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3 Big Things Today, April 28

Wheat, Corn Mixed in Overnight Trading; May to Start With Southern Plains Snow, Midwest Flooding

1. Wheat Modestly Higher, Corn Slightly Lower in Quiet Overnight Trading

Agriculture commodities were mixed in overnight trading with soybeans and wheat modestly higher and corn slightly lower.

Wheat rose on speculation that extremely cold weather and flooding may hurt crops that are emerging or have emerged from winter dormancy.

As much as 14 inches of snow is expected in parts of southeastern Colorado and up to 6 inches is forecast for the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles, according to the National Weather Service. The storm also is expected to bring bitterly cold temperatures to the region, affecting exposed hard-red winter wheat plants.

In the eastern Midwest, a strong storm has flooded fields, potentially curbing production of soft-red winter wheat that’s emerging from dormancy and heading.

Corn was lower overnight as fund managers are reportedly extending net-short positions, or bets that prices will fall, amid rising global production and stockpiles, analysts said.

Wheat for July delivery added ¼ cent to $4.31 ½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade and Kansas City futures gained 2 cents to $4.35 ¾ a bushel.

Soybeans added ½ cent to $9.57 ¾ a bushel in Chicago. Soymeal rose a dime to $314.90 a short ton and soy oil rose 0.09 cent to 32.05 cents a pound.

Corn futures for July delivery fell 1 ½ cents to $3.67 ¾ a bushel.


2. Soybean Export Sales Jump, Corn Improves While Wheat Falls to Marketing-Year Low

Soybean export sales jumped and corn improved week-over-week while purchases of U.S. wheat plunged to the lowest for the marketing year, the Department of Agriculture said in a report.

Weekly sales of soybeans surged to 808,100 metric tons, up from 135,218 tons seven days earlier, according to the USDA. The total was up 98% from the prior four-week average.

China was again the biggest buyer at 271,900 metric tons, followed by Germany at 151,300 tons and Egypt at 117,600 tons. Japan bought 96,200 tons and Mexico purchased 91,900 tons, the government said.  

Corn sales for delivery in the marketing year that ends on Aug. 31 totaled 987,900 metric tons, a 31% increase from the prior week and 18% improvement from the average, according to the USDA.

South Korea was the biggest buyer, taking 291,900 metric tons. Japan bought 204,000 tons, Saudi Arabia purchased 133,800 tons, Mexico took 104,500 tons and Peru was in for 77,200 tons.

Wheat sales for the current marketing year that ends on May 31 were dismal, falling 85% from the prior week and 87% from the four-week average to a measly 61,700 tons, the USDA said.

Japan was the biggest buyer, purchasing 82,000 tons, Yemen took 67,300 tons, China bought 62,700 tons, Philippines took 56,500 tons and Guatemala was in for 41,100 tons. While that seems somewhat reasonable, unknown buyers cancelled purchases of 310,200 tons, Peru cancelled a 20,000 order and Italy cancelled a buy of 9,000 tons, the USDA said.

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3. Southern Plains to be Buried in Snow, Midwest Mostly Under Water as May Set to Start

May starts on Monday and it’s snowing in the southern Plains and flooding in the Midwest.

As much as 14 inches of snow is expected in parts of southeastern Colorado with up to 8 inches likely in the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles, according to the National Weather Service, quite unusual for this time of year.

Temperatures are also expected to drop in the region, leaving hard-red winter wheat that isn’t blanketed with a protective layer of snow susceptible to winterkill. Snow is expected to develop starting Saturday at about 7 a.m. after bouts of rainfall today, the NWS said.

Temperatures in extreme western Oklahoma are expected to drop as low as 27 degrees Saturday night, which may damage uncovered wheat, and 29 degrees on Sunday, which poses less of a threat despite only being 2 degrees warmer.

In the Midwest, flood warnings abound for parts of Illinois, Indiana and even a couple counties in Michigan, according the government.

Flood watches, however, cover a very wide swath of land stretching from central Oklahoma east to Tennessee and north into northern Illinois, weather maps show. The worst of the storms appear to be in Illinois where several rivers are already over their banks.

“Heavy rainfall will result in flooding of low-lying or poor-drainage areas and ultimately dangerous flash flooding on smaller creeks and streams,” the NWS said in a report early Friday. “Moderate to major flooding is also possible on larger streams and rivers.”

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