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3 Big Things Today, March 5

Soybeans Slightly Lower Overnight; Corn Export Inspections Higher Week to Week.

1. Soybeans Slightly Lower Overnight on Trade Fatigue

Ongoing trade negotiations between the U.S. and China are dominating headlines again this morning, though investors seem to be suffering from some fatigue as they’ve dragged on longer than expected.

Soybean and corn futures were slightly lower in overnight trading as little new news has come out of Washington or Beijing concerning the talks.

Talks are in the final stages and Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping reportedly meet later this month to finalize an agreement, according to media reports.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Des Moines, Iowa, television station KCCI that the U.S. and China were “on the cusp” of a deal and that he hopes all of the tit-for-tat tariffs the countries have imposed “will go away.”

Still, the talks ran past the March 1 deadline that was set by the White House, and investors can only be optimistic for so long before taking a breather.

Soybeans for March delivery fell 2¼¢ to $9.13¾ a bushel overnight. Soy meal fell $1 to $309.50 a short ton, and soy oil was unchanged at 30.08¢ a pound.

Corn for March delivery declined ¼¢ to $3.74½ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat for March delivery lost 1¾¢ to $4.53¾ a bushel overnight, while Kansas City futures gained ¼¢ to $4.43¼ a bushel.

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2. Corn Inspections Rise Week to Week, While Soybeans, Wheat Decline, USDA Says

Inspections of corn rose in the seven days that ended on February 28, while soybean and wheat assessments declined, according to the USDA.

The government examined 865,617 metric tons of corn for overseas delivery last week, up from 761,656 tons the previous week, though that’s down from 980,045 tons during the same time frame in 2018, the USDA said in a report.

Soybean inspections were reported at 843,925 metric tons, down considerably from the 1.31 million tons in the previous seven days and 1.02 million tons during the same week a year earlier, government data show.

Wheat assessments also declined, falling to 440,314 metric tons last week vs. 767,570 tons the previous week. Still, that’s up from 400,937 tons during the same period last year.

Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, corn inspections are still well ahead of the year-ago pace. The government has examined 25.8 million metric tons of the grain for export this year, up from 19 million tons during the same time frame the previous year, the USDA said.

Soybean assessments are still well behind the year-ago pace, however, as the agency has examined 26 million metric tons for offshore delivery, down from 38.8 million a year earlier.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are now at 17 million tons, just behind the 18.3 million examined during the same period last year, the USDA said.

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3. Wind Chill Advisory in Effect in Parts of Western Nebraska, More Snow on the Way

A wind chill advisory is in effect for much of western Nebraska, while another storm system heads toward the eastern half of the state.

Wind chills in western Nebraska and parts of northern Kansas are expected to be as low as -20˚F., which is actually quite a bit warmer than yesterday, but still potentially dangerous, according to the National Weather Service. The advisory ends at 9 a.m.

Temperatures that low can cause frost bite in as little as 30 minutes, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Another round of snow and ice is forecast for the eastern half of the state as precipitation is expected to start tomorrow and last into Thursday. Another 2 inches of snow are projected on top of what’s already fallen this year.

Farther south, in Kansas, there’s a chance for thunderstorms in the southeastern part of the state starting Friday, the NWS said.

“It’s too early to speculate on the risk for organized severe weather, though at least a few strong storms may be possible,” the agency said.

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