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3 Big Things Today, April 23

Grains, Beans Little Changed Overnight; Export Inspections of Corn Rises, Beans Decline.

1. Grains, Soybeans Little Changed After Progress Report

Grains and soybeans were little changed in overnight trading as corn planting accelerated but was still well behind the average pace for this time of year.

The U.S. corn crop was 6% seeded as of Sunday, up from only 3% last week but still well behind the prior five-year average off 12%, according to the USDA.

Just 1% of the soybean crop was in the ground, slightly behind the average of 2% for this time of year, the USDA said.

Planting has started in only a few states, led by Louisiana and Mississippi, where 16% of the soybean crop has been seeded; 6% was in the ground in Arkansas and 1% was planted in Kentucky and Tennessee, the government said.

Wheat is a mixed bag with only 5% of the spring crop planted as of April 21, well behind the five-year average of 22% for this time of year. Excessive snow and rainfall in the Northern Plains has kept farmers out of fields.

The hard red winter wheat crop, meanwhile, improved on its already-lofty rating. Some 62% of the crop was rated good or excellent, up from 60% a week earlier. Last year at this time, 31% had earned top ratings, according to the USDA.

Corn futures fell ¾¢ to $3.54 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybeans for May delivery dropped ¾¢ to $8.76¼ a bushel overnight.

Chicago wheat for May delivery rose 1¼¢ to $4.43 a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City wheat declined ¾¢ to $4.17½ a bushel.

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2. Corn, Wheat Inspections Rise Week to Week, Soybean Assessments Decline

Inspections of corn and wheat for overseas delivery rose week to week, while soybean assessments declined, according to the USDA.

The USDA examined 1.35 million metric tons of corn for export in the seven days that ended on April 18, up from 1.18 million the previous week. The total, however, is down from the 1.74 million tons inspected during the same time frame last year.

Wheat inspections jumped to 811,130 metric tons from 528,714 tons the prior week, the government said. That’s also up from the 636,731 tons assessed during the same week in 2018.

Soybean assessments, meanwhile, declined to 382,298 metric tons from 476,224 tons. Last week’s total also was down from the 472,335 tons inspected during the same period last year.

Since the start of the marketing year for corn on September 1, the government has inspected 33.3 million metric tons for overseas delivery. That’s up from 29.8 million tons during the same time frame a year earlier, the USDA said.

Soybean inspections so far in the marketing year are at 31 million metric tons, down sharply from the 42.8 million tons examined during the year-ago period.

Wheat examinations since the beginning of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 totaled 20.7 million metric tons, down from 21.5 million tons at the same point last year, according to the government.

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3. Storms, Some Turning Severe, Forecast For Parts of Texas, Oklahoma Tuesday

Storms are expected in the Texas Panhandle and much of central and eastern Oklahoma into Kansas today, according to the National Weather Service.

Nonsevere storms are hitting the region this morning and will continue into the afternoon with heavy rainfall being the main concern, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

A marginal risk of severe storms exists later this afternoon, while additional stronger storms are forecast to develop into the evening in north-central Texas, the agency said.

“Hail up to the size of golf balls and wind gusts to 65 mph will be possible during the evening,” the NWS said.

A flood watch is in effect for several counties in central Oklahoma due to excessive rain. Three to 6 inches of rain fell overnight in the area, and some locations could see another 2 inches this morning, the NWS said.

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