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3 Big Things Today, June 18

Wheat Futures Plunge in Overnight Trading; Export Inspections Lower Across the Board.

1. Wheat Futures Decline Overnight on Lofty Crop Ratings

Wheat futures declined overnight amid lofty crop rankings, while corn and beans also were lower.

Some 64% of the winter wheat crop in the U.S. was rated good or excellent as of Sunday, unchanged from the previous week but up from the 39% that received top ratings a year earlier, according to the USDA.

Only 8% of the crop was harvested, down from the prior five-year average of 20% for this time of year, the USDA said in a report.

Spring wheat in the Northern Plains, meanwhile, was 77% good or excellent. While that’s a lofty number, it’s down from 81% the previous week and 78% at the same time last year, the report said. Only 2% of the crop has emerged from the ground, behind the average of 12%.

Corn growers were 92% finished with planting as of Sunday, the USDA said. Normally they’re finished putting crops in the ground by now. Of what is planted, 59% is in good or excellent condition, down from 78% last year.

Soybeans were 77% planted as of Sunday, down from the previous average of 93%.

More rain is expected in much of the Midwest this week, which along with rainfall the past several months has market-watchers worried about the size of this year’s corn and soybean crops.

Wheat for May delivery fell 12¢ to $5.27½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City wheat dropped 13¼¢ to $4.74¼ a bushel.

Corn futures for May delivery lost 7¾¢ to $4.47 a bushel overnight.

Soybeans for May delivery declined 1½¢ to $9.11¼ a bushel overnight. Soy meal fell $1 to $323.30 a short ton, while soy oil gained 0.11¢ to 28.25¢ a pound.

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2. Grain, Bean Inspections All Drop in Seven Days Through June 13, USDA Says

Inspections of corn, soybeans, and wheat for overseas delivery all declined week to week in the seven days that ended on June 13, according to the USDA.

Corn assessments last week totaled 653,875 metric tons, down from 851,765 tons the previous week and well below the 1.68 million tons recorded during the same time frame in 2018.

Soybean inspections declined to 675,302 metric tons from 734,074 tons a week earlier and 818,837 tons during the same week a year earlier, the government said in a report.

Examinations of wheat were reported at 375,365 metric tons last week, down from 476,290 tons in the prior seven-day period but just ahead of the 374,340 tons assessed during the same period in 2018, the USDA said.

Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, the government has inspected 40.8 million metric tons of corn for overseas delivery. That’s down from the 42.7 million tons examined during the same time frame the previous year.

Soybean inspections are well behind the previous year at 35.6 million metric tons from 48.3 million tons a year earlier.

Since the start of wheat’s marketing year on June 1, the government has inspected 797,378 metric tons for delivery to offshore buyers, just ahead of the 793,929 tons assessed at this time last year, the USDA said.

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3. Flood Warnings, Flash Flood Watches in Effect in Indiana, Illinois, Much of Southern Nebraska

Flood warnings and flash flood watches abound in a stretch of land from southern Illinois and southern Indiana all the way to the East Coast, according to the National Weather Service.

In parts of southern Illinois and almost all of southern Indiana, heavy rain is falling this morning, the NWS said in a report. With the ground already completely saturated, runoff is expected, which will lead to more flooding in the region.

A flash flood watch is in effect for much of the state of Indiana. Thunderstorms are likely each day this week with heavy rainfall through Thursday.

“Repeated rounds of rainfall, heavy at times, could lead to moderate widespread flooding this week,” the NWS said.

Most of southern Nebraska and parts of southwestern Iowa also are under a flood watch, as periods of heavy rain through Wednesday morning are in the forecast. Up to 3 inches of rain are expected with locally higher amounts possible.

Heavy rain could lead to more flooding in urban areas, low-lying fields, and along creeks and rivers, the NWS said.

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