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3 Big Things Today, May 7

Wheat Futures Decline Overnight; Export Inspections of Corn Lower, Beans Rise.

1. Wheat Falls on Lofty Conditions; Beans, Corn Down Slightly

Wheat futures were lower in overnight trading as the condition of the U.S. winter crop remains elevated.

Some 64% of the crop was in good or excellent condition as of Sunday, on par with the previous week and up from 34% during the same week a year earlier, according to the USDA.

In Kansas, the biggest winter wheat producer in the U.S., 58% earned top ratings, while in Oklahoma, 74% was in good or excellent conditions, the USDA said in a report.

Corn and soybeans were little changed, as investors weigh slow planting progress against renewed trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

About 23% of the corn crop was planted as of Sunday, half the prior five-year average, government data show. Only 10% of the Illinois crop was in the ground, well behind the previous average of 66%, and in Iowa, 36% was seeded vs. the normal 51% for this time of year.

Indiana farmers were only 3% finished with planting, down from the average of 35%, the USDA said.

On the trade front, meanwhile, President Trump has said he will raise tariffs on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from their current level of 10% starting Friday. U.S. official have accused Beijing of reneging on trade commitments.

Soybean futures fell 12¢ yesterday, while corn declined 6½¢.

Chicago wheat for May delivery lost 4½¢ to $4.32¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City wheat dropped 5¼¢ to $3.97¾ a bushel.

Soybeans for May delivery fell 2¢ to $8.28¼ a bushel overnight. Soy meal lost $1.50 to $295.10 a short ton, and soy oil rose 0.16¢ to 27.29¢ a pound.

Corn futures for May delivery fell ¾¢ to $3.63½ a bushel overnight.

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2. Corn, Wheat Inspections Decline Week to Week, Soybean Assessments Increase

Inspections of corn and wheat declined week to week, while soybean assessments increased, according to the USDA.

Government officials inspected 976,842 metric tons of corn for overseas delivery in the seven days that ended on May 2, down from 1.37 million the previous week. The total also was well below the 1.9 million tons examined during the same week last year.

Wheat assessments also fell, dropping to 477,918 metric tons from 645,662 tons the previous week, the USDA said. That was still better than the 332,086 tons assessed during the same week in 2018.

Soybean inspections totaled 600,441 metric tons, up from 507,285 tons inspected last week and 534,940 tons examined last year, according to the government.

Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, however, soybean inspections are well behind where they were a year earlier.

The USDA has assessed 32.2 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans for overseas delivery since the start of the marketing year, down from 44.1 million during the same period a year earlier.

Corn inspections so far this year are at 35.6 million metric tons, up from 33.2 million a year earlier.

Examinations of wheat for offshore shipment, since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1, are at 21.9 million metric tons, down from 22.2 million during the same time frame last year, the USDA said.  

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3. Eastern Kansas, Missouri Can’t Catch a Break as More Rain, Severe Storms Expected

Eastern Kansas and western Missouri can’t seem to catch a break as more rain is falling in the areas, producing flash floods.

As of about 6 a.m. local time, more precipitation was falling in the region, where 2 to 3 inches fell overnight, according to the National Weather Service. A flash flood warning remains in effect.

Thunderstorms are expected to continue this morning before tapering off, the NWS said in a report early this morning. Damaging wind, large hail, and “very heavy rainfall” are forecast with the next round of storms that are expected to roll through later this afternoon and tonight, the agency said.

“Strong thunderstorms may be ongoing Wednesday morning,” the NWS said. “Additional thunderstorms may redevelop Wednesday afternoon, but it is uncertain how strong they will be able to get due to previous rounds of thunderstorms.”

Farther north in northern Illinois, more showers and thunderstorms are expected to develop this evening into the overnight hours.

Lightning and locally heavy rain are the main threats, the agency said.

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