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3 Big Things Today, February 23

Soybeans, Wheat Rise Overnight; USDA Sees Corn, Bean Carryout Lower in 2018-2019.

1. Soybeans, Wheat Higher Overnight Amid Ongoing Dry Weather

Soybeans moved higher again overnight as the focus stays on the dry weather in Argentina.

Moisture stress is building and yield is slipping for two thirds of the Argentina corn and soybean belts in the next 10 days given “limited shower potential,” Commodity Weather Group said in a report.

Scattered showers in recent days were limited to far western Argentina and any precipitation in the next 10 days will be in the far south and west, the forecaster said.

Wheat futures rose overnight as the dry weather in hard red winter country continues.

In the U.S. Southern Plains, it’s still extremely dry. No rain has fallen in parts of the region for at least 90 days, and much longer in some areas, according to the National Weather Service.

Soybean futures for March delivery rose 3½¢ to $10.46¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal gained $1.90 to $381.50 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.14¢ to 32.39¢ a pound.

Corn futures for March delivery rose ¾¢ to $3.67½ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat added 4¼¢ to $4.68½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures gained 4¾¢ to $4.91 a bushel overnight.

**

2. Corn Carryout Pegged 3% Lower in 2018-2019, Soybean Inventories to Fall 13%

Corn and soybean inventories are both pegged lower and acres will be virtually unchanged this year while the area planted with wheat will rise slightly, the USDA said in its Grains and Oilseeds Outlook Report at the Agricultural Outlook Forum in Washington this morning.

U.S. growers will plant 90 million acres with corn in 2018, down from 90.2 million a year earlier, according to the USDA, which released its expectations in a report at 7 a.m. in Washington. That would be the lowest planted area for the grain since 2015.

Corn production will fall to 14.39 billion bushels in the 2018-2019 marketing year that starts on September 1, down 1% from the prior 12 months, the government said. Use will total 14.52 billion bushels, down slightly from the year earlier as a decline in exports offsets growth in domestic use.

Ending stocks are seen by the USDA at 2.272 billion bushels, a 3% decline from 2017-2018.

Soybean acres are pegged at 90 million, as well, down from 90.1 million in 2016, the government said. While down slightly, it would be the second-largest area planted with the oilseed on record.

Production is pegged at 4.32 billion bushels, down 2% year over year on the slightly lower acres and reduced trend yields, the USDA said in the report. Total consumption will rise to 4.415 billion bushels, up from 4.188 billion. 

Ending stockpiles for 2018-2019 are seen at 460 million bushels, down 13% from the prior year, the USDA said.

Wheat area, meanwhile, would rise to 46.5 million acres from 46 million last year, the USDA said.

Production of the grain is expected to rise to 1.839 billion bushels from 1.741 billion a year earlier. Total use including exports are pegged at 2.052 billion bushels, down from 2.067 billion, putting ending stocks at 931 million bushels vs. 1.009 billion a year earlier, according to the government.

**

3. Winter Weather System to Bring Snow, Ice Storms to Central Midwest This Weekend

Winter weather advisories and winter storm watches are in effect for much of the central Midwest on Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

In eastern Nebraska, a low-pressure system rolling into the area tonight and tomorrow will bring a “variety” of winter weather. Freezing drizzle and freezing rain are likely tonight, followed by up to 6 inches of snow starting Saturday afternoon, the NWS said in a report early Friday morning.

In parts of northern Iowa and southern Minnesota, freezing rain and drizzle are also expected as a winter storm watch is in effect.

Up to 7 inches of snow may accumulate in the area, which will make travel this weekend extremely difficult, the agency said. Winds likely will be gusting up to 30 mph today and tomorrow, according to the NWS.

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