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3 Big Things Today, April 28, 2021

Soybeans, Grains Lower in Overnight Trading; Cheese Production Rises 0.9%.

1. Soybeans and Grains Plunge in Overnight Trading

Soybean and grain futures plunged overnight as speculative investors who were long the market, or bet on higher prices, sell contracts and liquidate their positions after futures hit multiyear highs.

With bean, corn, and wheat prices reaching the highest in more than eight years yesterday, investors likely booked profits and headed to the exits.

Fundamentals haven’t changed with adverse weather in the U.S. and abroad giving prices a boost. Rain in some areas likely will delay planting of corn and beans, while the Department of Agriculture said in a report on Monday that the condition of the U.S. winter-wheat crop deteriorated week-to-week.

About 49% of the crop was rated good or excellent as of Sunday, down from 53% a week earlier and 54% during the same week in 2020, the USDA said.

About 17% was headed at the beginning of the week, behind the prior five-year average of 23%, the government said.

About 60% of Brazil’s safrinha corn crop is suffering from dry weather, Commodity Weather Group said, with models showing ongoing drought for at least the southern half of crop-growing areas.

Soybean futures dropped 18¼¢ to $15.01¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal lost $2.50 to $424.30 a short ton, and soy oil fell 2.15¢ to 58.73¢ a pound.

Corn futures for May delivery plunged 13¾¢ to $6.40¾ a bushel.

Wheat futures for May delivery lost 17½¢ to $7.15¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures declined 19¢ to $6.92¼ a bushel.

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2. Cheese Production Rises 0.9% in the U.S. Last Year as American Output Improves

Cheese production in the U.S. rose 0.9% last year, led by gains in American-type products, according to the USDA.

Output excluding cottage cheese in 2020 increased to 13.3 billion pounds, the agency said. Wisconsin led all producers with almost 26% of total production.

American-type cheeses rose 2% year-over-year to 5.34 billion pounds, government data show. Cheddar output rose 2.4% to 3.83 billion pounds and other American cheese production was up 0.9% to 1.51 billion pounds.

Producers, however, reduced output of Italian types of cheese by 0.8% to 5.63 billion pounds in 2020, the Ag Department said in a report.

Mozzarella output fell 1% to 4.45 billion pounds, provolone production declined 4.6% to 366.4 million pounds, and other Italian types plunged 5.8% to 75.9 million pounds, the agency said.

Yogurt production jumped 3.2% to 4.52 billion pounds and sour cream output rose 2.6% to 1.46 billion pounds.

About 1,242 dairy plants were in operation in 2020, down from 1,270 a year earlier and the lowest number in at least five years, according to the USDA.

Wisconsin led all states with 196 dairy facilities, followed by New York at 128 and California at 110, the agency said in its report.

The USDA said last month that U.S. milk production in 2020 climbed to 223.2 billion pounds from 218.4 billion pounds the previous year.

The number of milk cows in the largest 24 producing states were reported at 8.87 million head, up from 8.8 million the previous year, the government said in its April report.


3. Flash-Flood Warnings in Effect For Parts of Central Oklahoma, North Texas

Flash-flood warnings and tornado watches are in effect this morning in parts of central Oklahoma, according to the National Weather Service.

From 1 inch to 3 inches of rain fell overnight across the region, leading to flash flooding, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

“Although heavy rain is starting to move out of western north Texas and southwest Oklahoma, some areas of flooding will continue through the early morning hours,” the agency said.

Small creeks and streams likely will overrun their banks due to excessive runoff from heavy rain.

A tornado watch also is in effect for dozens of counties in Oklahoma and Texas, the NWS said.

Flash flood watches, meanwhile, have been issued for parts of southern Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana starting at 1 p.m. Central time and lasting through tomorrow evening.

“There will be potential for several rounds of moderate to heavy rainfall this afternoon through Thursday evening,” the agency said.

Some 2 to 4 inches of rain are expected in the region with locally higher amounts, the NWS said.

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