3 Big Things Today, October 19, 2020

Wheat Futures Rise Overnight; Export Sales of Beans Higher Week-to-Week.

1. Wheat Near Six-Year High on World Weather Woes

Wheat futures were up near six-year highs in overnight trading on global weather concerns.

In the U.S., no rain has fallen in all of western Kansas and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles in the past 30 days, according to the National Weather Service. The odds of any precipitation falling in the next week are slim, with only a slight chance next weekend.

About 68% of the crop was planted as of last week, ahead of the prior five-year average of 61%, data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show.

Some 41% of the crop had already emerged, up from the average of 35% for this time of year, the USDA said. The agency will update its crop progress report this afternoon.

The eastern half of crop-growing areas in Argentina is expected to turn drier in the next couple of weeks, according to Commodity Weather Group.

In Russia, meanwhile, “limited rains in the next week” will keep wheat-growing areas “unfavorably dry” with reductions in acreage expected to increase, CWG said.

Corn and soybeans also were higher in overnight trading amid strong demand for U.S. supplies.

Exporters reported sales of 128,000 metric tons of U.S. corn to Mexico, 175,000 tons of soybeans to an unnamed country, and another 216,150 tons of soybeans to unknown destinations, the USDA said.

Wheat futures for December delivery rose 8¼¢ to $6.33½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City futures were up 6¾¢ to $5.65½ a bushel.

Corn futures for December delivery gained 3¼¢ to $4.05¼ a bushel.

Soybean futures for November delivery added 3¢ to $10.53¼ a bushel. Soymeal rose $5.50 to $373 a short ton, and soy oil dropped 0.39¢ to 32.6¢ a pound.

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2.  Export Sales of Soybeans Higher, Corn Lower Week-to-Week

Export sales of soybeans rose week-to-week while corn sales declined, according to the USDA.

Soybean sales to overseas buyers in the seven days that ended on Oct. 8 were reported at 2.63 million metric tons, up 2% from the previous week, but down 2% from the prior four-week average, the agency said in a report that was delayed due to the observance of Columbus Day.

China was the big buyer at 1.59 million metric tons, followed by Germany at 115,700 tons, Indonesia at 110,800 tons, and Thailand at 101,200 tons.

Corn sales, however, dropped 47% from the previous week and 63% from the average to 655,200 metric tons, the U.S. government said.

Mexico bought 203,800 metric tons, Colombia was in for 184,200 tons, Japan took 175,800 tons, China purchased 140,700 tons, and Costa Rica took 47,800 tons.

The total would’ve been higher but an unnamed country canceled shipments totaling 152,100 tons.

Wheat sales for delivery in the grain’s marketing year that started on June 1 were unchanged at 528,500 metric tons, the USDA said. That’s up 23% from the prior four-week average.

Mexico purchased 229,000 metric tons, Japan was in for 62,200 tons, China bought 57,400 tons, Thailand was in for 55,000 tons and an unknown country took 47,500 tons of U.S. wheat. The Philippines canceled cargoes worth 28,400 tons, the USDA said.  

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3. Freeze Warnings in Effect in Nebraska and Kansas While Snow Forecast in Iowa and Illinois

Freeze warnings are in effect in parts of central Nebraska and a couple counties in northern Kansas this morning, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures overnight fell to 30°F. to 32°F., the NWS said in a report.

A frost advisory is in effect for much of western Kansas along the Colorado border this morning. In southwestern Kansas, temperatures were expected to hit as low as 33°F.

That’s generally not cold enough to damage unprotected winter wheat that’s emerged.

Farther east in parts of Iowa and northern Illinois, light rain and snow is expected later this morning or early this afternoon, the agency said.

Temperatures aren’t expected to drop low enough for any accumulation, the NWS said.  

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