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3 Big Things Today, August 20

Soybeans, Grains Higher Overnight; Weekly Export Inspections of Beans Rise while Corn, Wheat are Lower.

1. Soybeans, Corn Higher Overnight as Crop Conditions Decline

Soybeans and corn were higher in overnight trading after the condition of both crops dropped week to week.

About 53% of the soybean crop was rated good or excellent as of Sunday, down from 54% the previous week and well below 65% at this time last year, according to the USDA.

Ninety percent of the crop was blooming, behind the prior five-year average of 96%, while 68% was setting pods, trailing the normal 85% for this time of year, the USDA said in a report.

The U.S. corn crop was rated 56% good or excellent at the start of the week, down 1 percentage point seven days earlier. At this time in 2018, 68% earned top ratings.

Some 95% of the crop is silking, behind the average of 99% for this time of year, while 55% was in the dough stage, trailing the average of 76%. About 15% of corn was dented as of Sunday, half the normal pace for this time of year, the government said.

The spring wheat crop was 70% good or excellent at the beginning of the week, up from 69% the previous week. About 16% of the crop has been harvested, but that’s well behind the normal 49% for this time of year, the USDA said.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 7¼¢ to $8.73¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained $2.20 to $299.40 a short ton, while soybean oil added 0.22¢ to 29.26¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery gained 3¾¢ to $3.78¼ a bushel.

Wheat for September delivery rose 1¼¢ to $4.73¾ a bushel, while Kansas City futures added 1¼¢ to $4.08 a bushel.

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2. Export Inspections of Beans Jump Week to Week, Grains Decline, USDA Says

Inspections of soybeans jumped week to week while corn and wheat both declined, according to the USDA.

The government inspected 1.16 million metric tons of soybeans for overseas delivery in the seven days that ended on August 15, up from 944,872 tons the previous week, the agency said in a report. That’s also up from the 660,998 tons assessed during the same week in 2018.

Examinations of corn were reported at 510,334 metric tons last week, down from 719,810 tons during the prior seven-day period and well below the 1.1 million tons inspected last year.

Wheat inspections also dropped, declining to 488,905 metric tons from 710,633 tons a week earlier. The total is little changed from the 488,489 tons assessed during the same time frame in 2018, the USDA said.

Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, soybean inspections have plunged 26% from the same time frame a year earlier, government data show.

Corn assessments have dropped to 46.2 million tons this year from 55.1 million at this time in 2018.

Since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1, however, wheat inspections are up.

The government has inspected 5.45 million metric tons so far, up from the 4.34 million tons examined at this time in 2018, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Severe Storms Hitting Central Iowa This Morning, Heat Wave Continues in Southern Midwest             

Severe weather is hammering much of central Iowa this morning with tornado, severe thunderstorm, and flash flood warnings being issued, according to the National Weather Service.

A thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located near Indianola, Iowa, about 17 miles south of Des Moines, the NWS said in a report early this morning. Residents at about 5:40 a.m. local time were advised to move to basements or interior spaces in their homes as the storm hit.

Along with tornadoes, hail totaling less than ¾ inch and winds of 60 mph are likely.

“Torrential rainfall” also is associated with the storm, which could lead to flash flooding, the agency said in its report this morning.

Farther south, a heat wave continues in parts of Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and several other states. Excessive heat warnings and heat advisories have been issued.

In parts of northeastern Oklahoma, heat indexes are expected to be around 110˚F. to 115˚F. today and are expected to only cool slightly on Wednesday, the NWS said.

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