3 Big Things Today, October 20, 2020

Soybeans, Grains Rise Overnight; Weekly Export Inspections of Corn Improve.

1. Soybeans Surge Overnight as Harvest Pace Misses Expectations

Soybeans were higher overnight on a slower-than-expected harvest pace while grains were higher on global weather woes.

The U.S. soybean crop was 75% collected as of Sunday, up from 61% a week earlier, the Department of Agriculture said, but behind expectations compiled by Reuters for 79%.

Some 97% of the crop was dropping leaves, up from 93% a week earlier.

Up from 41% seven days earlier, 60% of corn was in the bin at the start of the week, the USDA said in a report. Analysts had expected 57% to be harvested.

Little or no rain has fallen in much of the southern Plains where hard-red winter wheat is grown in the U.S., while parts of the eastern Midwest where soft-red varieties are planted has seen half the normal amount of precipitation, according to the National Weather Service precipitation page.

The good news for winter-wheat producers is that some light snow is forecast for parts of central and northwestern Nebraska and eastern Kansas and Oklahoma this week, Don Keeney, an agricultural meteorologist with Maxar, said in a report.

Still, the driest areas in the central and southwestern Plains will remain dry, he said.

Russian wheat is facing more dry weather, though some precipitation is expected in parts of the so-called Black Sea region where wheat is grown, Keeney said.

“Rains should favor Belarus, Central Region, Volga Valley, and North Caucasus this weekend,” he said in his report.

Soybean futures for December delivery rose 8¼¢ to $10.62½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal gained $3.30¢ to $376.50 a short ton, and soy oil jumped 0.5¢ to 33.03¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery were up 1½¢ to $4.06 ¾ a bushel overnight.

Wheat futures for September delivery added 4½¢ to $6.31½ a bushel while Kansas City futures rose 4¾¢ to $5.67¾ a bushel.

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2. Export Inspections of Corn Rise Week-to-Week While Wheat and Beans Decline

Inspections of corn for offshore delivery rose week-to-week while wheat and bean assessments declined, according to the USDA.

Corn inspections in the seven days that ended on Oct. 15 totaled 911,012 metric tons, up from 838,849 tons a week earlier, and well above the 581,237 tons examined during the same week in 2019.

Wheat assessments, meanwhile, dropped to 239,688 metric tons last week.

That’s down from the 514,649 tons inspected the previous week and the 580,680 tons assessed at the same point last year, the USDA said in a report.

Soybean inspections also fell, dropping to 2.17 million metric tons from 2.4 million tons a week earlier, the agency said.

The total was still much higher than the 1.33 million tons examined during the same week a year earlier.

Since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, U.S. government officials have inspected 5.46 million metric tons of corn for overseas delivery, the USDA said.

That’s up from 3.09 million tons during the same time frame in 2019.

Soybean assessments since the beginning of September now stand at 11.5 million metric tons, up from 6.49 million tons during the same period a year earlier, the agency said.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are at 10.7 million metric tons, up from the 10.1 million tons examined at the same point last year, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Snow Expected in North Dakota and Minnesota as Winter Weather Moves In

Several inches of snow are expected in almost all of North Dakota and parts of northern Minnesota as winter weather moves into the region, according to the National Weather Service.

Up to 5 inches of snow is expected in portions of southeastern North Dakota and west-central and northwestern Minnesota today, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

“A quick moving low-pressure system will continue to push across North Dakota this morning, bringing widespread light snow accumulations to much of western and central North Dakota,” the agency said. “Snow will diminish west to east late this morning through the afternoon. Some pockets of freezing rain (or) drizzle will be possible, especially as snow diminishes.”

More winter storms are expected in the region Wednesday night into Thursday, with the largest accumulations forecast along the North Dakota-South Dakota border.

A winter weather advisory has been issued for parts of northeastern South Dakota, counties in southeastern North Dakota, almost all of Minnesota, and the northern half of Wisconsin, according to the NWS.

Wet snow is expected along with some mixed precipitation. The advisory will run from 10 a.m. Tuesday through 10 a.m. Wednesday, the agency said.

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