3 Big Things Today, October 2, 2020
1. Soybean and Grain Futures Lower in Overnight Trading
Soybeans and grains were lower in overnight trading amid an increase in farmer selling and as investors who were long the market sold their contracts and closed positions after corn hit a seven-month high.
Corn futures yesterday closed at their highest level since March, leading producers and speculators alike to reportedly sell contracts to capitalize on the higher prices.
Prices had been getting a boost from a bullish grain stocks report that showed corn in storage on Sept. 1 was at 2 billion bushels, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s down 10% year-over-year and below expectations for 2.25 billion bushels.
Soybean stockpiles at the start of September totaled 523 million bushels, down 42% on an annual basis and well below forecasts for 576 million bushels. All-wheat inventories came in at 2.16 billion bushels, down 8% from the same date last year, the USDA said. Analysts had expected 2.24 billion bushels.
Prices also are being pressured by the continuing harvest in much of the Midwest.
At the start of the week, 20% of the U.S. soybean crop was collected, up from 6% a week earlier and ahead of the prior five-year average of 15%, the USDA said.
About 15% of the corn crop was in the bin as of Sunday, up from 8% the previous week and just trailing the average of 16% for this time of year.
Still, a quarter of the U.S. corn crop has yet to mature, and 26% of soybeans still haven’t dropped leaves. Temperatures in parts of Nebraska and Minnesota were at or just below freezing overnight.
Soybean futures for November delivery fell 6¾¢ to $10.16¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal lost $1.20 to $346.70 a short ton, and soy oil dropped 0.74¢ to 31.68¢ a pound.
Corn futures lost 3¼¢ to $3.79½ a bushel.
Wheat futures for September delivery were down 5¢ to $5.65¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures dropped 6¼¢ to $5.00¼ a bushel.**
2. Export Sales of Corn and Beans Lower While Wheat Rose
Export sales of corn and beans were both lower week-to-week while wheat sales improved, according to the USDA.
Corn sales in the week that ended on Sept. 24 were reported at 2.03 million metric tons, down from 2.14 million tons the previous week, the agency said in a report.
An unnamed country was the big buyer at 701,300 metric tons, followed by Mexico at 441,200 tons, and Japan at 381,600 tons.
Guatemala bought 166,700 metric tons and China was in for 149,900 tons, the USDA said.
Soybean sales dropped to 2.59 million metric tons last week, and while that’s still a strong number, it’s below the 3.19 million tons sold a week earlier.
China was the main buyer at 1.33 million metric tons, an unknown destination bought 630,300 tons, Mexico purchased 198,700 tons, and Vietnam took 78,900 tons, government data show.
Wheat sales for delivery in the grain’s marketing year that started on June 1 totaled 506,300 metric tons, up 44% week-to-week and 15% from the prior four-week average.
Sales were spread out as Mexico bought 208,900 metric tons, Taiwan took 91,500 tons, and South Korea purchased 64,100 tons, the agency said.
An unnamed country took 60,000 metric tons and Japan was in for 58,400 tons, the USDA said in its report.
3. Temperatures Stay at Freezing Overnight in Nebraska Due to Cloud Cover
It was cold in central Nebraska overnight with temperatures dropping as low as 32°F., according to the National Weather Service.
Freeze warnings are still in effect until 9 a.m. local time, though the NWS said in a report early this morning that passing clouds kept temperatures from falling below freezing.
“However, many areas should still be cold enough to support at least patchy frost,” the agency said.
In northern Minnesota, meanwhile, temperatures dropped as low as 29°F. last night, and a freeze warning is in effect until 8 a.m. local time, the NWS said.
A frost advisory is in effect from eastern Colorado north to the Canadian border with North Dakota and Minnesota and east into Michigan.
In much of Iowa, temperatures overnight fell into the low- and mid-30s, which likely resulted in frost formation, the agency said.
While temperatures are low, it appears much of the Corn Belt will remain dry through the weekend, which may help accelerate the harvest.