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3 Big Things Today, February 21

Soybeans, Grains Mixed Overnight; Export Inspections Higher For Corn, Lower For Wheat.

1. Soybeans, Grains Mixed Overnight as Investors Weigh World Weather, Weak Demand

Soybeans and grains were mixed in overnight trading, as investors weigh adverse world weather against weak demand and large global inventories.

Extremely dry weather in Argentina has led to a recent rise in soybeans and corn, while drought in the U.S. Southern Plains pushed Kansas City wheat higher. Soybeans jumped to the highest in seven months yesterday and aren’t off that level by much this morning, but buying has stalled out overnight.

Chicago wheat declined to a two-week low, and Kansas City wheat dropped overnight despite extremely dry weather in the Southern Plains, which has likely caused extensive damage to the hard red winter wheat crop.

Investors seem to be taking a breather from buying this morning due to some technical pressure and weak demand, analysts said.

Export sales of soybeans so far this marketing year are down 13% from the same time frame a year earlier, according to the USDA. Sales of corn are off by 14%, and wheat sales are down 12% year to year.

Soybean futures for March delivery fell ½¢ to $10.26¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal fell $2.60 to $376.70 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.01¢ to 32.05¢ a pound.

Corn futures for March delivery rose 1½¢ to $3.67 a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat fell ¼¢ to $4.49 a bushel, while Kansas City futures lost 3½¢ to $4.83¾ a bushel overnight.

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2. Export Inspections For Corn Rise; Soybeans, Wheat Decline Week to Week

Export inspections for corn rose, while soybean and wheat assessments declined last week.

Corn inspected by the USDA for overseas delivery totaled 938,099 metric tons in the week that ended on February 15, according to the government. That’s up from 846,108 seven days earlier.

The USDA inspected 1.18 million tons during the same week last year.

Soybean inspections were reported at 960,066 tons, down from 1.34 million a week earlier and 1.09 million at the same time in 2017, the agency said in a report that was delayed a day due to the Presidents’ Day holiday.

Wheat inspections also declined, coming in at 422,298 metric tons. That’s down from 499,825 a week earlier and 570,810 a year earlier.

Inspections in the current marketing year are lower for corn, soybeans, and wheat.

Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, the USDA has inspected 16.6 million metric tons of corn for overseas delivery, according to the USDA. That’s well below the 24.4 million inspected during the same period a year earlier.

Soybean inspections since September 1 totaled 37 million tons, down from 42.7 million last year, government data show.

For wheat, inspections since the start of its marketing year on June 1 were reported at 17.5 million tons, behind the 18.4 million reported during the same time frame a year earlier, according to the USDA.

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3. Flood Warnings Issued in Several Northern Midwest States After Rain Falls on Frozen Ground

Flood warnings have been issued for much of southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois, and much of Michigan after several inches of precipitation fell in some areas.

As much as 5 inches of rain have fallen in the past two days in some parts of the region, the National Weather Service said. Runoff has been quick due to the frozen ground, which is causing some rivers and tributaries to overflow, according to the NWS.

The Little Calumet River near South Holland, for example, was at 19 feet as of early Wednesday morning. Flood stage is at 16½ feet, the agency said.

Farther east, in Michigan, up to 3 inches fell quickly. With the runoff, rivers near several cities and towns including Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Kalamazoo are flooding. The southern two thirds of the state is under a flood warning, the NWS said.

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