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3 Big Things Today, March 27

Soybeans Lower Overnight; Quarterly Grain Stocks, Prospective Plantings Reports Due Friday

1. Soybeans Slightly Lower Overnight as Trade Talks Continue

Soybean futures were slightly lower in overnight trading as the ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and China continue.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are headed to Beijing for high-level negotiations starting tomorrow. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is scheduled to visit Washington next week.

The good news is that the talks the next two weeks are an indication that the world’s two largest economies are attempting to hammer out an elusive trade deal. The bad news is the amount of time the negotiations have gone on has left some market-watchers wary of when and what sort of deal will be made.

Little news has come out of either camp. President Donald Trump said yesterday that he won’t settle for less than an “excellent deal,” according to Bloomberg News, citing Senator. Marco Rubio, who attended a briefing with the president.

Soybeans fell 2¢ to $8.98¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal lost $1.40¢ to $309.60 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.06¢ to 28.71¢ a pound.

Corn futures for May delivery lost 1½¢ to $3.75¾ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures rose ½¢ to $4.69 ¾ a bushel overnight, while Kansas City wheat added ½¢ to $4.43¾ a bushel.

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2. Quarterly Grain Stocks, Prospective Planting Reports Due Friday From USDA

The quarterly grain stocks report and prospective planting numbers are scheduled to be released Friday, the USDA said.

Analysts said they expect corn stocks in all positions on March 1 to be reported at 8.34 billion bushels, according to a Reuters survey, down from 8.89 billion at the same point last year.

Soybean inventories are pegged at 2.68 billion bushels, the survey said, up from 2.11 billion at the beginning of March 2018. Wheat stockpiles are forecast at 1.56 billion bushels, up from 1.49 billion bushels at the same time last year.

The March 1 stocks report will not factor in losses from the flooding in the Midwest that’s occurred since the start of the month.  

The Prospective Plantings Report is expected to show growers will plant 91.332 million acres with corn this year, which would be up from 89.129 million last year, according to the USDA.

Soybean seedings are seen at 86.169 million acres, the Reuters survey said, well below the 89.196 million put in the ground last year.

Wheat area is pegged at 46.915 million acres, the survey said. That’s down slightly from the 47.8 million producers planted last year, government data show.

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3. Missouri Bearing Brunt of Snow Melt, Heavy Rainfall Upstream; Major Rivers Flooded

Missouri is now bearing the brunt of flooding, as major rivers in the Show Me state continue to overrun their banks, according to the National Weather Service.

Flood warnings are in effect for the Mississippi River in several locations including LaGrange, Hannibal, and St. Louis, the NWS said in a report. More rain is now in the forecast.

“The flood warning is a result of upstream snow melt and heavy rainfall across the basin over the past few weeks,” the agency said. “Up to ¼ inch in additional precipitation is forecast over the next 48 hours.”

Precipitation beyond what’s forecast could cause river levels to rise further, according to the report.

The Missouri River also is flooding in several spots including St. Joseph, Leavenworth, and Kansas City, the NWS said.

At St. Joseph, the river was at 26.1 feet as of late Tuesday evening, well above flood stage of 17 feet, the agency said. The river will fall to 24.4 feet by Thursday morning.

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