3 Big Things Today, September 25, 2020

Soybeans, Corn Slightly Higher Overnight; Export Sales Improve Week-to-Week.

1. Soybean, Corn Futures Modestly Higher in Overnight Trading

Soybean and corn futures were slightly higher in overnight trading as continued signs of demand for U.S. agricultural products outpaces harvest pressure.

Yesterday marked the first of 12 sessions when exporters didn’t report new sales of beans or corn to China or other overseas buyers, but sales have been robust in the past two weeks.

This week alone, exporters reported sales of 530,000 metric tons of soybeans to China, 561,000 tons to unnamed countries, and 132,000 tons to Pakistan, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The agency also reported sales of 140,000 metric tons of corn to China and 320,000 tons of the grain to unknown destinations this week.

Capping price gains, however, is pressure from the harvest.

Some 6% of the U.S. soybean crop was in the bin as of Sunday, on par with the prior five-year average for this time of year, the USDA said.

About 59% of the soybean crop was dropping leaves, ahead of the average of 50% for this time of year, while 63% was rated good or excellent, unchanged from the previous week.

And 8% of the corn crop was harvested at the start of the week, behind the five-year pace of 10%, the agency said.

Some 59% of the U.S. corn crop was mature at the beginning of the week, ahead of the normal 49% for this time of year, government data show. Almost the entire crop was dented.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 1¼¢ to $10.01 ¼ a bushel overnight trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal lost $1.70 to $334.80 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.22¢ to 32.63¢ a pound.

Corn futures gained 3¢ to $3.66½ a bushel.

Wheat futures for September delivery fell 1½¢ to $5.48¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures were unchanged at $4.83 a bushel.

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2. Export Sales of Corn, Beans Rise Week-to-Week, USDA Says

Sales of corn and soybeans for overseas delivery both jumped week-to-week, according to the USDA.

Corn sales in the seven days that ended on Sept. 17 totaled 2.14 million metric tons, up from 1.61 million tons the previous week, the agency said.

China was the big buyer at 566,400 metric tons. An unnamed country bought 371,500 metric tons, Japan was in for 344,900, Mexico was in for 281,800 tons, and Colombia purchased 178,800 tons, government data show.

Soybean sales also improved week-to-week, rising to 3.19 million metric tons from 2.46 million tons a week earlier, the USDA said.

China bought 1.88 million metric tons of U.S. beans last week, an unknown country took 770,500 tons and Thailand was in for 115,500 tons. Indonesia purchased 100,900 metric tons and Mexico bought 68,400 tons, the agency said.

Wheat sales for delivery in the marketing year that started on June 1, meanwhile, came in at 351,200 metric tons, a 5% increase from the prior week but down 34% from the prior four-week average.

South Korea was the big buyer at 111,900 metric tons, Vietnam was in for 53,500 tons, Japan purchased 57,100 tons, the Philippines took 41,000 tons, and Nigeria bought 30,000 tons, the USDA said.

The total would’ve been higher but an unnamed destination canceled a cargo of 24,000 tons.

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3. Fire Weather Watch Issued For Much of Central Nebraska This Weekend

A fire weather watch has been issued for this weekend in much of central Nebraska, according to the National Weather Service.

Low relative humidity that’s expected to drop to 12% along with northwest winds sustained at 25 mph with gusts of up to 35 mph are expected, the NWS said in a report this morning.

A so-called fire weather watch is issued when “critical fire weather conditions” are expected, the agency said.

“Any fire starts will be difficult to contain,” the NWS said.

In southern Wisconsin, there’s a “slight” chance of thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon into Sunday morning. Precipitation also may fall along the northern third of Lake Michigan on the Wisconsin shore, the government said.

“A rumble of thunder or two may occur Monday afternoon as well,” the agency said.

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