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3 Big Things Today, April 10

Soybeans Higher in Overnight Trading; Export Inspections of Corn Surge in Latest Weekly Report.

1. Soybeans Higher Overnight on Export Demand, Wheat Lower on Profit Taking

Soybeans were higher, while wheat was lower in overnight trading ahead of today’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) Report.

Beans rose on signs of demand and on optimism that trade talks between the U.S. and China will help avoid a full-blown trade war. The countries have been threatening to impose tariffs, with China saying it would slap levies on U.S. farm goods. For now, the threats seem idle.

Prices are gaining after the USDA said on Friday that exporters sold 588,632 metric tons of soybeans in separate sales to unknown buyers and Mexico.

Wheat futures declined overnight after a runup due to extremely cold weather on winter wheat country and several inches of snow in spring wheat country that may delay planting.

Prices for Chicago wheat jumped 18½¢ on Monday, giving investors who’d been long the market a good excuse to sell contracts and liquidate their position. Still, the fundamentals haven’t changed – the U.S. winter wheat earned its worst rating ever for early April, according to the USDA.

Soybean futures for May delivery rose 4¼¢ to $10.51¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal fell 70¢ to $388.90 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.01¢ to 31.51¢ a pound.

Corn futures declined ½¢ to $3.90¼ a bushel overnight.

Wheat lost 3¼¢ to $4.87½ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures dropped 5½¢ to $5.17¼ a bushel overnight.

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2. Export Inspections of Corn Surge Week to Week, Soybeans Lower

Inspections of corn for export to overseas buyers jumped in the week that ended on April 5, while soybeans fell and wheat was slightly higher.

Inspectors examined 1.94 million metric tons of corn for overseas delivery last week, up from 1.45 million in the prior seven days, the USDA said in a report. That’s also above the year-earlier total of 1.21 million tons.

Soybean inspections totaled only 373,940 metric tons, according to the USDA. That’s down from 578,838 tons a week earlier and less than half the 858,320 tons during the same week in 2017.

Wheat inspections were reported at 430,080 metric tons last week, just above the prior week’s 424,880 tons, government data show. The total is down, however, from 659,183 tons during the same week a year earlier.

Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, corn inspections have totaled 26.5 million tons, down from 34.6 million a year earlier. Examinations of soybeans for overseas delivery were reported at 41.9 million tons, well below the 47.8 million during the same time frame last year.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are at 20.4 million tons, behind the year-earlier pace of 22.5 million tons, according to the USDA.

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3. Maps Show Extremely Dry Weather in Southern Plains, Freeze Warnings in Soft Red Wheat Country

While there’s not threat of a freeze overnight in much of hard red winter wheat country, it’s the dry weather that farmers are keeping an eye on.

A red-flag warning has been issued for the western third of Kansas, the eastern half of Colorado, and the northern two thirds of New Mexico, according to the National Weather Service. Dry weather is also a problem in the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles.

In southwestern Kansas, where much of the U.S. hard red winter wheat crop is grown, wind gusts up to 40 mph are expected tomorrow and Thursday with relative humidity as low as 10%, the NWS said in a report early Tuesday morning. That creates extremely dangerous fire conditions.

While it won’t get too cold in the western part of the state, northeastern Oklahoma, southern Missouri, and the northern ridge of Arkansas are again under a freeze warning.

Temperatures overnight fell into the upper 20s with patchy freezing fog, the NWS said, threatening the soft red winter wheat crop in the region.

It’s not yet known how much damage, if any, these most recent freezes have done to soft red winter wheat, but ratings are at a record for this time of year for the winter crop as a whole, according to the USDA.

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