3 Big Things Today, November 24, 2020

Soybeans, Grains Lower Overnight; Weekly Export Inspections Mostly Higher.

1. Soybean and Grain Futures Lower in Overnight Trading

Soybeans plunged overnight on speculation that the strong demand seen in the past few months for U.S. supplies is waning.

Exporters, who are required to report sales of 100,000 metric tons or more of a commodity, haven’t reported any large purchases of U.S. soybeans by overseas buyers since Nov. 9.

Several large corn sales have been reported in the past couple of weeks and commitments to purchase U.S. soybeans are still well above year-earlier levels, but the lack of recent purchases is concerning.

The Department of Agriculture on Monday said an unnamed country purchased 334,000 metric tons of corn for delivery in the 2020-2021 marketing year that started on Sept. 1.

On Friday, the USDA reported sales of 158,270 metric tons of corn to Mexico and 131,000 metric tons of the grain to an unknown country.

Still, grain prices were lower overnight, partly in sympathy with soybeans but also because of liquidation of long positions, or bets on higher prices, by fund managers and other large speculative investors.

Soybean futures yesterday were the highest in more than four years, while corn hit the highest in about 16 months. That likely led to some profit-taking in the overnight session.

The USDA also released its weekly crop progress report yesterday, which showed about 89% of the U.S. winter wheat crop had emerged from the ground.

About 43% of the crop was rated good or excellent, down from 46% the previous week and well below the 52% that earned top ratings during the same week a year earlier, the agency said.

Soybean futures for January delivery dropped 11¢ to $11.80½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal was down 70¢ to $392.30 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.89¢ to 37.45¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery fell 8½¢ to $4.24¾ a bushel.

Wheat futures for December delivery lost 3¢ to $6.01½ a bushel while Kansas City futures declined 5¢ to $5.55½ a bushel.

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2. Weekly Export Inspections of Corn and Beans Rise While Wheat Assessments Fall

Inspections of corn and beans for overseas delivery declined week-to-week while wheat assessments improved, according to the USDA.

Corn inspections in the seven days that ended on Nov. 19 were reported at 832,637 metric tons, down from 840,281 tons the previous week, the agency said in a report.

The total was still higher than the 616,902 tons assessed in the same week a year earlier.

Soybean examinations totaled 2 million metric tons, down from 2.47 million the previous week, the government said.

That was higher than the 1.95 million metric tons inspected in the same week in 2019.

What inspections, however, rose to 358,077 metric tons, up from 334,400 metric tons the previous week, the USDA said.

The government inspected 435,094 metric tons of wheat for offshore delivery during the same week last year.

Since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, USDA inspectors have examined 9.25 million metric tons of corn for overseas delivery. That’s up from 5.61 million tons during the same time frame a year earlier.

Soybean assessments since the beginning of September totaled 24.4 million metric tons, a considerable jump from the 14.4 million tons inspected during the same period in 2019, the agency said.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 now stand at 12.4 million metric tons, little changed from the same point last year, the USDA said.

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3. Winter Weather Forecast in Parts of the Northern Midwest Tuesday

A winter weather advisory has been issued for parts of southwestern Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota, and northern Wisconsin, according to the National Weather Service.

As much as 3 inches of wet snow is expected in the area by noon today, the NWS said in a report. Roads are expected to be slippery.

“For the afternoon, the focus for the snow shifts into western and central Wisconsin while precipitation transitions to mostly rain south of Interstate 90,” the agency said. “Most of the expected snow accumulations will be around and north of Interstate 94, with another 1 to 2 inches possible. Locally higher amounts could occur.”

In northern Minnesota, meanwhile, freezing drizzle and snow are forecast.

Areas in northern counties likely will see freezing rain this morning while other areas are forecast to see snow, the NWS said.

Snow accumulations are expected to top out at about an inch while an ice glaze of about .10 inch is expected, the agency said.

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