3 Big Things Today, January 29
1. Soybeans Modestly Lower on Trade Worries
Soybeans were slightly lower in overnight trading while grains were little changed.
Investors seem skeptical about the ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and China, the second round of which is scheduled for tomorrow and Thursday in Washington.
Despite the continued expectation that Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will make the trip to the U.S. for the two-day talks, U.S. officials have already said they don’t expect a deal to be worked out this week.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said last week that the sides are still “miles and miles” apart as China is reportedly pushing back on some intellectual property issues and the U.S. is still concerned about its increasing trade debt with Beijing.
The U.S. and China have a temporary deal agreed upon by presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping in early December under which Washington has delayed raising tariff rates to 25% from 10% and Beijing agreed to purchase more agricultural products and curb levies on American automobiles.
If an agreement isn’t reached by March 1, the tariffs will go up, and it’s likely China would retaliate with trade barriers of its own.
Soybeans for March delivery fell 2 ½¢ to $9.20 3/4 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal gained 20¢ to $312.40 a short ton and soy oil declined 0.20¢ to 30.10¢ a pound.
Corn rose 3/4¢ to $3.80 ½ a bushel overnight
Wheat for March delivery added 3/4¢ to $5.19 ½ a bushel while Kansas City futures gained 1/4¢ to $5.07 a bushel.
2. Grain, Bean Inspections Decline in Seven Days Through Jan. 24, USDA Says
Inspections of corn, soybeans and wheat for overseas delivery all declined in the seven days that ended on Jan. 24, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Corn assessments last week totaled 893,001 metric tons, the USDA said in a report, one of the few that continued throughout the government shutdown. That’s down from 1.13 million the previous week and 1.01 million during the same week last year.
Examinations of soybeans fell to 929,417 metric tons from 1.13 million tons seven days earlier, the government said. The USDA also inspected 1.13 million tons during the same week in 2018.
Wheat inspections fell to 362,153 metric tons last week, down from 524,942 tons in the week through Jan. 17 and 581,626 during the same period last year, USDA data show.
Since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, the government has inspected 21.5 million metric tons of corn for overseas delivery, up from 13.8 million tons during the same period a year earlier.
Soybean assessments, however, have plunged year-over-year to 20.5 million tons from 33.4 million the previous year, according to the government. The ongoing trade war with China has curbed demand for U.S. supplies.
Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are just behind the year-ago pace. The government has inspected 14.4 million tons for overseas delivery, down from 16.2 million during the same timeframe last year, the USDA said.
3. Wind Chills As Low As Minus-60 Expected Throughout the Day For Much of Upper Midwest
A deep freeze has hit the bulk of the upper Midwest as wind chill warnings are in effect from North Dakota southeast into Missouri and east into Ohio, according to the National Weather Service.
Wind chills in North Dakota will bottom out around minus-60 degrees Fahrenheit today, the NWS said in a report early this morning. Winds are forecast to gust up to 35 miles an hour.
Temperatures that low are life-threatening and can cause frostbite in as little as five minutes, the agency said. Blowing snow will reduce visibility, making travel hazardous.
In parts of Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, wind chills are expected to be around 35 below zero throughout the morning. Winds are expected to be 30 miles an hour sustained throughout the day, which could push chills to around negative-60 by late afternoon, the NWS said.
Further east in northern Indiana, southern Michigan and western Ohio, wind chills are forecast to be around minus-45 degrees today.
“Frostbite can occur quickly and even hypothermia or death if precautions are not taken,” the agency said.