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3 Big Things Today, April 26, 2022

Wheat Futures Surge Overnight; Weekly Corn Export Inspections Jump.

1. Wheat Futures Jump Overnight as Conditions Deteriorate

Wheat futures surged in overnight trading as the condition of the U.S. winter crop continues to deteriorate due to dry weather in the southern Plains.

About 27% of the U.S. winter-wheat crop was in good or excellent condition as of Sunday, down from 30% the previous week, the Department of Agriculture said in a report. Some 32% of the crop had earned top ratings two weeks ago, and 11% of the crop was headed at the start of the week, well behind the prior five-year average of 19%, the agency said.

Little or no rain has fallen in the southern Plains – including almost all of western Kansas and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles – in the past 30 days, according to the National Weather Service’s precipitation page.

In Kansas, the biggest producer of winter wheat in the U.S., 67% of the state is suffering from some sort of drought, little changed from the previous week, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Around 17% of Kansas is seeing extreme or exceptional drought, up from 11% a week earlier, the monitor said.

Some 73% of Oklahoma, the second-biggest producer of the variety, was experiencing drought conditions. That’s actually down from 74% a week earlier, but the percentage of the state that’s seeing the worst conditions rose to 36% from 32% week-to-week, according to the Drought Monitor.

Soybeans and corn were higher overnight as planting remains behind the normal pace in much of the United States.

Just 3% of the soybean crop was planted at the start of the week, behind the average of 5% for this time of year, the USDA said.

About 7% of U.S. corn was in the ground as of Sunday, less than half the normal pace of 15%. And 2% of the crop had emerged at the start of the week, behind the normal 3%, the agency said.  

Wheat for May delivery jumped 23¼¢ to $10.95¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade while Kansas City futures added 20¾¢ to $11.73¾ a bushel.

Soybean futures for May delivery gained 12¢ to $16.87¼ a bushel. Soymeal rose $4.30 to $449.90 a short ton, while soybean oil futures added 0.5¢ to 80.58¢ a pound.

Corn futures rose 4¼¢ to $8.02¼ a bushel. 

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2. Corn Export Inspections Surge in Week Through April 21, USDA Says

Inspections of corn for export jumped week-to-week while bean and wheat assessments declined, according to the U.S. Ag Department.

Corn inspections in the seven days that ended on April 21 were reported at 1.65 million metric tons, the USDA said.

That’s up from 1.18 million metric tons a week earlier, but still down from the 1.95 million tons assessed during the same week last year, the agency said in a report.

Examinations of soybeans for offshore delivery dropped to 602,178 metric tons, down from 1 million tons the previous week. Still, the total was higher than the 284,564 tons assessed at the same point in 2021.

Wheat inspections also fell, dropping to 287,997 metric tons last week. That’s down from 446,225 tons examined a week earlier and the 581,087 tons assessed during the same week a year earlier, the USDA said.

Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, the government has inspected 34.9 million metric tons of corn for export. That’s down from 41.4 million tons during the same time frame last year.

Soybean inspections since the beginning of September are up to 46.6 million metric tons, trailing the 55.5 million tons examined during the same period a year earlier, the agency said.

Wheat assessments since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 now stand at 18.4 million metric tons, down from the 22.7 million tons examined at this point last year, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Red-Flag and Freeze Warnings Issued in Parts of Central U.S.

Red-flag warnings have been issued from Nebraska into the Texas panhandle while freeze warnings are in effect in parts of several states including Iowa and Illinois, according to the National Weather Service.

In central Nebraska, a red-flag warning will take effect from noon to 8 p.m. Central Time as winds will be sustained from 15 to 25 mph with gusts of up to 35 mph, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Relative humidity is pegged as low as 15%.

In the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles, winds will gust up to 45 mph and humidity will fall as low as 14%, the agency said.

In central Iowa, meanwhile, temperatures overnight fell as low as 25˚F. The freeze warning in the area will remain in effect until 8 a.m.

In northern Illinois and Indiana, temperatures overnight tonight into Wednesday are expected to drop into the upper 20s, the NWS said.

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