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3 Big Things Today, February 7

Wheat Futures Lower in Overnight Trading; Export Inspections Indicate Strong Overseas Demand.

1. Wheat Futures Lower Overnight as Winterkill Worries Pass

Wheat futures were lower in overnight trading as worries about winterkill in the Southern Plains fade.

Temperatures dipped to dangerous levels in only a small part of Nebraska (where a record-low amount of winter wheat was planted this year), but they stayed above winterkill levels for the vast majority of the Southern Plains, according to MDA Information Services.

Traders, however, are watching cold weather in the so-called Black Sea region that includes Ukraine and parts of Russia. Extremely cold weather in the region is putting wheat at risk of winterkill, forecasters said.

Soybeans and corn were little changed in overnight trading.

Wheat futures for March delivery fell 1¢ to $4.21½ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City futures lost 2¼¢ to $4.33½ a bushel.

Soybean futures for March delivery declined 1¼¢ to $10.34¾ a bushel. Soy meal lost 20¢ to $332.60 a short ton, and soy oil fell 0.07¢ to 34.37¢ a pound.

Corn declined ¼¢ to $3.63½ a bushel in Chicago.

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2. Crop Inspection Report Shows Strength in U.S. Grain, Soybean Shipments

Inspections of corn and soybeans for the week that ended on February 2 are indicating strong overseas shipments.

The Department of Agriculture inspected 1.11 million metric tons of corn for overseas delivery last week, the agency said in a report. That’s up from 1.06 million the prior week and 457,893 tons during the same period a year earlier.

Soybean inspections totaled 1.64 million metric tons, down only slightly from the prior week but well above the prior year’s 1.28 million, according to the USDA. Wheat inspections came in at 618,235 tons, almost double the previous week and above the 401,529 a year earlier, the agency said.

Sales of all three crops were extremely strong earlier this year as overseas buyers locked in supplies while prices were low. Although buying has slowed somewhat in the first five weeks of 2017, they’re still expected to remain strong for at least a while, according to analysts.

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3. Freezing Rain Advisory Issued For Parts of Wisconsin; Storm Moving Through Arkansas

A freezing rain advisory has been issued for much of western Wisconsin this morning as patches of icing up to a tenth of an inch thick coat roads.

Roads were reportedly icy in north-central Wisconsin, and the freezing rain is expected through much of the day, making travel hazardous, the National Weather Service said in a report on Tuesday morning.

Further south, some freezing drizzle may cause “light icing” in parts of central Wisconsin, according to the NWS.

Elsewhere, a strong storm is moving through Arkansas near Little Rock. The agency issued severe thunderstorm warnings and a flash flood warning in parts of several counties in the area. Wind gusts of up to 60 mph and nickel-size hail are expected.

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