3 Big Things Today, April 20, 2021

Soybeans, Grains Higher Overnight; Export Inspections Down For Corn, Beans.

1. Soybeans, Grains Rise Overnight on Cold U.S. Weather

Soybeans and grains surged in overnight trading as extremely cold weather hits much of the U.S. Midwest and Plains.

Freeze warnings have been issued for tonight into Wednesday for much of the Midwest. That may affect plants that have already emerged from the ground.

About 8% of the total U.S. corn crop was planted as of Sunday and 2% of the crop had emerged, according to the Department of Agriculture. That compares with the prior five-year average of 8% planted and 1% emerged.

Most of what’s made its way out of the ground is in Texas, but both Kansas and Missouri corn was 1% emerged at the start of the week, the USDA said in a report yesterday.  

As of Sunday, 3% of the U.S. soybean crop was in the ground, up from the prior five-year average of 2%.

Temperatures overnight in the southern Plains where hard-red winter wheat is grown were forecast to dip into the low-20s (°F.) overnight, according to the National Weather Service.

Damage to crops will be “spotty” and isolated to a quarter of U.S. hard-red winter wheat areas, Commodity Weather Group said in a note to clients.

About 10% of the U.S. winter wheat crop was headed as of Sunday, the Ag Department said.

In Kansas, the biggest grower of wheat in the U.S., none of the wheat was headed at the start of the week vs. the prior five-year average of 4%, the USDA said.

In Oklahoma, however, where a hard-freeze warning was in effect overnight, 17% was headed as of Sunday as was 41% of Texas wheat, government data show.

Some 53% of the winter-wheat crop as a whole was rated good or excellent to start the week, unchanged from the previous week but behind the 57% that earned top ratings at the same time last year.

Soybean futures jumped 20¾¢ to $14.57¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal added $3.30 to $414.60 a short ton, and soy oil gained 1.08¢ to 54.95¢ a pound.

Corn futures for May delivery rose 4½¢ to $5.85 a bushel.

Wheat futures for May delivery gained 4¢ to $6.57¾ a bushel, while Kansas City futures added 2¼¢ to $6.21 a bushel.

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2. Export Inspections of Corn and Beans Decline While Wheat Assessments Rise

Inspections of corn and beans for export were lower week-to-week while wheat assessments improved, according to the USDA.

Corn inspections in the seven days that ended on April 15 were reported at 1.52 million metric tons, down from 1.73 million a week earlier, the agency said.

That’s still more than double the 731,272 tons examined for offshore delivery during the same week last year.

Soybean assessments dropped to 183,986 metric tons last week. That’s down from 337,159 tons a week earlier and well below the 551,779 tons inspected at the same point in 2020, government data show.

Wheat inspections, however, rose to 613,595 metric tons from 461,368 tons the previous week. The total also was higher than the 506,217 tons assessed during the same week a year earlier.

Since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, the government has inspected 39.2 million metric tons of corn for export.

That’s well above the 21.3 million tons assessed during the same time frame a year earlier.

Soybean inspections since the beginning of September are now at 55 million metric tons, up from 32.8 million tons at this point last year, the agency said.

Examinations of wheat for offshore delivery since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 now stand at 22 million metric tons, almost unchanged from the same point last year, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Hard-Freeze Warning in Effect in Southern Plains as Temperatures Hit Low-20s

A hard-freeze warning is in effect for several counties in the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles as temperatures dropped into the low 20s overnight, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures were expected to hit as low as 22°F. in the region, the NWS said in a report early this morning. The hard-freeze warning is in effect until 9 a.m. local time.

Another such warning has been issued from midnight to 9 a.m. Wednesday.

A wind advisory is in effect this morning as well as northwest winds will be sustained at 25 to 35 mph.

Freeze warnings, meanwhile, have been issued in a wide chunk of land stretching from central Texas northeast into Ohio, weather maps show.

In southern Missouri, a freeze warning goes into effect at 9 a.m. tonight and will last through 9 a.m. tomorrow. Temperatures as low as 24°F. are expected in the area, the agency said.

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