3 Big Things Today, February 23, 2021

Soybeans Surge in Overnight Trading; Export Inspections Lower Across the Board.

1. Soybean Futures Higher Overnight on Brazil Woes

Soybeans jumped in overnight trading on the low pace of harvest in Brazil, the world’s large exporter of the oilseeds.

Corn was higher while wheat dropped overnight.

The harvest in Brazil was only about 15% complete as of late last week, the slowest pace for mid-February in a decade, according to agriculture consultancy AgRural.

Weekend rains in northern areas of the country that slowed the harvest will ease in the next few days but are expected to return in the six- to 10-day forecast, according to Commodity Weather Group.

Interruptions are expected to shift to central regions in the 11- to 15-day outlook, though late fieldwork is expected to improve in Brazil’s center-west region, the forecaster said.

On the other hand, limited showers in southern growing areas could cause stress for 10% to 15% of the crop in the area, CWG said.

Also giving prices a boost are the lingering effects of last week’s outlook forum by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which showed tight grain and soybean stockpiles.

Strong exports will cause soybean and grain inventories to decline year-over-year, the USDA said.  

Soybean futures for March delivery jumped 20¢ to $14.07½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal was up $6.70 to $429.60 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.64¢ to 47.86¢ a pound.

Corn for March delivery rose 3¼¢ to $5.53¾ a bushel. 

Wheat futures for March delivery dropped 6½¢ to $6.63¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures lost 8¼¢ to $6.42¾ a bushel.

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2. Weekly Export Inspections Decline Across the Board

Inspections of corn, wheat, and beans for overseas delivery were all lower week-to-week, according to the USDA.

Corn assessments in the seven days that ended on Feb. 18 were reported at 1.23 million metric tons, down from 1.31 million a week earlier, the agency said in a report.

The total was, however, up from the 923,999 metric tons assessed during the same week a year earlier.

Wheat inspections last week totaled 324,597 metric tons, down from 418,816 tons the previous week and 437,336 tons during the same week in 2020, the USDA said.

Examinations of soybeans for offshore delivery came in at 721,845 metric tons, down from 922,181 tons a week earlier. That was still higher than the 573,450 tons assessed the previous year, the agency said.

Despite the weekly declines, inspections of corn and beans have been robust.

Since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, corn assessments for overseas delivery have jumped to almost 24 million metric tons, up from 13.3 million tons during the same time frame a year earlier.

Soybean inspections since the beginning of September are now at 50.9 million metric tons vs. 28.8 million tons at this point last year, government data show.

Wheat examinations since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 now stand at 17.8 million metric tons, just behind the year-earlier pace of 18.2 million metric tons, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Winter Weather Advisories Issued For Parts of Northern Plains

Winter weather advisories and high-wind warnings are in effect for parts of the Northern Plains, according to the National Weather Service.

As much as 4 inches of snow is expected to fall in parts of North Dakota today and winds will gust up to 45 mph, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Roads are expected to be slippery and blowing snow may reduce visibility, the agency said.

In northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, meanwhile, a winter weather advisory has been issued starting at 6 p.m. tonight and lasting until 6 a.m. tomorrow.

Snow and freezing drizzle are in the forecast. About 2 to 4 inches of snow are possible in Wisconsin with as much as 5 inches possible in the Upper Peninsula, the NWS said.

In the Southern Plains, meanwhile, gusty winds and low humidity mean the potential for wildfires, the agency said. Outdoor burning is discouraged.

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