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3 Big Things Today, October 31
1. Soybeans, Grains Little Changed as China Demand Offsets South America Weather
Soybeans and corn were little changed overnight as investors weigh demand from China against favorable weather in South America.
Demand from China has been strong so far this calendar year as the country’s General Administration of Customs in Beijing said imports of soybeans rose 13% in September, and in the first nine months of the year jumped 15% from the same time frame in 2016.
Still, South American production prospects may improve as rainfall in Argentina isn’t expected to keep farmers completely out of fields, allowing them to get their crops sown, and rains in Brazil are “largely beneficial” in the next 10 days.
In the U.S., yields have been reportedly strong, but the corn harvest is still well behind normal.
Soybean futures for November delivery rose 1½¢ to $9.86 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained $1.50 to $313.80 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.13¢ to 34.55¢ pound.
Corn futures for December delivery fell ½¢ to $3.48¼ a bushel in Chicago.
Wheat for December delivery was unchanged at $4.24¾ a bushel in Chicago. Kansas City futures rose ¼¢ to $4.22 a bushel.
2. Corn Harvest Finally Tops 50%, Still Well Behind Average; Bean Collection at About Normal
The corn harvest is finally more than halfway finished, while soybean collection is slightly behind normal, the USDA said in a report on Monday.
Corn was 54% harvested as of Sunday, jumping from 38% complete a week earlier but well behind the five-year average of 72%, according to the USDA.
In Iowa, only 44% was finished, compared with the average of 70% for this time of year. Still, growers in the state managed to get 19% of the crop out of the ground last week, government data show.
In Illinois, 73% of corn was harvested, still behind the average of 84% but ahead of last week’s 62%.
The soybean harvest was 83% complete as of Sunday, just a smidge behind the prior five-year average of 84%, the report said.
Iowa growers have collected 83% of their beans, behind the average of 91% for this time of year but up from 61% a week earlier.
In Illinois, 86% of the crop is in the bin, which is on par with the average and up from 77% a week earlier, according to the USDA.
3. Freeze Warnings Confined to Eastern Corn Belt Counties, Snow Forecast For Nebraska
The freezing weather that’s been hanging around the Midwest is mostly confined to a patch of land in eastern Illinois and central Indiana, according to National Weather Service maps.
A freeze warning is in effect for the region, though temperatures were expected to only drop to around 30˚F. this morning. The warning is expected to end at 9 a.m. local time.
The first accumulated snowfall in Nebraska is expected today and tonight with light precipitation falling to start the morning. The snow will spread across much of central Nebraska starting this afternoon.
It’s likely the snow will mix with rainfall at some point. As much as an inch of snow is expected in parts of south-central Nebraska and north-central Kansas, the NWS said in a morning report.