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3 Big Things Today, April 22, 2022

Wheat Futures Mixed Overnight; Weekly Export Sales Lower Across the Board.

1. Wheat Futures Mixed, Corn and Beans Rise Overnight

Wheat futures were mixed in overnight trading while corn and beans rose.

Chicago wheat futures fell overnight amid some profit-taking from speculative investors and on signs of weak demand for U.S. supplies.

Export sales of wheat for the week that ended on April 14 dropped to a marketing-year low, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

That’s not terribly unusual for this time of the year, however, with just over a month to go in the 2021-2022 marketing year for wheat.

Still, the only export sales report from the USDA this week was for 123,650 metric tons of soybeans to an unnamed buyer. No wheat or corn sales were reported by the agency.

On the weather front, meanwhile, little or no rain has fallen in a wide stretch from South Dakota south into West Texas in the past 30 days, according to the National Weather Service’s precipitation page. That area includes the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles where hard-red winter wheat is growing.

Kansas City wheat futures rose overnight on concerns about the weather in the southern Plains, where winds are expected to be extremely strong this weekend. 

About 30% of the U.S. winter-wheat crop was in good or excellent conditions at the start of this week, down from 32% a week earlier, the USDA said. At this point last year, 53% of the crop earned top ratings. 

Some 7% of the crop was headed as of Sunday, behind the prior five-year average of 12%, the government said. 

Investors continue to keep an eye on what’s going on in Ukraine.

Russia has stepped up its attacks, and Ukraine officials said they’ve had to shutter humanitarian corridors for fleeing civilians because they’re too dangerous.

U.S. President Joe Biden said yesterday that the U.S. will send an $800 million weapons package to Ukraine, including more heavy artillery and drones.

Wheat for May delivery lost 3½¢ to $10.73 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade while Kansas City futures gained 3½¢ to $11.47 a bushel.

Corn futures rose 4¼¢ to $7.99½ a bushel. 

Soybean futures for May delivery rose 4¢ to $17.23½ a bushel. Soymeal dropped $4.10 to $459.80 a short ton, while soybean oil futures jumped 2.17¢ to 81.81¢ a pound.

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2. Weekly Export Sales Lower Across the Board

Export sales of corn, soybeans, and wheat all dropped in the seven days that ended on April 14.

Corn sales last week were reported at 879,200 metric tons, according to the U.S. Ag Department. That’s down 34% from the previous week and 6% from the prior four-week average.

China was the big buyer at 675,200 metric tons, followed by South Korea at 126,200 tons, Mexico at 75,500 tons, and Saudi Arabia at 42,800 tons, the agency said.

The total would have been higher but an unnamed country canceled cargoes of 234,000 metric tons.

Sales for the 2022-2023 marketing year came in at 389,600 metric tons. Exports for the week totaled 1.2 million metric tons, down 23% week-to-week.

Soybean sales fell to 460,200 metric tons, down 16% from the previous week and 39% from the average for this time of year, the USDA said.

China bought 496,400 metric tons, Indonesia was in for 81,000 metric tons, Bangladesh took 57,000 tons, Egypt bought 53,700 tons, and Japan purchased 51,600 tons from U.S. supplies.

An unknown destination canceled cargoes totaling 326,300 tons and Spain nixed shipments of 66,000 tons, the agency said.

Sales for the next marketing year were reported at 1.24 million metric tons, while shipments for the week rose 10% to 889,000 metric tons.

Wheat sales plunged to a marketing-year low, falling to 26,300 metric tons, the USDA said. That’s down 73% from the previous week and 79% from the prior four-week average.

Mexico purchased 90,500 metric tons of U.S. wheat, Haiti bought 27,000 tons, Ghana was in for 26,000 tons, Cameroon purchased 23,000 tons, and Italy took 15,000 tons.

Nigeria canceled cargoes of 131,000 metric tons, the agency said.

Sales for the 2022-2023 marketing year that starts on June 1 came in at 238,400 metric tons. Exports for the week totaled 504,000 metric tons, up 48% from the previous week, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Windy Weather Expected in Western Corn Belt, Southern Plains

Windy weather is expected in much of the central U.S. and southern Plains over the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

In western Kansas, winds tomorrow will be sustained from 30 to 40 mph with gusts of up to 60 mph, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

 “Damaging winds will blow down trees and power lines,” the agency said. “Widespread power outages are expected. Travel will be difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles.”

Farther north in western Nebraska, winds also will gust up to 60 mph.

A red-flag warning also has been issued for the Nebraska panhandle where winds will blow from 25 to 35 mph with gusts of up to 50 mph.

Relative humidity will drop as low as 10% this afternoon and evening, the NWS said.

In eastern Montana and the western Dakotas, meanwhile, blizzard warnings have been issued starting overnight tonight and lasting through Sunday, the agency said.

Up to 6 inches of snow and a light glaze of ice are forecast for the area. Winds will gust as high as 50 mph, the NWS said.

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