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3 Big Things Today, April 30

Wheat Futures Decline on Conditions; Export Inspections of Corn, Beans Rise Week to Week.

1. Wheat Futures Decline as Crop Conditions Improve

Wheat futures were lower in overnight trading after the winter wheat crop rating improved further in the seven days through Sunday.

Some 64% of the winter crop was in good or excellent condition this week, up from 62% a week earlier, according to the USDA. That’s almost double the 33% that earned top ratings at this time last year.

In Kansas, the biggest grower of winter varieties, 58% of the crop was in good or excellent condition, the USDA said. About 79% of the Oklahoma crop was in top shape.

Mostly favorable weather with plenty of moisture, at least so far, has benefited winter wheat.  

Corn was slightly lower as producers accelerated planting, while soybeans were little changed overnight.

About 15% of the U.S. corn crop was seeded as of Sunday, up from only 6% the previous week. Still, that’s down from the prior five-year average of 27% for this time of year. Three percent was emerged, just behind the average of 5%.

Soybeans were 3% planted, half the average of 6% but up from only 1% the previous week, the USDA said in its report.

Chicago wheat for May delivery fell 4¼¢ to $4.31 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City wheat declined 2¢ to $3.95 a bushel.

Corn futures lost 1¼¢ to $3.660½ a bushel in Chicago.

Soybeans for May delivery rose ½¢ to $8.61¼ a bushel overnight.

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2. Corn, Soybean Export Inspections Improve Week to Week, Wheat Assessments Decline

Inspections of corn and soybeans for export delivery both rose week to week, while wheat assessments declined, according to the USDA.

Government officials inspected 1.37 million metric tons of corn for offshore delivery in the seven days that ended on April 25. That’s up slightly from 1.36 million tons the previous week. Still, that’s down from the 1.48 million tons inspected during the same period last year.

Soybean inspections also rose to 491,600 metric tons from 386,068 tons a week earlier, agency data show. During the same week in 2018, the government inspected 693,507 metric tons of the oilseeds for export.

Wheat inspections, meanwhile, declined week to week to 630,402 metric tons from 819,179 tons, according to the USDA. The total was still up from the 395,209 tons assessed during the same time frame a year earlier.

Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, the government has inspected 34.6 million metric tons of corn for offshore delivery. That’s up from 31.3 million tons during the same period the previous year, the government said.

Soybean inspections, meanwhile, have dropped to 31.5 million metric tons this year from 43.5 million tons the previous year.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 were reported at 21.4 million metric tons, just behind the 21.9 million tons examined for overseas delivery last year, the USDA said.

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3. Flood Watches, Warnings in Effect From Oklahoma to Illinois as More Rain is Expected

A massive flood watch stretching from southern Oklahoma all the way up into northern Illinois is in effect as rain falls and rivers continue to overrun their banks.

In Missouri, where the Missouri River and the Mississippi River are already flooding, several more rounds of moderate to heavy rain are expected, according to the National Weather Service.

“Heavy rains will begin late this evening and continue through early Thursday morning,” the NWS said in a report early this morning. “Rainfall totals of 3 to 5 inches will be possible for some locations, with the heaviest activity expected south of Interstate 70.”

In central Oklahoma, there’s a risk of tornadoes and up to baseball-size hail today, starting at 10 a.m. local time, the agency said. Maximum wind speeds are pegged from 60 to 80 mph. Rainfall is expected to be “excessive,” which may lead to more flooding in the state.

In central Illinois, flood warnings and watches abound as thunderstorms are expected, which will bring locally heavy precipitation and may produce flash flooding. Several rivers in the state are already flooded, and the ground is saturated. More rain will only worsen the problem.   

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