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3 Big Things Today, April 19, 2022

Grains, Soybeans Little Changed Overnight; Export Inspections of Wheat Rise.

1. Grain and Soybean Futures Little Changed Overnight

Grain and soybean futures were little changed in overnight trading as investors take a breather after running up prices.

Corn futures yesterday hit the highest since 2012 and wheat futures surged amid the ongoing Russian attacks on Ukraine and unfavorable weather in U.S. growing areas.

Prices surged after a Ukraine grain association said the country’s corn production may fall 40%.

In the U.S., about 4% of the corn crop was planted as of Sunday. That’s up from 2% a week earlier but down from the prior five-year average of 6%, the Department of Agriculture said in a report.

Just 1% of soybeans were in the ground, behind the average of 2% for this time of year, the USDA said.

Winter-wheat ratings, meanwhile, declined to 30% good or excellent from 32% a week earlier. At this point last year, 53% of the crop had earned top ratings, according to the government.

Some 7% was headed at the start of the week, up from 5% seven days earlier but well behind the average of 12%.

U.S. spring wheat was 8% planted as of Sunday, up from 6% a week earlier but just behind the average of 9% for this time of year, the USDA said.

Despite the slow pace of spring-wheat planting and the less-than-ideal winter conditions, investors today seem to be taking a break after futures surged yesterday.

Corn futures fell ½¢ to $8.06½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. 

Wheat for May delivery lost 3¢ to $11.25¾ a bushel while Kansas City futures fell 1¢ to $11.88 a bushel.

Soybean futures for May delivery rose ½¢ to $16.93¾ a bushel. Soymeal fell a dime to $460.20 a short ton, while soybean oil futures lost 0.27¢ to 77.82¢ a pound.

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2. Soybean and Wheat Inspections Rise Week-to-Week

Inspections of soybeans and wheat for export rose week-to-week while corn assessments declined, according to the USDA.

Soybean inspections in the seven days that ended on April 14 totaled 972,509 metric tons, up from the 818,689 tons examined the previous week, the agency said.

That also was well above the 222,065 tons assessed during the same week last year.

Wheat inspections last week were reported at 432,253 metric tons, up from 419,185 tons a week earlier, the USDA said. The total, however, was down from the 629,065 tons examined during the same week in 2021.

Corn assessments, meanwhile, declined to 1.14 million metric tons from 1.47 million tons a week earlier and 1.56 million tons inspected at the same point last year, the government said.

Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, inspectors have examined 46 million metric tons of soybeans for overseas delivery, the agency said.

That’s down from the 55.2 million tons examined during the same time frame a year earlier.

Corn inspections since the beginning of September now stand at 33.1 million metric tons, down from 39.5 million tons at the same point last year.

Wheat assessments since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are now at 18.1 million metric tons, down from the 22.1 million tons inspected during the same period the previous year, the USDA said in its report.


3. Freeze, Red-Flag Warnings Issued For Parts of Central United States

Freeze warnings are in effect from north-central Kansas to the eastern seaboard with temperatures in parts of the Midwest falling as low as 27˚F. overnight, according to the National Weather Service.

The warning in central Missouri is on until 9 a.m. local time, the NWS said in a report early this morning. Temperatures will drop as low as 28˚F. in the area.

In central Illinois, temperatures will hit 27˚F., and drop as low as 32˚F. in southern Indiana, the agency said.

Farther west, red-flag warnings have been issued from southwestern South Dakota down into the Texas panhandle and almost all of New Mexico for today.

In parts of the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles, winds will be sustained from 25 to 35 mph with gusts of up to 55 mph, the NWS said.

Relative humidity is expected to fall as low as 17%.

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