3 Big Things Today, March 12
1. Soybeans, Corn Again Little Changed Overnight
Soybeans and corn were again little changed overnight amid ongoing concerns about the status of a trade deal between the U.S. and China.
Producers, traders and analysts have been left wondering whether an agreement will come to fruition as neither Washington nor Beijing has released much information since talks two weeks ago.
A deal is reportedly in the works, and news agencies have said presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping will meet later this month to discuss. No news has come from the White House nor the U.S. Trade Representative, leaving market-watchers in a state of limbo.
State-run Xinhua News Agency reported that Liu He, China’s vice premier, and U.S. negotiators are working on the next step on the negotiations. The company said Liu, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed on a phone call the wording of a proposed agreement.
Soybeans for March delivery rose 3/4¢ to $8.90 3/4 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal fell 10¢ to $301.20 a short ton and soy oil added 0.08¢ to 29.72¢ a pound.
Corn for March delivery rose 1 1/4¢ to $3.63 ¼ a bushel in Chicago.
Wheat for March delivery gained 4 1/4¢ to $4.32 ¾ a bushel overnight while Kansas City futures added 3 3/4¢ to $4.24 a bushel.
2. Corn Inspections Decline Week-to-Week, Soybean, Wheat Increase, USDA Says
Export inspections for corn fell week-to-week while examinations of soybeans and wheat increased, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Corn assessments fell to 765,618 metric tons in the seven days that ended on March 7, the USDA said in a report. That’s down from 865,617 tons the previous week and 1.38 million tons in the same week in 2018.
Soybean inspections, however, rose to 874,363 metric tons from 848,357 tons the prior week and 930,222 a year earlier, government data show.
Wheat examinations jumped to 592,001 metric tons, up from 488,829 tons, the USDA said. A year earlier, the agency inspected 428,815 tons for overseas delivery.
Inspections of corn since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1 are at 26.6 million metric tons, still well ahead of the year-earlier pace of 20.4 million tons, the government said. Soybean assessments at 26.8 million tons, however, are still well below last year’s pace of 39.7 million tons.
Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are at 17.6 million tons, just behind the year-earlier total at this time of 18.7 million tons, according to the USDA.
3. Weather Activity Strong as Flood Watches, Blizzard Warnings in Effect in Central U.S.
The weather maps are lit up this morning with flood watches, high-wind watches and blizzard warnings throughout the U.S.
A blizzard warning is in effect for eastern Wyoming, the Nebraska panhandle and much of southwestern South Dakota, according to the National Weather Service. A “potent” storm will move into the area starting tomorrow, the NWS said in a report early this morning.
“This system will produce heavy snow, strong winds, and some freezing rain,” the agency said. “Strong winds gusting over 60 mph and heavy snow will create blizzard conditions on much of the western South Dakota plains. Snowfall amounts 18-24 inches will be possible under the main band of snow, which will setup over parts of the western South Dakota plains. With winds expected to gust to 60-70 miles per hour, travel will become impossible.”
In eastern Nebraska, as much as 17 inches of snow is expected along with ice accumulations of up to two-tenths of an inch. Winds are pegged at about 55 miles an hour, causing white-out conditions.
Much of eastern Nebraska, the western two-thirds of Kansas, much of eastern Nebraska, almost all of Iowa and parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin are all under a flood watch this morning due to melting snow and thunderstorms, the NWS said.
In the southern Plains, high wind watches are in effect as wind gusts starting tomorrow are expected to be around 65 miles an hour, the NWS said.