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3 Big Things Today, February 1, 2022

Wheat Futures Rise Overnight; Soybean Inspections Improve Week-to-Week.

1. Wheat Futures Rise in Overnight Trading

Wheat futures were higher in overnight trading amid ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, two of the world’s biggest exporters of the grain.

Officials from the U.S. and Russia will make another bid at diplomacy to avoid any sort of physical conflict in Ukraine.

Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops along its border with Ukraine, while troops and other enlistees on the Ukraine side prepare for an invasion.

The U.S. and Russia traded barbs at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council. The U.S. said Russia would face a "horrific" outcome if they invaded Ukraine, while Moscow accused Washington of overblowing the situation.

Russia, the world’s largest exporter of wheat, is forecast by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ship 35 million metric tons of the grain to overseas buyers in the 2021-2022 marketing year.

Ukraine is the third-biggest shipper of the grain (Australia is second) and is expected to export 24.2 million metric tons of wheat in the current marketing year, the USDA said.

The U.S. is projected to be the fourth-largest shipper at 22.5 million metric tons.

Wheat for March delivery added 6¼¢ to $7.67½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City futures rose 4¼¢ to $7.85½ a bushel.

Soybean futures for March delivery fell 1¾¢ to $14.88¾ a bushel. Soymeal was up $2.10 to $421 a short ton and soybean oil futures lost 0.29¢ to 64.53¢ a pound.

Corn futures for March delivery gained ¼¢ to $6.26¼ a bushel.

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2. Soybean Export Inspections Rise Week-to-Week

Inspections of soybeans for export were higher week-to-week while grain assessments declined, according to the USDA.

Soybean inspections in the seven days that ended on Jan. 27 totaled 1.41 million metric tons, up from 1.35 million metric tons a week earlier, the agency said in a report.

That’s still down from the 1.9 million tons assessed during the same week a year earlier.

Corn inspections, meanwhile, declined to 1.04 million metric tons from 1.19 million tons a week earlier, the government said. The total also was down from the 1.12 million tons assessed a year earlier.

Examinations of wheat for offshore delivery dropped to 361,375 metric tons from 411,011 tons the previous week and 414,248 tons at the same point last year, the USDA said.

Since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, the government has examined 36.3 million metric tons of soybeans for export.

That’s down from 47.5 million metric tons inspected during the same time frame a year earlier, the agency said.

Corn inspections since the beginning of September are now at 17.5 million metric tons, down from 20 million tons in the same period last year.

Wheat assessments since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 now stand at 13.6 million metric tons, down from 16.6 million tons at the same point last year, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Winter Weather Rears Its Head in Several Parts of the U.S.

Blizzard warnings, winter-storm warnings, and winter-weather advisories have been issued for several parts of the U.S. as winter flexes its muscle, according to the National Weather Service.

More snow and strong winds gusting up to 60 mph are expected this morning in parts of eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Blizzard warnings remain in effect until 9 a.m. local time.

Farther south, winter-storm warnings have been issued for a large chunk of land stretching from eastern Colorado through Missouri and northeast into northern Ohio, according to the NWS maps.

In eastern Missouri and western Illinois, forecasts call for up to 10 inches of snow overnight tonight with locally higher amounts possible, the agency said.

Sleet is possible with accumulations of up to .75 inch. Winds will gust as high as 35 mph.

In northern Indiana and southern Michigan, from 10 to 20 inches of snow are expected starting overnight tonight and lasting through most of Thursday, the NWS said.

“Rain will change to snow from northwest to southeast tonight,” the agency said. “This will be a long-duration snow event, with periods of moderate to heavy snow and reduced visibilities.”

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