3 Big Things Today, September 18, 2020

Soybeans, Grains Rise Overnight; Export Sales Impress in First Full Week of 2020-2021.

1. Soybeans, Grains Continue to Rise on Demand, Weather

Soybean and grain futures continued their ascent in overnight trading amid ongoing demand for U.S. supplies and dry weather in much of the Midwest.

Exporters sold 264,000 metric tons of soybeans to China for delivery during the 2020-2021 marketing year that started on Sept. 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday.

An unnamed buyer purchased an additional 360,500 metric tons of beans. An unknown country also purchased 120,000 metric tons of corn, the USDA said in a report.

Exporters have reported purchases of 100,000 metric tons or more in each of the past seven sessions, indicating strong demand for U.S. agricultural products.

Also giving prices a boost is the lack of rainfall in much of the Corn Belt.

Little or no rain has fallen from central Nebraska into western Iowa in the past seven days, according to the National Weather Service. Kansas, Oklahoma, southern Missouri, southern Illinois, and much of Indiana have also been dry the past week.

Almost the entire western half of the U.S. – other than some precipitation that fell in parts of eastern Wyoming into the Nebraska panhandle – have received no rain in the past week, the NWS said.

No rain is in the forecast from Nebraska into Indiana for at least the next seven days, weather forecasts show.

Soybean futures for November delivery jumped 11¢ to $10.39½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal gained $2.70 to $338 a short ton, and soy oil rose 0.44¢ to 35.3¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery added 2¢ to $3.77¼ a bushel.

Wheat futures for September delivery gained 2½¢ to $5.58¾ a bushel, while Kansas City futures rose 4¼¢ to $4.91¾ a bushel.

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2. Export Sales of Corn and Beans Impressive in First Full Week of Marketing Year

Export sales of corn and soybeans were impressive in the first full week of the marketing year that started on Sept. 1, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Corn sales in the seven days that ended on Sept. 10 were reported at 1.61 million metric tons, the USDA said in a report.

That’s down from 3.07 million tons the previous week, but that included sales from the end of the 2019-2020 marketing year.

An unnamed buyer purchased 360,220 metric tons of the grain from U.S. supplies, China took 359,700 tons, Japan bought 329,900 tons, South Korea was in for 201,700 tons, and Colombia purchased 118,400 tons, the agency said.

Sales of soybeans to overseas buyers were reported at 2.46 million metric tons, down from the 5.7 million tons sold the prior week, the USDA said.

China was the big buyer at 1.49 million metric tons, an unnamed country bought 499,300 tons, Japan purchased 73,100 tons, Vietnam took 66,800 tons, and the Netherlands was in for 58,100 tons. The total would’ve been higher but Spain canceled cargoes of 55,000 tons.

Wheat sales for delivery in the 2020-2021 marketing year that started on June 1 were reported at 335,700 metric tons, down 31% from the previous week and 42% from the prior four-week average, the government said.

Indonesia led with 91,400 metric tons, followed by Vietnam at 63,000 tons and the  Philippines at 56,600 tons. Mexico bought 55,400 metric tons of U.S. wheat, and Italy purchased 35,900 tons, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Freeze Warnings Spread Into Michigan While Smoky Air Continues to Move East

Freeze warnings are spreading east and have now been issued in parts of northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and now Michigan, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures were expected to drop as low as 29°F. overnight in the northern half of mainland Michigan and in the upper peninsula, the NWS said in a report.

In northern Minnesota, temperatures overnight fell as low as 25°F. in some areas, which could result in damage to crops, the agency said. Temperatures have been below freezing for several nights in a row now.

Air quality is a concern in several states, especially in Nebraska and Kansas, as smoke from wildfires in the western U.S. continues to move east.

“Smoke and haze from the wildfires … will continue to affect western and north-central Nebraska,” the NWS said. “Haze at the surface may impact air quality early in the day.”

Ongoing dry weather in the Midwest has led to the potential for wildfires in parts of western Nebraska this weekend.

Fire weather concerns are “elevated” in the panhandle and western Sandhills tomorrow and Sunday as relative humidity is expected to drop to less than 20% and winds are forecast to be gusty, the agency said.

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