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3 Big Things Today, June 26

Grains, Beans Lower Overnight; Mnuchin Says China Trade Deal 90% Complete.

1. Grains, Soybeans Lower Overnight Ahead of USDA Reports

Grains and soybeans were slightly lower overnight ahead of the Quarterly Grain Stocks Report and the Planted Acreage Report that are due out Friday.

Analysts polled by Reuters have pegged corn stockpiles on June 1 at 5.33 billion bushels, up from 5.31 billion bushels a year earlier, and soybean inventories at 1.861 billion bushels, up considerably from the 1.22 billion in storage last year.

Wheat stocks at the start of the month are expected to be reported at 1.1 billion bushels, unchanged from the year-earlier level, Reuters said.

The USDA is expected to release its acreage estimates, as wel, with analysts expecting corn area at about 86.7 million acres, well below the June World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates figure earlier this month.

Soybean acres are seen at 84.3 million, and all wheat plantings are forecast around 45.7 million acres, Reuters said in its estimates.

Soybeans for May delivery fell 3¼¢ to $9.00¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal decline $1.30 to $314.40 a short ton, while soy oil rose 0.04¢ to 28.04¢ a pound.

Corn futures for May delivery were down 3¼¢ to $4.54¼ a bushel overnight.

Wheat for May delivery lost 3¾¢ to $5.36¼ a bushel overnight, while Kansas City wheat declined 4¢ to $4.74¼ a bushel.

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2. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Says Deal With China 90% Complete as G-20 Meeting Nears

Could a trade deal with China be signed by the end of the week?

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on CNBC that the U.S. is “90% of the way there,” referring to a completed trade deal with the Asian nation.

He made the comments in Bahrain on Wednesday, ahead of the Group of 20 meeting between presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping of China. The presidents will meet after teams from both countries – the world’s two largest economies – have reportedly been talking.

Talks have dragged on for months, with Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lightizer traveling often to Beijing for top-level talks and their Chinese counterparts including Vice Premier Liu He making his way to Washington.

Negotiations broke down last month after the U.S. accused China of reneging on commitments it had already made, an accusation that Beijing denies.

Trump has said if a deal isn’t made soon, he would increase tariffs on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese goods on top of the $250 billion on which he’s already raised levies.

Despite the encouraging words from Mnuchin, CNBC reported that there’s been no breakthrough yet, but there are hopes that ongoing discussions and the meeting between the presidents will ultimately result in an agreement.

About two thirds of investors surveyed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch said they don’t believe a deal will be made this weekend.

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3. Severe Thunderstorms Rolling Through Eastern Nebraska, Headed to Western Iowa Today

Severe thunderstorm warnings are in effect for parts of eastern Nebraska this morning as strong wind gusts, precipitation, and hail in some areas move through the area, according to the National Weather Service.

The storms are moving southeast but also brought wind gusts of up to 60 mph in some areas along with nickel-size hail, the NWS said in a report early this morning.  

The storms will continue into parts of southwestern Iowa this morning with the strong winds and hail continuing. Further flooding is expected along the Missouri River due to the storm.

More thunderstorms are expected Wednesday into Thursday in the area, the agency said.

Farther east, storms also are expected today and tonight in parts of northern Illinois and Indiana. Some of the storms could produce strong winds and hail, the NWS said.

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