3 Big Things Today, October 18
1. Soybeans, Corn Slightly Lower on Better Western Midwest Harvest Weather
Soybeans and corn were slightly lower in overnight trading as drier weather is expected in parts of the central Corn Belt in the next two weeks.
The chances of rainfall in the next five days is expected to be below normal for much of the western Midwest through the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Kansas, according to Commodity Weather Group. Still, better-than-normal chances are forecast for a large swath of land that includes Iowa, most of Missouri, and the eastern half of Oklahoma.
In the six- to 10-day forecast, the chances of below-normal rain is expected into Iowa and Missouri as any wet weather moves into eastern Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan, CWG said.
The drier weather should help speed the harvest in areas that are already several days or even weeks behind.
Soybean futures for November delivery fell 1½¢to $9.83¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal lost 40¢ to $321.20 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.10¢ to 33.49¢ a pound.
Corn futures for December delivery fell a penny to $3.49 a bushel overnight.
Wheat for December delivery lost 2¼¢ to $4.32½ a bushel in Chicago. Kansas City futures fell 2¼¢ to $4.31 a bushel.
2. Excessive Rainfall in Argentina Likely to Reduce Soybean Planted Area, USDA Says
Rainfall in the U.S. is slowing the harvest at home, but that’s not the only area where excessive precipitation is proving to be a problem for farmers.
Recent rains in much of Argentina that’s resulted in flooding in some areas have cast doubt over the country’s 2017-2018 soybean crop, the USDA’s representative in the country said in a report.
Local analysts said they expected a “significant drop” in planting area and subsequent production due to the flooding, the USDA said. The agency, at least for now, maintained its official soybean-planting estimate of 19.1 million hectares (47.2 million acres) as there remains time for damaged areas to recover.
The Grains Exchange of Buenos Aires said in a recent forecast that planted area likely will drop 6% to 18.1 million hectares.
“In addition to excessive water conditions and damage, the Grains Exchange also cites area expansions for corn, wheat, and sunflower as another cause for less soybean area,” the USDA said.
3. Red-Flag Warning Issued For Much of North Dakota as Fire Risk Elevated
Red-flag warnings in which conditions are extremely dry have been issued for much of North Dakota and extreme northern Minnesota this morning, according to the National Weather Service.
Strong sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph along with low relative humidities around 20% are expected today and tonight. That, along with gusts up to 50 mph, has created a “critical” fire hazard in the region, the NWS said in a report early Wednesday morning.
Any fires that develop will spread quickly. Fire restrictions are in place locally, according to the agency.
Maps are otherwise quiet through much of the Corn Belt with dry weather expected for much of the Midwest. There’s an above-chance of precipitation for parts of Iowa and Missouri in the five-day forecast, but for today, at least, the weather looks favorable for harvest.