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3 Big Things Today, June 5

Grains, Beans Plunge Overnight; Chinese Companies Begin to Apply For Tariff Waivers.

1. Grains, Beans Plunge Overnight on Trade Worries

Grains and soybeans plunged in overnight trading as trade concerns overshadow planting delays and as some investors who had bet on higher prices sell contracts and book profits.

President Donald Trump said during his trip to London that new tariffs will indeed start next week unless Mexico assures him that it will stem the tide of immigrants to the U.S. border.

While ongoing wet weather that’s kept planters from running has given prices a boost, investors and hedgers have kept one eye on the ongoing trade wars between the U.S. and Mexico and the U.S. and China.

Republican leaders have said they don’t want tariffs, but Trump said it would be “foolish” of party leadership to try to block any increase in levies. Tariffs will start at 5% next week and increase to 25% by October if a deal isn’t reached.

China President Xi Jinping, meanwhile, will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin as part of a state visit this week. The countries’ leaders are expected to have high-level talks during the three-day visit, according to media reports.

Corn futures for May delivery fell 8¼¢ to $4.17 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybeans for May delivery lost 5¼¢ to $8.76½ a bushel. Soy meal dropped $2.90 to $318.10 a short ton, and soy oil rose 0.02¢ to 27.51¢ a pound.

Wheat for May delivery plunged 13¢ to $4.94¼ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City wheat lost 16½¢ to $4.52 a bushel.

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2. Chinese Companies to Apply For Tariff Waivers on Ag Items, Xi Set to Visit Putin

Chinese companies said they will apply for tariff waivers on several agriculture items from the U.S.  

Businesses said they want waivers for more than 700 items including beef, pork, soybeans, coal, and copper scrap, according to Reuters.

China put levies on more than $50 billion worth of U.S. goods after the latter imposed tariffs on $200 billion in goods from the Asian nation.

Those seeking waivers have until July 5 to apply. A second round of waiver applications is expected to open on September 2, which will cover the $60 billion worth of goods on which tariffs were imposed last year, Reuters reported.

"Applicants must be interested parties of imports in China, including importers, consumers, and industrial associations, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping is cozying up to Russia’s Vladimir Putin as trade tensions between the U.S. and China escalate. Xi travels to Moscow today for a three-day state visit that includes high-level talks.

Xi told Russian news agency TASS that he wants to build a relationship with Putin and see that the countries’ “comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination will stride into a new era.”

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3. Severe Weather Expected in Ohio River Valley, Southern Plains

Severe storms are forecast for the Ohio River Valley and Southern Plains today and tomorrow, according to the National Weather Service, which likely will further delay planting in the areas.

Moisture is moving up from the Gulf of Mexico, bringing rainfall to parts of the Southern Plains, the NWS said in a report. Up to 7 inches of rain are expected in east Texas, while severe weather and “excessive rainfall” are forecast into Oklahoma on Thursday.

In the Ohio Valley, heavy rain and severe weather are expected today as a cold front moves into the area.

Flash flood warnings have been issued in parts of Iowa and Illinois along the Mississippi River, and flood warnings are in effect from Iowa to the Gulf of Mexico. Flooding continues to be a problem on the Missouri River between Iowa and Nebraska all the way through Missouri, according to NWS maps.

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