakota, though it appears accumulations will be minimal, the NWS said.

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