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3 Big Things Today, August 21
1. Wheat Futures Lower Overnight on Russia Concerns
Wheat futures were lower in overnight trading on worries that Russian exporters will increase shipments in the next few months on concerns that the government will implement a partial ban on exports.
Analysts have speculated that Russia, the world’s biggest exporter of the grain, would put limits on exports due to ongoing drought in growing areas, which initially drove prices higher. Traders, however, became concerned that any such limits on exports would cause sellers to liquidate supplies, bringing a large amount of wheat to market in a very short time.
The Russian government has denied reports that it is planning to put limits on wheat exports.
Corn and soybeans were little changed overnight despite lower crop ratings yesterday. The corn crop was rated 68% good or excellent as of Sunday, down from 70% a week earlier, but still above last year’s 62% for this time of year, according to the USDA.
Soybeans were 65% good or excellent, down from 66% last week but still up from 60% last year, the USDA said.
Rainfall in several parts of the Corn Belt last week and yesterday may have given crops a boost. More rain is expected in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa today.
Wheat for December delivery fell 6¾¢ to $5.55½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City futures lost 5¾¢ to $5.69 a bushel.
Corn futures for December delivery lost 1¼¢ to $3.75¼ a bushel overnight.
Soybeans for November delivery fell ½¢ to $8.92¾ a bushel in Chicago. Soy meal futures dropped 30¢ to $330.30 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.05¢ to 28.93¢ a pound.
2. Export Inspections of Soybeans Rise Week to Week, Corn Assessments Decline
Export inspections of soybeans rose week to week, while corn and wheat declined, according to the USDA.
Soybean assessments were reported at 639,001 metric tons, up from 581,314 tons a week earlier but down from 668,710 during the same week last year.
Corn inspections in the seven days that ended on August 16 totaled 1.1 million metric tons, down from 1.26 million a week earlier, the USDA said in a report.
Wheat inspections also fell, totaling 345,375 tons last week, down from 487,399 tons seven days earlier. Assessments of the grain during the same week a year earlier were 592,678 tons, according to the government.
With only about two weeks to go in the marketing year, corn export inspections have almost caught up with the year-ago pace while soybeans still lag.
Inspections of corn since the start of the 2017-2018 year that began on Sepember 1 totaled 55.1 million metric tons, just behind the prior year’s 55.3 million tons.
Soybean assessments in the marketing year are at 54.6 million tons, down from 56.4 million tons a year earlier, USDA data show.
Wheat inspections since the start of its marketing year on June 1 are at 4.21 million tons, well behind the year-earlier pace of 6.77 million tons, according to the government.
3. Missouri River Breaches Flood Stage in Parts of Nebraska, Iowa After Torrential Rains
Flood warnings and advisories are in effect for parts of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa this morning after torrential downpours yesterday left several areas underwater.
Rainfall totals reached records near Omaha yesterday, flooding streets and delaying air travel in and out of the city. The Missouri River is flooding on both sides of the Nebraska-Iowa border after yesterday’s precipitation, the National Weather Service said in an early report this morning.
The Missouri river at Plattsmouth was at 26.4 feet as of 4:15 a.m. Tuesday, topping the flood stage of 26 feet, the NWS said.
“Minor flooding will continue along the Missouri River downstream from Omaha,” the agency said.
Scattered thunderstorms are possible again Wednesday night and Thursday and possibly into the weekend, though storms are expected to be severe.
Farther south, some parts of northwestern Missouri also may see some flooding, based on expected rainfall in the next 24 hours combined with runoff from earlier storms, the NWS said.