3 Big Things Today, August 27

Soybeans, Grains Lower Overnight; Export Inspections of Corn Rise Week to Week.

1. Soybeans, Grains Lower Overnight on Trade Skepticism

Soybeans and grains were lower in overnight trading as optimism about trade talks between the U.S. and China were met with skepticism after more than a year of failed negotiations.

Prices improved yesterday after President Trump said at the G-7 summit over the weekend that China wanted to sit down to continue work on a trade deal. He said China called twice, but Chinese officials denied any knowledge of the calls, according to several media reports.

China’s currency, the yuan, dropped to the lowest level in 11 years on Tuesday.

Prices also may be down after the USDA said corn and soybean ratings improved week to week.

Some 57% of the domestic corn crop was rated good or excellent as of Sunday, up from 56% the previous week, the USDA said.

Seventy-one percent was in the dough stage, while only 27% was dented at the start of the week. Those figures are well below the prior five-year averages of 87% and 46%, respectively.  

About 55% of the soybean crop earned top ratings, up from 53% a week earlier, the government said.

Ninety-four percent of the crop was blooming, behind the average of 99% for this time of year, and 79% are setting pods, trailing the normal 91%.

About 38% of the spring wheat crop was harvested, well behind the average of 65% for this time of year, the agency said.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 7¼¢ to $8.60 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal lost $2.10 to $296.50 a short ton, while soybean oil declined 0.20¢ to 28.49¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery fell ¼¢ to $3.68 a bushel.

Wheat for September delivery lost ¾¢ to $4.74½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures dropped 1¼¢ to $4.00¾ a bushel.

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2. Corn Inspections Rise Week to Week, While Beans, Wheat Assessments Decline

Inspections of corn for export to overseas buyers increased week to week, while soybean and wheat assessments declined, the USDA said.

Corn inspections in the seven days that ended on August 22 totaled 639,154 metric tons, up from 510,334 tons the previous week. Still, the total was down from the 1.26 million tons assessed during the same week in 2018, government data show.

Examinations of soybeans for offshore delivery, meanwhile, fell to 961,964 metric tons from 1.16 million in the prior week. The figure was up from the 907,945 tons inspected at the same time last year.

Wheat inspections declined week to week to 492,998 metric tons from 564,632 tons, the USDA said. Last week’s total was mostly unchanged from the 499,927 tons inspected during the same time frame a year earlier.

Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, the government has inspected 46.8 million metric tons of corn for offshore delivery. That’s down considerably from the 56.4 million tons assessed during the same period in the prior year.

Soybean inspections since the start of the marketing year are now at 44.4 million metric tons, well below the 55.5 million tons examined during the same period a year earlier.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are at 6.01 million metric tons, up from 4.85 million tons at this point last year, the USDA said.

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3. Thunderstorms Rolling Across Eastern Oklahoma, Flooding Forecast in Nebraska, Kansas

Eastern Oklahoma can’t seem to catch a break this year, as severe thunderstorms are moving across the area this morning.

“Strong thunderstorms will continue to move across far southeast Oklahoma early this morning, with a few marginally severe wind gusts possible,” the National Weather Service said in an early report.

Storms will continue tonight, and while the threat of severe weather will be limited, some excessive rainfall is possible, the NWS said.

In central Nebraska and central Kansas, meanwhile, flood warnings and advisories remain in effect due to heavy rain in the past week.

The good news is that little to no additional rain is in the forecast until at least Thursday night, “which should allow water levels to recede significantly between now and then,” the agency said.

Still, minor flooding will continue in parts of the region through today or tomorrow, and chances for more storms return between Thursday evening and Saturday morning.

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