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3 Big Things Today, April 3

Soybeans, Corn Slightly Higher Overnight; Negotiators Reportedly Close to an Agreement.

1. Soybean, Corn Futures Modestly Higher Overnight

Soybeans and corn were modestly higher in overnight trading on optimism about trade talks between the U.S. and China.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is in Washington for yet another round of talks with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The sides are supposedly close to an agreement as the talks enter another round. A U.S. delegation was in Beijing last week for negotiations, which Mnuchin said were “constructive.”

President Donald Trump again threatened to close the U.S.-Mexico border yesterday after earlier seeming to back off his promise to do so.

In a rare clash with the president, Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell said closing the border would have a “potentially catastrophic impact” on the U.S. Still, Trump said security is more important than trade and doubled down on his treat to close the border.

Soybeans for May delivery rose 1¼¢ to $9.01¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained 10¢ to $310.70 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.10¢ to 29.06¢ a pound.

Corn futures rose 2½¢ to $3.64 a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures for May delivery added 5¾¢ to $4.69¾ a bushel overnight, while Kansas City wheat gained 2½¢ to $4.35¾ a bushel.

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2. U.S., China Officials Reportedly Close to Agreement, With a Couple Sticking Points

U.S. and Chinese officials are reportedly close to closing a trade deal, though there are a few items that still need to be ironed out.

The Financial Times said in a story overnight that the sides have reached agreements on most of the issues that were holding up negotiations but still aren’t sure how to implement and enforce the deal, citing people briefed on the talks.

Negotiators including U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He also are reportedly still trying to nail down details on the fate of existing U.S. tariffs on goods from the Asian country and some way for Washington to ensure China keeps its promises, the FT said.

President Donald Trump said last week that the U.S. would remove some tariffs but not all as a way to ensure Beijing complies with its side of the agreement, if one is reached.

Negotiators will meet again this week to try to come to a final agreement.

There’s optimism that the talks will eventually result in a deal. Commodity and stock markets are all higher in early trading Wednesday morning.

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3. Flooding May Get Worse as Rain Forecast in Parts of North Dakota, NWS Says  

Melting snow continues to contribute to river flooding in several parts of the Midwestern U.S.

In eastern North Dakota, flood warnings already in effect may get worse as temperatures warm starting tomorrow, according to the National Weather Service.

“Warmer temperatures late this week will increase the rate of snowmelt in the areas where snow remains,” the NWS said in a report early this morning. “There is a good chance for showers over the area this weekend, possibly even some thunder Saturday night. This will bring more widespread runoff into area rivers and tributaries and cause additional overland flooding.”

Meanwhile, the Missouri and Mississippi rivers continue to overrun their banks throughout Missouri and along the state’s border with Illinois.

The Mississippi River is flooded all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, and more rain is on the way starting tomorrow afternoon in parts of southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana, which could worsen flooding, the agency said.

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