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3 Big Things Today, February 15, 2022

Soybeans, Grains Plunge Overnight; Export Inspections of Corn Improve.

1. Soybean, Grain Futures Drop in Overnight Trading

Soybean futures plunged overnight as the Brazilian harvest rolls on and grain futures dropped on reports that Russia is pulling back some troops from the Ukraine border.

Brazil’s soybean harvest was almost a quarter of the way done at the end of last week, consultancy AgRural estimated in a report.

Another consultancy, Safras and Mercado, said it forecasts the harvest is almost 27% finished, and that so far yields have been strong in some areas.

Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of soybeans.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said last week it now expects Brazilian exports to total 90.5 million metric tons, and while that’s down from a prior forecast for 94 million metric tons, it’s also well above the 81.7 million tons shipped from the South American country last year.

Wheat futures plunged on reports that Russia has pulled back some troops from the Ukraine border.

Russian troops were returning to their bases after conducting drills in Ukraine, several news agencies reported. Still, government officials in Ukraine said they’re taking a wait-and-see approach and are skeptical of any withdrawal.

Soybean futures for March delivery dropped 17¼¢ to $15.52¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal was down $4.40 to $444 a short ton and soybean oil futures lost 0.79¢ to 65.02¢ a pound.

Corn futures for March delivery fell 10¼¢ to $6.45½ a bushel.  

Wheat for March delivery plunged 17¢ to $7.82¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures lost 17½¢ to $8.11 a bushel.

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2. Weekly Export Inspections of Corn Jump

Inspections of corn for overseas delivery surged in the seven days that ended on February 10 while soybean assessments declined, according to the USDA.

Corn inspections last week totaled 1.46 million metric tons, up from 1.07 million the previous week, the agency said in a report.

That also was up from the 1.31 million metric tons assessed during the same week a year earlier.

Soybean assessments last week totaled 1.15 million metric tons, down from 1.24 million tons the previous week, but up from the 1.31 million tons examined during at the same point last year, the government said.

Wheat inspections were up slightly, rising to 435,188 metric tons from 433,921 tons, the USDA said. During the same week in 2021, the agency inspected 425,049 metric tons of wheat for offshore delivery.

Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, the government has inspected 20.1 million metric tons of corn for overseas delivery, down from the 22.9 million tons assessed during the same time frame a year earlier.

Soybean assessments since the beginning of September now stand at 38.8 million metric tons, down from the 50.3 million tons examined during the same period last year, the agency said.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are now at 14.5 million metric tons, down from the 17.5 million tons assessed a year earlier, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Red-Flag Warnings Issues For Much of the Southern Plains

Extremely dry weather is forecast for much of the southern Plains as red-flag warnings have been issued in areas where winter wheat is attempting to overwinter.

A red-flag warning will take effect at 11 a.m. and last through 8 p.m. in parts of the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles, according to the National Weather Service.

Winds will be sustained from 20 to 30 mph with gusts of up to 40 mph, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Relative humidity will drop as low as 7%.

In central and eastern Kansas, meanwhile, winds will range from 25 to 35 mph with gusts of up to 45 mph, and humidity will drop as low as 22%, the agency said.

“A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior,” the NWS said.

Farther east in northern Indiana, flooding is expected starting tomorrow through Thursday morning as heavy rain, melting snow, and breaking ice jams are forecast, the agency said.

Parts of northwestern Indiana and east-central Illinois likely will see the flooding.

“Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying, flood-prone and poor-drainage areas,” the NWS said. “Also, rising river levels and warmer temperatures may result in river ice becoming dislodged, increasing the risk of localized ice-jam flooding.”

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