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3 Big Things Today, October 8, 2019
1. Grains, Soybeans Again Little Moved in Overnight Trading
Grains and soybeans were again little changed in overnight trading, as investors weigh the ongoing trade war with China against adverse weather that could further reduce the size of U.S. crops.
The Trump administration on Monday restricted U.S. firms from doing business with 28 Chinese companies that were deemed to have committed human rights abuses.
China, meanwhile, is prepared for negotiations to break down, according to the South China Morning Post.
Talks starring U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Vice Premier Liu He are set to begin Thursday, though not much progress is expected.
Potentially adverse weather, meanwhile, is underpinning crop prices. Rainfall the past few days fell in parts of Minnesota, Iowa, and Kansas, which may have slowed the harvest, according to Commodity Weather Group.
A winter storm blowing out of the Rockies is moving its way into the Northern Plains and could drop several inches of snow in the region, the forecaster said. That likely would bring harvest to a halt.
There’s also the potential for a late-week hard freeze in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, northwestern Kansas, and eastern Colorado that would cut short corn growth in about 10% to 15% of the affected region, CWG said in a report.
Only 15% of the U.S. corn crop was harvested as of Sunday, behind the average pace of 27%, according to the USDA. About 14% of soybeans were collected, well behind the normal 34% for this time of year.
Corn futures for December delivery rose ½¢ to $3.87½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.
Wheat for September delivery fell 1½¢ to $4.87¾ a bushel, while Kansas City futures declined 1¾¢ to $4.00½ a bushel.
Soybean futures for November delivery dropped ½¢ to $9.14¾ a bushel overnight. Soy meal rose $1 to $303.10 a short ton, while soybean oil lost 0.15¢ to 29.91¢ a pound.
2. Inspections of Corn, Beans Increase Week to Week While Wheat Assessments Drop
Inspections of corn and soybeans for overseas delivery increased week to week while wheat assessments declined, according to the USDA.
Corn inspections in the seven days that ended on October 3 totaled 466,521 metric tons, the agency said in a report. That’s up from 421,735 tons a week earlier but well behind the 1.45 million tons assessed at the same time in 2018.
Examinations of soybeans of offshore delivery rose to 1.04 million metric tons, topping the 986,256 tons assessed a week earlier and well ahead of the 608,794 tons during the same week last year, government data show.
Wheat inspections, meanwhile, declined to 385,259 metric tons last week from 502,915 during the previous seven-day period.
Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, corn inspections are now at 2.02 million metric tons, the USDA said. That’s down from 5.91 million tons during the same period last year.
Soybean assessments are at 4.19 million tons since the start of September, down from 3.58 million tons in 2018.
Since the beginning of the grain’s marketing year on June 1, wheat inspections stand at 8.91 million metric tons, better than the 7.37 million tons at this point last year, the USDA said.
3. Storms to Bring Several Inches of Snow to Dakotas Where Corn, Beans Remain Unharvested
A strong storm likely will bring snow to the Northern Plains this week, as winter weather advisories and winter storm watches are in effect in the region, according to the National Weather Service.
In northern North Dakota and Montana, as much as 4 inches of snow are expected in some counties, the NWS said in a report early this morning. Blowing snow and slick roads are likely.
Much of North Dakota and the western half of South Dakota also are facing a winter storm watch starting tomorrow and lasting through Thursday.
Conditions are prime for a winter storm to move through the region, and at this point, up to 10 inches of snow are possible with wind gusts topping 40 mph, the agency said.
In North Dakota, farmers had yet to start harvesting their corn, whereas, they’d normally be 6% finished with the harvest. Only 8% of soybeans are in the bin, well behind the usual 48% for this time of year, the USDA said.
In South Dakota, only 2% of corn is harvested vs. the normal 12% for this time of year, and 5% of soybeans were collected compared with the usual 36%.