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3 Big Things Today, April 24

Wheat Futures Decline Overnight; Corn Planting Still Well Behind Average Pace.

1. Wheat Declines Overnight on Rising Supply, Reduced Demand

Wheat futures declined overnight as speculative investors sold on rising global supplies and declining demand, while soybeans and corn were modestly lower.  

Global stockpiles of wheat are pegged at 271.2 million metric tons at the end of the marketing year on May 31, up from 254.6 million a year earlier, according to the USDA. Production is seen at 759.8 million tons, up from 750.7 million, the USDA said.

With just over a month to go in the 2017-2018 marketing year, accumulated wheat exports to date from the U.S. to overseas buyers are down 11% year over year at 19.9 million metric tons, according to the government. Total commitments to buy U.S. supplies by the end of the marketing year are down 17%.

Export inspections were decent for wheat, rising to 619,251 metric tons in the week that ended on April 19 from 504,956 a week earlier, USDA data show. Corn inspections jumped to 1.72 million tons from 1.58 million a week earlier, while soybean assessments rose to 470,817 tons from 446,431 tons.

Along with strong inspections, ongoing dry weather in hard red winter wheat country is underpinning prices.

Wheat for May delivery fell 3¾¢ to $4.70¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City futures dropped 5¢ to $4.97¾ a bushel.

Corn futures fell a penny to $3.86½ a bushel overnight.

Soybean futures for May delivery lost 1¾¢ to $10.30½ a bushel. Soy meal dropped 70¢ to $375.50 a short ton, and soy oil rose 0.02¢ to 31.32¢ a pound.

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2. Corn Planting Stays Well Behind Average; Winter Wheat Ratings 31% Good-Excellent

Only 5% of the U.S. corn crop was planted as of April 22, up from 3% the prior week but well behind the prior five-year pace of 14%, according to the USDA.

In Iowa, no corn was recorded as planted, and in Illinois, only 4% was in the ground vs. averages of 11% and 20%, respectively, for this time of year, the USDA said in a report. Iowa and Illinois are the biggest producers of the grain.

Soybean seeding, well along in some Delta states, has started in the Midwest with 2% complete nationally, on par with the average for this time of year. Nebraska and Missouri growers have each planted 1% of the crop so far.

Winter wheat ratings showed 31% of the crop in good or excellent condition, unchanged from last week but well behind last year’s 54% figure. About 37% was in poor or very poor condition as of Sunday.

In Kansas, the biggest producer of winter wheat, only 11% of the hard red crop was rated good and 1% was in excellent condition, the USDA said.

About 13% was headed nationally, behind the five-year average of 19%, according to the government. In Kansas, 0% was headed compared with the prior average of 11% for this time of year. In Oklahoma, only 23% was headed vs. the average of 38%, the agency said.

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3. Flooding Continues in Parts of South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa as Rivers Top Flood Stage

Flooding continues in parts of South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa this morning as several rivers and tributaries overrun their banks amid melting snow.

River and streams near Mitchell, Brookings, Yankton, and Sioux Falls in South Dakota all are running near or above flood stage, according to the National Weather Service.

The same holds true for waterways near Windom, Marshall, and Pipestone in Minnesota and Spencer, Iowa, the NWS said in a report early Tuesday morning.

The Little Sioux River near Milford, Iowa, was at 14 feet as of 1 a.m. Tuesday, topping its flood stage of 12 feet.

“At stages near 14 feet, significant amounts of pasture and other farm lands begin to flood,” the NWS said. The Redwood River at Russell, Iowa, was at 17.2 feet this morning, over its flood stage of 14 feet.

Parts of South Dakota – particularly near Mitchell – will see showers after 10 a.m. today, which likely will keep soils moist and further delay planting. The weather will clear after today with temperatures reaching into the 70s this weekend, the NWS said.

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