3 Big Things Today, April 19
1. Soybeans Rebound as Bargain Hunters Buy, Rainfall Delays Planting
Soybeans rebounded in overnight trading, rising as bargain hunters come looking for a deal amid low prices.
Futures last week touched the lowest in more than a year before gaining slightly in the past few sessions. Still, those seeking to get in while the price is down are snapping up supplies after yesterday’s decline, analysts said.
Prices also may be rising amid excessive rain in parts of the southern U.S. that is delaying planting. As much as six times normal precipitation has fallen in parts of Texas and Louisiana where soybeans are – or are supposed to be – planted, according to the National Weather Service.
Soybean futures rose 4¢ to $9.50 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal added $1.40 to $313.60 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.05¢ to 31.19¢ a pound.
Corn futures for May delivery rose ¼¢ to $3.62 a bushel overnight.
Wheat futures for May delivery fell ¼¢ to $4.22¼ a bushel, and Kansas City wheat lost ½¢t to $4.31½ a bushel.
2. Dollar Value Back Down in Topsy-Turvy Trading Since Year’s Start
The value of the dollar is down again yesterday, reaching the lowest level this month against a basket of its global counterparts before rebounding slightly overnight.
Geopolitical tensions – namely worries about what will happen in North Korea and Syria – have weighed on the greenback the past week. The U.S. dropped the so-called mother of all bombs, the biggest non-nuclear weapon ever used, in Afghanistan, seen by some as a show of power and essentially a warning to certain political figures around the world.
Vice President Mike Pence went to the borders between the Koreas and reportedly stared down some guards from the north. President Donald Trump has upped the rhetoric, basically saying that North Korea will be dealt with harshly if it doesn’t back down from its own show of force.
All of this has pushed down the value of the dollar and led people to seek haven investments. What it’s also done is boost the appeal of U.S. products including agricultural goods.
Export sales of corn, beans, and wheat are already up year-over-year, though they’ve slowed since Argentina and Brazil started harvesting their crops, and with a weaker greenback could see an uptick in coming weeks.
It’ll be interesting to see if the greenback stays low among geopolitical tensions or gets another boost from optimism about the U.S. economy. If recent history is any suggestion (the dollar value chart looks roughly like the Rockies as you drive into Colorado from the east) it’s anybody’s guess which way it’ll go.
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3. South-Central Iowa in Flood Watch, Forecasters Keeping an Eye on River Levels
Much of south-central Iowa is in a flood watch as meteorologists are watching a rainstorm that may or may not push rivers over their banks.
“If rainfall in the basin is less than predicted, the (Iowa River) stage may not be reached,” the National Weather Service said in an early report on Wednesday. “Conversely, if rainfall is more than predicted, the river may crest higher. As the forecast becomes more certain, this watch will either be upgraded to a warning or canceled.”
The Iowa River was already at 19.2 feet as of 3 a.m. Wednesday. Flood stage is 20 feet, the NWS said.
In parts of northeastern Iowa and southwestern Wisconsin, thunderstorms with heavy rainfall is expected this afternoon.
Local totals of up to 3 inches are possible, which may lead to flooding or ponding in some areas, according to the NWS. Some localized flash floods also may be possible.
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