3 Big Things Today, March 26
1. Wheat Futures Rise Overnight on Weather Worries
Wheat futures were higher overnight as flooding continues in parts of soft red winter country and a blanket of snow still covers much of North Dakota.
In soft red winter country, some parts of Missouri, Arkansas, and Illinois are facing floods that could hurt production of the grain.
Snow still on the ground in North Dakota may mean delayed planting in the biggest producer of spring wheat.
Soybeans and corn futures, meanwhile, remained little changed overnight as traders await news on U.S.-China trade negotiations. The Department of Agriculture on Friday reported sales of 300,000 metric tons of corn to China, the biggest purchase of the grain in more than five years, Reuters reported.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are scheduled to travel to Beijing for further trade talks on Thursday.
Wheat futures for May delivery rose 3¢ to $4.72½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City wheat gained ½¢ to $4.49¾ a bushel.
Corn futures added ¼¢ to $3.80 a bushel overnight.
Soybeans fell ¾¢ to $9.05¾ a bushel in Chicago. Soy meal gained 10¢ to $315.20 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.03¢ to 28.79¢ a pound.
2. Corn, Soybean Inspections Higher Week to Week, Wheat Assessments Decline
Inspections of corn and soybeans for overseas delivery rose week to week, while wheat assessments declined, according to the USDA.
The government said it inspected 995,997 metric tons of corn for delivery to offshore buyers in the week that ended on March 21, up from 803,213 tons the previous seven days. That’s still down from the 1.33 million tons examined during the same week in 2018.
Soybean assessments last week totaled 857,970 metric tons, the USDA said. That’s up from 849,700 tons the previous week and 710,004 tons at the same time last year.
Wheat inspections for overseas delivery fell to 340,398 metric tons from 385,119 tons a week earlier and 343,772 tons at the same time in 2018, government data show.
Since the start of its marketing year on Sepember 1, the USDA has inspected 28.4 million metric tons of corn for export. That’s up from 23.1 million tons during the same period a year earlier. Soybean inspections, however, are at 28.6 million tons, well behind the 40.9 million examined in the same time frame last year.
Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 now stand at about 18.3 million metric tons, trailing the 19.5 million tons during the same period last year, the USDA said.
3. Floods in South Dakota, More Rain Possible in Parts of Nebraska, Iowa This Week
Ice breakup along several rivers including the Moreau, White, and Cheyenne in western South Dakota has led to flood warnings being issued in several counties in the region, according to the National Weather Service.
“Warmer temperatures today and Wednesday will lead to further snowmelt and ice breakup, allowing flooding to continue through most of the week,” the NWS said in a report early this morning. “Ice jams may lead to fluctuating river levels during that time.”
The White River at Oacoma, South Dakota, was at 20 feet as of early Tuesday morning, well above flood stage of 15 feet, the agency said. The Cheyenne River near Plainview was at 17.1 feet as of yesterday evening, just above flood stage of 17 feet.
In eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, meanwhile, the NWS is tracking a storm system that could bring “several rounds” of rainfall to the region, where dozens of towns and farms were under water and flooding continues. As much as 3 inches of precipitation are possible starting Thursday and lasting through Sunday.
“This rainfall could aggravate current Missouri River flooding issues,” the agency said.