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3 Big Things Today, April 17

Wheat Futures Rebound Overnight; Exports Inspections of Beans Rise, Corn Assessments Fall.

1. Wheat Rebounds From 10-Day Low as 31% of Winter Crop Earns Top Ratings

Wheat futures rebounded from a 10-day low after the USDA showed only 31% of the U.S. winter crop was in good or excellent condition.

Hard red winter wheat in the Southern Plains has seen little to no rain in at least the past three months, according to the National Weather Service. The amount that earned top ratings is up from 30% last week but well below last year’s 52%, USDA data show.

About 9% of U.S. winter wheat was headed up from 3% last week and the prior five-year average of 10%, the USDA said.

Corn futures were also higher overnight as the USDA report showed 3% of corn was planted as of Sunday, up by only 1 percentage point from the prior week and down from the average of 5% for this time of year. Soybeans were also higher.

Wheat for May delivery rose 3¼¢ to $4.65½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City futures added 4¾¢ to $5.01¾ a bushel.

Corn futures rose 1¾¢ to $3.84¼ a bushel overnight.

Soybean futures for May delivery gained 3¼¢ to $10.45¼ a bushel. Soy meal added $1.20 to $379 a short ton, and soy oil rose 0.15¢ to 31.33¢ a pound.

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2. Inspections of Soybeans, Wheat For Export Rise Week to Week, Corn Declines

Inspections of soybeans and wheat for export to overseas buyers rose week to week, while corn declined.

Soybean inspections totaled 444,987 metric tons in the week that ended on April 12, the USDA said in a report. That’s up from 381,191 tons a week earlier, but below the 454,544 tons inspected during the same week in 2017.

Wheat assessments were reported at 483,058 metric tons last week, up from 431,477 tons seven days earlier but well below the 685,436 tons examined during the same time frame last year, the USDA said.

Corn inspections plunged to 1.5 million metric tons, down from 1.94 million a week earlier. The total, however, was well above the 1.34 million inspected during the same week a year earlier, according to the government.

As it has been for pretty much the entire marketing year, inspections of all three crops trail last year’s pace.

Inspections of corn since September 1 are at 28 million tons, down from last year’s 35.9 million tons. Soybeans assessments were reported at 42.4 million tons, down from 48.3 million a year earlier.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are at 20.9 million tons, behind the 23.2 million inspected last year during the same time frame, according to the USDA.  

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3. Parts of Iowa, Southern Minnesota Face Another Round of Snow, Ice

Several counties in Iowa and southern Minnesota will be under a winter storm warning, as a wintry mix moves through the area starting overnight.

A wintry mix of freezing rain, sleet, and snow will hit much of northern Iowa, according to the National Weather Service.

The mix will turn to snow, resulting in accumulations of as much as 8 inches with some locally higher totals possible, the NWS said in a report early Tuesday morning. Snow will fall at a rate of a inch an hour during the heaviest times tomorrow.

Ice accumulations of up to a tenth of an inch are possible, and winds will be gusty, creating conditions of blowing snow tomorrow, the agency said. Travel is not advised.

Meanwhile, in the Southern Plains, red-flag and high-wind warnings are in effect, creating tinderbox-like conditions.

Winds are expected from 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph in parts of the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles this afternoon into tomorrow morning, the NWS said. Relative humidity is expected to fall as low as 4%, the NWS said.

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