3 Big Things Today, September 17
1. Soybeans, Grains Drop on Conditions, Weather
Soybean and grain futures were lower overnight after the USDA’s weekly crop ratings came in about where expected and on favorable weather this week.
The U.S. bean crop was rated 54% good to excellent as of Sunday, on par with forecasts, but down 1 percentage point from the previous week, the USDA said. Corn was rated 55% good or excellent, slightly above expectations but unchanged from the prior week.
About 76% of U.S. spring wheat was harvested at the start of the week, up from 71% seven days earlier, the agency said. Winter wheat planting has started with 8% in the ground.
The weather, meanwhile, looks favorable for the rest of the week. High temperatures in much of Iowa and Illinois are expected to be in the 80s with rain chances starting Thursday. That should give maturing crops a boost.
The lower overnight prices belied a purchase by China of 256,000 metric tons of soybeans. The buy was the second in two days, an indication that the Asian nation is following up on its promise to purchase more agricultural products from the U.S.
Soybean futures for November delivery fell 6½¢ to $8.93½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal declined $1.80 to $297.10 a short ton, while soybean oil lost 0.20¢ to 30.08¢ a pound.
Corn futures for December delivery dropped 4¾ ¢ to $3.69¼ a bushel.
Wheat for September delivery lost 6¢ to $4.82¾ a bushel, while Kansas City futures fell 4¢ to $4.05 a bushel.
2. Corn, Bean Inspections Dip Week to Week While Wheat Assessments Rise
Inspections of corn and soybeans for overseas delivery declined in the week that ended on September 12, according to the USDA.
Wheat assessments rose.
Government inspectors examined 421,803 metric tons of corn for offshore delivery last week, down from 612,065 tons in the prior seven-day period, the agency said. The total also is down from the 1.05 million tons inspected at the same time last year.
Soybean inspections also declined, falling to 666,490 metric tons from 977,914 tons the previous week and 787,246 tons during the same period in 2018, the USDA said in its report.
Wheat assessments through September 12 totaled 459,258 metric tons, up from 412,608 tons a week earlier and 411,165 tons at the same time last year.
Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, corn inspections have totaled 893,813 metric tons, down from the year-earlier pace of 1.72 million tons, government data show.
Soybean inspections in the first 12 days of the 2019-2020 year are at 1.24 million metric tons, behind the 1.62 million tons that were inspected during the same period last year.
Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are now at 7.47 million metric tons, up from the year-earlier total at this point for 6.12 million tons, according to the USDA.
3. Flood Warnings, Advisories Still in Effect in Southeastern South Dakota, More Rain on the Way
Waters have receded, but flood warnings and advisories are still in effect in much of southeastern South Dakota and northeastern Nebraska, according to the National Weather Service.
“Major to record flooding continues after heavy rains earlier this week,” the NWS said in a report early this morning.
There’s more bad news for the region as “numerous” storms are expected tonight into tomorrow morning, the agency said. The risk of severe weather is low, though some large hail or wind gusts of up to 50 mph are possible.
Storms also may hit the region on Wednesday night and into the weekend, the NWS said.