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3 Big Things Today, September 12

Soybeans Lower in Overnight Trading; NAFTA Negotiations Seem to Be Warming.

1. Soybeans Lower Overnight on Improved Crop Ratings

Soybeans were lower in overnight trading Wednesday after the delayed Crop Progress Report showed conditions improved week to week.

Some 68% of U.S. soybeans were rated good or excellent as of September 9, the USDA said in a report on Tuesday, which was delayed a day due to a technical glitch. That’s up from 66% the prior week.

In Iowa, 72% of the crop earned top ratings, and in Illinois, 79% was rated good or excellent, according to the USDA. The states are the biggest producers of soybeans and corn in the U.S.

The condition of the corn crop also improved on a weekly basis, rising to 68% good or excellent, up from 67% seven days earlier. Some 73% of Iowa corn earned top ratings, as did 77% of the Illinois crop, the government said.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 4¾¢ to $8.27 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal lost 80¢ to $315.40 a short ton, and soy oil fell 0.33¢ to 27.75¢ a pound.

Corn declined 1¼¢ to $3.65½ a bushel overnight.

Wheat rose a nickel to $5.23¾ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures added 4¢ to $5.25¾ a bushel in overnight trading.

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2. U.S.-Canada NAFTA Negotiations Seem to Be Warming as Trump, Freeland Positive

Negotiations between the U.S. and Canada seemingly have taken a positive turn as President Trump and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland both made comments that could be construed as encouraging yesterday.

Trump said that “the deal with Canada is coming along very well,” a marked change from past comments that he would, in essence, cause “ruination” of the Canadian economy through a levy on automobiles if the countries didn’t come to an agreement.

Freeland, meanwhile, said the it’s “eminently possible” that the sides will find common ground in coming days. She said that the “atmosphere continues to be positive and cordial” and there’s good will and good faith on both sides of the table, the CBC reported.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, however, warned of “massive disruption” in the auto industry on both sides of the border if the U.S. imposes tariffs on autos. 

There seems to be movement on a major sticking point – Canada’s tariffs on dairy that helps protect the domestic industry from foreign competition. Canada is ready to offer concessions on its dairy industry similar to those agreed upon in deals with the European Union and Pacific Rim nations, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the talks.

U.S. dairy farmers have long complained about the lack of access to the Canadian market.

Reuters said in return for the concessions, the U.S. may have to offer its own deal on Chapter 19 dispute resolutions that would allow Canada to formally file grievances against U.S. duties it believes are unjustified.

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3. Flooding Rivers in Iowa Begin to Recede, Eyes on Florence as Storm Heads For Carolinas

Flood warnings are in effect for several rivers and streams in eastern Iowa today, while weather-watchers are keeping an eye on Hurricane Florence that’s approaching the East Coast.

In Iowa, at least five rivers are under flood warnings due to excessive rain that fell last week and over the weekend. The good news is the rivers – the Rock, Iowa, Cedar, Skunk and Wapsipinicon – are starting to recede or are expected to begin receding in the next 24 hours, according to the National Weather Service.

On the East Coast, many residents of the Carolinas are evacuating as Florence approaches. The storm, now a Category 4 hurricane with winds of up to 130 mph, is expected to make landfall sometime Thursday or early Friday, the NWS said.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said residents need to leave as the “monster” hurricane approaches the coast, and said the storm is “nothing like you’ve ever seen.”

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