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3 Big Things Today, May 3

Grains, Soybeans Little Changed Overnight; Export Sales of Corn, Beans, Wheat Drop Week to Week.

1. Grains, Beans Little Changed as Trade Talks Continue

Grains and soybeans were little changed overnight as market-watchers continue to wait for news on a trade agreement between the U.S. and China.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President said it’s likely that the talks will end without some U.S. goals met – mostly on eliminating subsidies.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Commerce Secretary Steven Mnuchin returned to Washington after being in Beijing for high-level talks this week. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will arrive in the U.S. on Wednesday to further negotiations.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement this week that discussions are focused on “important structural issues” and balancing the trade relationship between the world’s two largest economies.

Corn futures for May delivery rose ½¢ to $3.71 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybeans for May delivery gained 1¾¢ to $8.45 a bushel overnight.

Chicago wheat for May delivery fell ¾¢ to $4.43¼ a bushel, while Kansas City wheat added ¾¢ to $4.05¾ a bushel.

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2. Corn, Bean Export Sales Drop Week to Week, Wheat Falls to Marketing-Year Low

Export sales of corn and soybeans plunged week to week, while wheat hit a marketing-year low, according to the USDA.

Corn sales in the seven days through April 25 were reported at 586,500 metric tons, down 25% from the previous week and 17% from the prior four-week average, the USDA said in a report.

Japan was the big buyer at 301,400 metric tons, Mexico was in for 127,200 tons, South Korea bought 67,200 tons, Colombia took 40,200 tons, and Guatemala purchased 27,000 tons. Sales for delivery in the 2019-2020 marketing year that starts on September 1, sales totaled 209,500 tons as Mexico bought 180,000 tons and Japan was in for 29,500 tons.

Analysts had forecast sales from 600,000 to 1.1 million tons, according to researcher Allendale.

Soybean sales dropped 47% week to week to 313,400 metric tons, the government said.

China bought 136,400 metric tons, the Netherlands purchased 64,000 tons, Germany was in for 63,300 tons, South Korea took 59,300 tons, and Egypt bought 55,000 tons of U.S. soybeans. An unknown buyer canceled a shipment for 242,100 tons.

Sales for the next marketing year totaled 23,500 tons.

Analysts had expected sales from 400,000 to 900,000 metric tons, Allendale said.

Wheat sales for delivery in the year that ends on May 31 totaled 122,100 metric tons, a marketing-year low, down 71% from the prior week and 72% from the four-week average, the USDA said.

Mexico bought 52,100 tons, the Philippines was in for 40,000 tons, Guatemala purchased 29,900 tons, El Salvador bought 23,000 tons, and South Korea took 15,700 tons. An unknown customer canceled a cargo of 58,000 tons.

For the marketing year that starts on June 1, sales were reported at 297,400 tons as Taiwan, Mexico, and Japan all made purchases.

Analysts had pegged sales from 250,000 to 850,000 metric tons.

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3. Flood Warnings, Watches in Effect as More Rainfall is on the Way From Texas to Ohio

More flood warnings and watches are in effect today in parts of east Texas, eastern Oklahoma, western Arkansas, and in the Ohio River Valley, according to the National Weather Service.

In eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas, flash flood watches, flood warnings, flood advisories, and flood watches are all in effect and will remain through at least tomorrow morning, the NWS said in a report this morning.

“Additional showers and thunderstorms are expected to develop across eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas Friday as another upper-level system and surface cold front move through the region,” the agency said.

As much as 6 inches of rain have already fallen in the area in the past few days, and another 2 inches are possible today. That will aggravate flooding.

In the Ohio River Valley, meanwhile, a separate complex of storms will bring thunderstorms with the potential for heavy rainfall, the agency said. Portions of Indiana, southern Ohio, and northern Kentucky are all included in the flood watches and warnings.

Another 2 inches of rain are possible today, which combined with recent precipitation may result in flash flooding, the NWS said.

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