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3 Big Things Today, May 1

Corn Futures Higher Overnight; U.S., China Officials Head Back to Negotiating Table.

1. Corn Futures Higher Overnight on Adverse Weather

Corn futures were higher overnight, as wet weather continues to keep producers from getting into their fields.

Flood watches and warnings are in effect from Oklahoma to Illinois today. The Missouri River and the Mississippi River, along with nearby streams and tributaries, continue to overrun their banks.

Farmers made substantial progress last week. About 15% of the crop was in the ground as of Sunday, up from 6% the previous week, according to the USDA. Still, that’s well behind the 27% that’s usually planted this time of year, the agency said.

In Illinois, only 9% of the corn crop is in the ground, behind the usual 43% at this point, and Indiana growers only have 2% in the ground vs. the prior five-year average of 17%, the USDA said in a report on Monday.

Soybeans were 3% planted, half the average of 6% but up from only 1% the previous week, the USDA said in its report.

Corn futures for May delivery rose 3¢ to $3.65½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybeans for May delivery rose ¼¢ to $8.54¼ a bushel overnight.

Chicago wheat for May delivery rose 3¼¢ to $4.32 a bushel, while Kansas City wheat added 3¢ to $3.97 a bushel.


2. U.S., China Back at Negotiating Table as Lighthizer, Mnuchin in Beijing

The U.S. and China are back at the negotiating table – again – in a bid to hammer out a trade deal between the world’s two largest economies.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are in Beijing for talks this week. Mnuchin told reporters that he’s looking forward to “productive discussions,” which will start today.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and Mnuchin reportedly met for a working dinner last night.

White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney reportedly said that trade negotiations between the countries will be resolved “one way or the other, in the next couple of weeks.”

A Chinese delegation led by Liu is scheduled to come to Washington next week for further talks, according to the White House.

The countries have been involved in a bitter trade war for the better part of a year and have slapped tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of each other’s goods.  The talks, which started in December when President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping met, have been dragging on since December.


3. Flood, Flash Flood Warnings in Effect in Central U.S. as Strong Storms Continue

Flood warnings, flash flood warnings, and severe spring weather is in store for a large chunk of the central U.S. today, according to the National Weather Service.

Severe weather that could lead to flash flooding is expected in much of eastern Oklahoma, the NWS said in a report this morning. Doppler radar just after 5 a.m. indicated thunderstorms in the area that will drop more rain in the area. Two to 3 inches have already fallen.

Flood warnings have been issued for almost the entire state of Missouri.

In eastern Missouri, up to 3 inches of rain have already fallen, and forecasts are calling for more precipitation.

“Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause flooding of small creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets, and underpasses as well as other drainage areas and low-lying spots,” the NWS said this morning.

The flood warnings stretch into western Illinois, while the rest of the state is under a flood watch, the agency said.

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