3 Big Things Today, April 2
1. Soybean, Corn Futures Little Changed Overnight
Soybeans and corn were little changed overnight as traders again focus on international trade.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is reportedly in Washington to continue high-level trade talks with his U.S. counterparts Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The sides have been negotiating for months in a bid to end tariffs they have on the others’ goods.
Little news has come from the talks, but progress is reportedly being made. A U.S. delegation was in Beijing last week for negotiations, which Mnuchin said were “constructive.”
President Donald Trump has threatened to close the U.S. border with Mexico unless the country does something to stop illegal immigration into the U.S., which also could have an effect on trade. Mexico is the biggest importer of U.S. corn and third-largest buyer of soybeans.
It’s not yet known how serious Trump is about closing the border.
Soybeans for May delivery rose 2¢ to $8.97½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained 70¢ to $310.10 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.14¢ to 28.71¢ a pound.
Corn futures fell ¼¢ to $3.61½ a bushel in Chicago.
Wheat futures for May delivery dropped 2¼¢ to $4.60½ a bushel overnight, while Kansas City wheat lost 4¢ to $4.30½ a bushel.
2. Corn, Wheat Inspections Rise in Week Through March 28, Soybean Assessments Decline
Inspections of corn and wheat for overseas delivery rose in the week that ended on March 28 while soybeans declined, according to the USDA.
Corn assessments rose to 1.26 million metric tons last week, the USDA said in a report. That’s up from 996,165 tons seven days earlier, but still down from 1.45 million tons the same week a year earlier.
Examinations of wheat for offshore delivery rose to 418,424 metric tons from 384,943 tons the previous week, government data show. Still, that’s down from the 424,880 tons inspected during the same week in 2018.
Soybean inspections were reported at 730,806 metric tons last week, down from 859,708 tons the previous week but up from the 583,586 tons inspected the same week last year.
Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, the government has inspected 29.7 million metric tons of corn for overseas delivery. That’s up from the 24.6 million tons inspected during the same period a year earlier.
Soybean inspections since September 1 are now at 29.3 million tons, still well behind the year-earlier total of 41.5 million tons for the same time frame last year.
Wheat assessments since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 totaled 18.8 million metric tons, down from 19.9 million at this time last year, the USDA said.
3. Late Snow Falling in Iowa Through This Morning, Flooding Continues in Missouri
A band of “moderate” rain is falling in central Iowa this morning, while some snow is included in the precipitation in Adair, Guthrie, and Greene counties, according to the National Weather Service.
Light snow also is falling in some northern Iowa counties this morning, the NWS said in a report released at about 4 a.m.
“If traveling this morning, be aware that you may encounter a brief period of wet, heavy snow within the band of heavier rain showers moving over portions of central Iowa” through about 7 a.m. CDT, the agency said. “As the area of precipitation moves east along the I-35 corridor, temperatures may remain just warm enough to keep most of the precipitation as rain. Be extra cautious if snow that reduces visibility is encountered early today.”
In Missouri, meanwhile, runoff and snowmelt from farther north have kept the Missouri River and the Mississippi River flooded.
More precipitation in some areas could exacerbate the flooding. The Mississippi River at St. Louis was at 37.6 feet as of yesterday evening. Flood stage is at 30 feet. The river will crest at about 38 feet in the next 24 hours, the NWS said.