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3 Big Things Today, February 23, 2022

Soybeans, Wheat Higher Overnight; Weekly Export Inspections of Corn Rise.

1. Soybean, Wheat Futures Higher in Overnight Trading

Soybean futures were higher in overnight trading amid continued concerns about the South American crop.

Brazil’s soybean harvest is about a third complete, consultancy AgRural said on Monday.

That’s up from 24% a week earlier and 15% at the same point last year, the agency said.

Rain that’s been falling in northern Brazil will ease into early March, potentially easing wet areas in up to 10% of the country’s soybean-growing area, Commodity Weather Group said in a report.

Rains in southern Brazil could help curb late-season losses but likely will peak too late for some plants, the forecaster said.

Temperatures are expected to hit more than 90°F. in central and southern Brazil before the warmer-than-normal pattern moves off, CWG said.

In Argentina, rainfall is expected to miss Cordoba and eastern Buenos Aires.

Wheat futures were up slightly on the specter of war as Russia moved troops into two breakaway regions of Ukraine.

Several countries including the United States, UK, Japan, Australia, and Germany have all imposed sanctions on Russia, and Ukraine government officials have urged citizens to leave Russia.

Ukraine will reportedly introduce a state of emergency nationwide.

Russia is the world’s largest exporter of wheat and Ukraine is the third-biggest shipper of the grain, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Russia is forecast by the USDA to ship 35 million metric tons of the grain in the 2021-2022 marketing year that ends on May 31, and Ukraine is expected to export 24 million metric tons.

Soybean futures for May delivery rose 10½¢ to $16.45½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal was up $3.90 to $454.70 a short ton and soybean oil futures gained 0.72¢ to 70.78¢ a pound.

Wheat for May delivery rose 2½¢ to $8.55 a bushel, while Kansas City futures were up 1½¢ to $8.88½ a bushel.

Corn futures for May delivery fell 2¢ to $6.70 a bushel. 

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2. Weekly Grain Inspections Rise While Bean Assessments Fall

Inspections of corn and wheat for overseas delivery rose week-to-week while soybean assessments declined, according to the USDA.

Corn inspections in the seven days that ended on February 17 totaled 1.58 million metric tons, the agency said.

That’s up from 1.46 million tons a week earlier and well above the 1.28 million tons examined during the same week a year earlier.

Wheat assessments last week were reported at 539,366 metric tons, up from 459,337 tons the previous week and ahead of the 324,597 tons inspected at the same point in 2021, the government said.

Soybean inspections, meanwhile, declined to 975,102 metric tons from 1.16 million tons last week. The total was still up from the 804,038 metric tons assessed during the same week last year.

Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, the USDA has inspected 21.6 million metric tons of corn for offshore delivery, down from 24.2 million tons during the same time frame a year earlier.

Soybean assessments since the beginning of September are now at 39.8 million metric tons, down from 51.1 million tons 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 15 million metric tons, down from 17.8 million tons at the same point in 2021, the USDA said in its report.  

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3. Winter-Storm Warnings Issued From Texas to Illinois

Winter-storm warnings have been issued for a large chunk of land stretching from northeastern Texas northeast into southern Illinois, according to the National Weather Service.

In eastern Oklahoma, accumulations are expected today and tomorrow making for dangerous travel conditions, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Freezing rain, sleet, and light snow are in the forecast for the area. Up to an inch of sleet is expected along with ice accumulations of 0.10 to 0.2 inch, the agency said.

In southern Missouri and southern Illinois, “heavy mixed precipitation” is expected with snow accumulations of up to 2 inches, sleet accumulations of 0.5 inch, and an ice glaze of about .10 inch.  

“Roads, and especially bridges and overpasses, will likely become slick and hazardous,” the NWS said. “Plan on slippery road conditions.”

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