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3 Big Things Today, August 8
1. Soybeans Higher on Dry Midwest Weather, Optimism on China
Soybeans were higher in overnight trading on concerns about dry weather in the Midwest and as analysts believe China will again buy from the U.S.
Parts of Iowa, northern Illinois, and much of southern Missouri have seen little or no rain in the past two weeks, according to the National Weather Service.
The U.S. soybean crop was rated 67% good or excellent as of Sunday, down from 70% a week earlier, according to the USDA. Analysts had expected 69% to have earned top ratings. Some 71% of the corn crop was good or excellent, down from 72% seven days earlier.
Researcher Oil World has said it expects China will return to buying from the U.S. in the fourth quarter of this year despite the ongoing trade spat between the countries. The Asian country has been buying from Brazil, but supplies may be running low, which is boosting prices.
Wheat futures were also higher as 74% of the spring crop earned top ratings, down from 78% a week earlier and missing expectations for 77% good to excellent.
Soybean futures for November delivery rose 3½¢ to $9.09¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained $1.60 to $334.20 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.09¢ to 29.18¢ a pound.
Corn futures for December delivery rose 1¾¢ to $3.86¼ a bushel overnight.
Wheat for September delivery gained 4¼¢ to $5.72½ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures jumped 5¢ to $5.84½ a bushel.
2. U.S. to Begin Imposing 25% Tariffs on Another $16 Billion of Chinese Goods August 23
The U.S. will start imposing a 25% tariff on an additional $16 billion worth of Chinese goods in two weeks, and, while not surprising, the move escalates an already contentious trade war with the world’s second-largest economy.
The final list on which the U.S. will begin collecting levies was finalized at 279 items, down from the original list of 284, according to the U.S. Trade Representative.
Fertilizer spreaders are on the list, as are some motorcycles, semiconductors, plastics, and railway equipment. The U.S. will begin collecting the tariffs on August 23.
The duties are just the latest in the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China. The U.S. on July 6 imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods, so China retaliated with an equal amount of duties on U.S. goods.
President Trump last month instructed the U.S. Trade Representative to identify another $200 billion worth of Chinese items on which it could impose tariffs. China has responded by devaluing its currency, making its wares more attractive on the global market, and said it would put duties on another $60 billion worth of U.S. items.
So far, the Asian country hasn’t responded to the latest salvo from Washington.
China, however, reported on Wednesday that its trade surplus with the U.S. was just over $28 billion, close to a record high.
3. Strong Storms Causing Flooding, Wind Gusts of Up To 50 mph in Oklahoma
A strong storm is moving through central Oklahoma this morning that’s causing flash floods and bringing downpours to the region, according to the National Weather Service.
A flash flood warning is in effect, as are various other flood warnings and watches.
Wind gusts of up to 50 mph are possible, and later this afternoon, the severe storms are expected to pop up in parts of southwestern Oklahoma and portions of western north Texas, the NWS said in a report early Wednesday morning.
“Flash flooding will remain possible through at least late this morning across portions of central Oklahoma, including the Oklahoma City metro area,” the agency said. “Some locations could receive close to 5 inches of rainfall.”
Isolated thunderstorms are expected in parts of northern and eastern Iowa starting today, though severe weather isn’t expected, according to the NWS.
The storms likely will continue into Thursday and move east on Friday into eastern counties, the agency said.