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3 Big Things Today, May 15

Soybeans, Grains Jump Overnight; Australia to Import Wheat First Time in 12 Years.

1. Soybeans, Grains Again Jump Overnight on Trade

Soybeans were again up double digits overnight after President Donald Trump backed off his hardline stance on trade, saying a deal with China will be made and that the ongoing dispute with the Asian nation is a “little squabble.”

It a tweet yesterday, the president said a deal will be made “when the time is right” and reiterated that it will be a “great deal” for the U.S.

Washington has increased tariffs on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25% from the prior level of 10%. Beijing retaliated, putting additional levies on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods, including some agricultural products.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said during a speech that there was no reason for the countries to “clash with each other.” An editorial posted by the state-run Xinhua News Agency said China was fighting to defend its rights and interests, calling it a “people’s war.”

Still, traders have become more optimistic that a deal will eventually be reached, pushing crop futures higher Tuesday and overnight Wednesday after Monday’s big selloff.

Soybeans for May delivery jumped 12¢ to $8.42¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained $4.80 to $302.80 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.25¢ to 27.25¢ a pound.

Corn futures for May delivery rose 8¢ to $3.76¾ a bushel overnight.

Chicago wheat for May delivery gained 5¾¢ to $4.54¼ a bushel, while Kansas City wheat added 6¼¢ to $4.15 a bushel.

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2. Australia Will Import Foreign Grain First Time Since 2007 After Drought Devastated Crop

Australia will import foreign grain for the first time in more than a decade after a drought devastated the country’s wheat crop.

The country will import wheat from Canada with arrival expected in eight weeks as its winter crop output dropped 20%, according to a report by the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Wheat processer Manildra Group said high-protein wheat is in short supply “due to the worst drought in 116 years,” the report said. This marks the first grain imports for Australia since 2007.

“An Australian importer has been issued a permit to import bulk wheat from Canada,” the country’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources said in a statement. The department “issued the permit for a single shipment of bulk wheat, subject to strict conditions to manage any biosecurity risk.”

The conditions attached to the permit require the grain be sourced from areas that have a low biosecurity risk and impose “strict” controls over movement, storage, and processing once it arrives in Australia, the government said.

The USDA said in a report earlier this month that it pegs Australian production at 17.3 million metric tons in the 2018-2019 marketing year. That’s down from 21.3 million the previous year.

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3. Flooding Continues Along Missouri, Mississippi Rivers With More Rain Expected South

Flooding continues to be a problem along major waterways in the U.S. as the Missouri River and the Mississippi River both continue to flood along with several smaller rivers and streams.

Flood warnings are still in effect along the Nebraska-Iowa border and throughout Missouri as the Missouri River continues to overrun its banks, according to the National Weather Service.

At St. Joseph, Missouri, the river was at 20.1 feet on Tuesday, still above flood stage of 17 feet, the NWS said in a report. The good news is that the river is expected to drop to 20 feet today and continue falling.  

The Mississippi River also is above flood stage from northern Missouri all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Thunderstorms, some strong, are expected today and tonight along the Arkansas-Tennessee border, which could exacerbate flooding, the NWS said.

At Tunica Park, the river is at 46 feet and rising. Flood stage is 41 feet, the agency said.

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