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3 Big Things Today, April 16

Wheat Futures Decline Overnight; Weekly Corn Export Inspections Rise, Soybeans Decline.

1. Wheat Lower Overnight as Crop Conditions Remain High

Wheat futures were lower in overnight trading as the condition of the winter crop continues to be much better than it was last year.

The crop as of April 14 was rated 60% good or excellent, on par with the previous week but easily topping the 31% that earned top ratings at the same time last year, according to the USDA.

In Kansas, the biggest winter-wheat grower, 59% of the hard red crop was rated good or excellent, the USDA said in a report. Only 10% of the state’s crop was poor or very poor.

Some 74% of Oklahoma wheat earned top ratings, while only 3% was poor or very poor.

About 6% of the U.S. winter-wheat crop was headed as of Sunday, down from 9%, on average, in the past five years, the government said.

Wheat futures for May delivery fell 2¾¢ to $4.56¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City wheat lost 3½¢ to $4.30 a bushel.

Soybeans and corn were little changed overnight as negotiations between the U.S. and China drag on without an end date yet set.

The sides have met several times in the past few months to attempt to hammer out a trade deal between the world’s two largest economies.

About 3% of the U.S. corn crop was planted, down from the prior five-year average of 5% for this time of year, but up from 2% the previous week, the USDA said.

Soybeans for May delivery fell 1¢ to $8.97¾ a bushel. Soy meal fell 40¢ to $310.60 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.07¢ to 28.74¢ a pound.

Corn futures declined 1¢ to $3.61¾ a bushel in Chicago.

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2. Export Inspections of Corn Up Week to Week, Soybean Assessments Drop

Export inspections of corn were up week to week, while assessments of soybeans and wheat were lower, according to the USDA.

Corn inspections in the seven days that ended on April 11 totaled 1.18 million metric tons, the government said in a report. That’s up from 1.06 million tons the previous week, but down from the 1.58 million tons during the same week in 2018.

Soybean inspections, meanwhile, plunged week to week to 460,667 metric tons from 888,650 tons the previous week, the agency said. Still, the total was up from 446,455 tons at the same time last year.

Wheat inspections through April 11 were reported at 511,400 metric tons, down from 554,883 tons seven days earlier but up from the 504,956 tons during the same week 12 months earlier, the USDA said in its report.

On an annual basis, inspections of corn for overseas delivery are still up, while soybean and wheat assessments lag the year-earlier pace.

Export inspections of corn since the start of the marketing year on September 1 are now at 31.9 million metric tons, ahead of the 28.1 million tons inspected during the same period a year earlier, the government said.

Soybean assessments since the start of September were reported at 30.6 million metric tons, well behind the year-ago pace of 42.4 million tons.

Inspections of wheat since the grain’s marketing year started on June 1 are now at 19.9 million metric tons, down from 20.9 million tons at this time last year, the USDA said.

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3. Flood Warnings Issued For Red River Along North Dakota-Minnesota Border

Flooding along the North Dakota-Minnesota border is quite pronounced on weather maps this morning, as the Red River is over its banks in several areas.

The river near Fargo was at 29.6 feet as of late Monday, nearing major flood stage of 30 feet, according to the National Weather Service. Water levels will rise to near 32 feet on Saturday before beginning to fall, the NWS said in a report.

At East Grand Forks, the Red River was at 44.8 feet as of late Monday, well above flood stage of 40 feet. The river is expected to top out in the city at 45.2 feet on Saturday before receding, the agency said in its report.

Flooding also continues throughout eastern South Dakota and along the Nebraska-Iowa border as the Missouri River is over its banks in several areas. The Mississippi River is flooding from Iowa south to the Gulf of Mexico.

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