3 Big Things Today, September 30, 2020

Soybeans, Corn Lower Overnight; USDA Expected to Show Higher Corn Stocks

1. Soybeans, Corn Lower as Dry Weather Keeps Harvest Rolling

Soybeans and corn were again lower for a third session as the harvest continues amid dry weather in much of the Midwest. Wheat futures rose.

Much of the Corn Belt is expected to be dry, though some showers may fall in parts of Iowa, where there’s about a 20% chance of rain, and in northern Illinois where there’s a 40% chance, according to the National Weather Service.

Any widespread harvest delays in the next couple of weeks are expected to be limited to the northwestern Midwest, according to Commodity Weather Group.

“Limited showers (in the) next two weeks aid Midwest and Delta corn and soy harvest,” the forecaster said, citing only “brief delays” in parts of the Midwest next weekend.

About 20% of the soybean crop was harvested as of Sunday, up from only 6% seven days earlier and ahead of the prior five-year average of 15% for this time of year, the USDA said in a report earlier this week.

Fifteen percent of the U.S. corn crop was collected as of the start of the week, up from 8% a week earlier, but behind the average of 16% for this time of year, the agency said.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 2¼¢ to $9.90¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal lost 30¢ to $331.60 a short ton, and soy oil fell 0.43¢ to 32.26¢ a pound.

Corn futures declined 2¢ to $3.62¾ a bushel.

Wheat futures for September delivery rose 5¢ to $5.54½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures gained 4½¢ to $4.80 ½ a bushel.

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2.  USDA Expected to Show Corn Stocks Increased Year-on-Year While Soybeans Fell

The USDA is expected to say in a report today that old-crop corn stocks at the start of the month increased year-over-year while soybean inventories dropped. 

Today’s report is scheduled for release at noon in Washington.

Inventories of corn on Sept. 1 are pegged by analysts at 2.25 billion bushels, researcher Allendale said in a note to clients early this morning.

That’s up from the 2.11 billion bushels that were in storage on Sept. 1, 2019, government data show. On June 1 of this year, inventories stood at 5.22 billion bushels, up less than 1% from the previous year.

Soybean stockpiles at the start of the month, meanwhile, are seen by analysts at 576 million bushels, Allendale said. That’s down from 913 million on the same date a year earlier, according to the USDA.

At the beginning of June, inventories totaled 1.39 billion, down 22% year-over-year, the agency said.

The USDA in its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report earlier this month had pegged ending stocks on Aug. 31 at 2.253 billion bushels and soybean inventories at 575 million bushels.

For wheat, inventories on Sept. 1 that reflect a quarter’s worth of use, are pegged by analysts at 2.242 billion bushels, Allendale said.

That’s down from the 2.346 billion bushels of wheat that were in storage at the start of September a year earlier, USDA data show.

Wheat stockpiles on June 1 totaled 1.04 billion bushels, down 3% year-over-year.  

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3. Red-Flag Warnings, Wind Advisories, Extreme Fire Danger Alerts Issued in Dakotas

Weather maps in North Dakota and South Dakota are lit up as a red-flag warning, extreme fire danger warnings, and wind advisories have been issued, according to the National Weather Service.

A red-flag warning starting at 1 p.m. Central this afternoon has been issued as relative humidity is expected to drop as low as 20%, the NWS said in a report early this morning. Wind gusts of up to 45 mph will fan any flames that ignite.

Because of the strong winds, which are forecast to be sustained from 20 to 35 mph, wind advisories were put in place starting this morning and lasting until 8 p.m. local time, the weather forecaster said.

“Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects (and) a few power outages are possible,” the NWS said.

A few counties in South Dakota including Dewey, Stanley, and Jones are under an extreme fire danger alert due to the low humidity and strong winds.

“The grassland fire danger index will reach the extreme category this afternoon. Extreme weather conditions or a very low moisture content of grasses and other dry organic material on the ground indicate that critical burning conditions exist,” the NWS said. “A fire will start easily and has the potential to become large and spread quickly becoming erratic with extreme behavioral characteristics. No outdoor burning should take place.”

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