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3 Big Things Today, January 14, 2020

Wheat Futures Higher Overnight; Weekly Export Inspections of Soybeans Increase.

1. Wheat Futures Higher on China, Egypt Optimism

Wheat futures were higher in overnight trading amid optimism about the signing of the Phase One trade deal with China and as Egypt prepares to announced the results of its tender.

The trade agreement between the U.S. and China is scheduled to be signed tomorrow in Washington. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, who was instrumental in hammering out the deal, will lead a delegation to the U.S.

The deal will partially end the trade war between the countries that’s already lasted more than 18 months.

Egypt, meanwhile, said Monday it wants to buy cargoes of 55,000 to 60,000 metric tons of soft wheat for shipment in March.

The results are due out today, and the North African nation’s General Authority for Supply Commodities said on its website that it’s seeking U.S. northern Pacific soft white wheat, U.S. soft red winter wheat, U.S. hard wheat or Canadian soft wheat.

GASC also may turn to French, Bulgarian, Australian, Polish, German, or UK wheat, the agency said.

Wheat futures for March delivery rose 4¾¢ to $5.67 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City futures added 3¾¢ to $4.96½ a bushel.

Soybean futures for March delivery fell ¼¢ to $9.42 a bushel. Soy meal futures added $1.60 to $305.40 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.39¢ to 33.56¢ a pound.

Corn futures for March delivery were unchanged at $3.89½ a bushel.

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2. Soybean, Wheat Inspections Rise Week to Week, Corn Assessments Decline

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

Soybean inspections in the seven days through January 9 were reported at 1.14 million metric tons, up from 1.04 million a week earlier, the agency said in a report. The total also was higher than the 1.1 million tons examined during the same week in 2019.

Wheat assessments improved to 473,960 metric tons last week from 420,653 tons the previous week, the government said. That was, however, down from the 550,798 tons assessed at the same point last year.

Corn inspections, meanwhile, dropped to 460,307 metric tons from 550,930 tons the prior week, the USDA said. Last week’s total was a drastic decline from the 1 million tons examined for offshore delivery during the same week in 2019.

Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, the government has inspected 9.06 million metric tons of corn for overseas delivery. That’s less than half the 19.5 million tons examined during the same period a year earlier.

Soybean assessments since the start of September now stand at 23 million metric tons, up from 18.4 million at this point last year.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 now total 15.4 million metric tons, up from the 13. 5 million assessed at this point a year earlier, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Snow, Freezing Drizzle Expected to End in Minnesota as Another Storm Bears Down

Snow and freezing drizzle will end in parts of northern Minnesota this morning, though hazardous travel is expected for much of the region, according to the National Weather Service.

More snow is expected starting early tomorrow morning in northern Minnesota, which likely will spread northward throughout the day. As much as another 5 inches of snow are expected to fall in the area, the NWS said in a report early this morning.  

Fog is a problem for a wide chunk of the U.S. stretching from the Mexican border north into southeastern Nebraska, weather maps show.

In the eastern half of Kansas and northern Oklahoma, visibility is expected to drop to less than a quarter mile, the agency said.

“In central Kansas, slick roads and highways are possible early this morning, especially on elevated surfaces,” the NWS said.

The combination of fog and slick roads could made travel dangerous.

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