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3 Big Things Today, January 11

Wheat Higher in Overnight Trading; Top-Level Chinese Official Set to Visit Washington.

1. Wheat Rises on Reports Russia is Running Low

Wheat futures were higher in early trading on reports that Russia is running out of exportable wheat.

Consultancy Ukragroconsult said there are signs that the country is running low on supplies including increased tender prices in recent months.

Egypt, the world’s largest importer of the grain, has turned to other suppliers including the U.S., the consultancy said in a report. The Russian government may offer grain transportation subsidies in a bid to pull wheat from inland areas to bolster exportable supplies, the report said.

The USDA said last month before the partial government shutdown that domestic exports would total 1 billion bushels in the 2018-2019 marketing year that ends on May 31. That’s up from 901 million the previous year.

Soybeans were higher on optimism about trade with China after it was announced one of the Asian country’s top negotiators would come to Washington later this month.  

Wheat for March delivery rose 5½¢ to $5.19¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures added 5¢ to $5.03¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.  

Soybeans for March delivery gained 3¾¢ to $9.10½ a bushel overnight. Soy meal rose 60¢ to $317.40 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.20¢ to 28.39¢ a pound.

Corn rose 2½¢ to $3.78¾ a bushel overnight.

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Today’s 3 Big Things from Successful Farming magazine is brought to you by Golden Harvest Seeds.

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2. U.S.-China Trade Gets Another Boost as Top Beijing Official Will Visit Washington

China’s top trade official is expected to make a visit to the U.S. later this month, a clear sign that this week’s initial negotiations between the world’s two largest economies went well.

Vice Premier Liu He likely will come to Washington this month despite the ongoing partial government shutdown, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

“We will continue with those meetings just as we” did in Beijing, he told reporters.

Negotiators from the countries went through more than two days of talks this week and came out of their meeting quite positive a trade deal could be reached.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and President Donald Trump had expressed optimism about the trade talks, while China’s Ministry of Commerce said the negotiations “enhanced mutual understanding and laid the foundation for addressing each other's concerns."

The U.S. and China have been involved in a tit-for-tat trade war since July 1 when Washington put tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. China retaliated by imposing an equal amount of duties on U.S. items. Since then, the countries have increased the amount of goods on which they have tariffs by more than fourfold.

On December 1, President Trump and President Xi Jinping made a temporary agreement after a meeting in Buenos Aires in which the U.S. would delay implementation of a tariff rate hike in exchange for Beijing buying more agricultural products and lowering its levy on American cars.

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Today’s 3 Big Things from Successful Farming magazine is brought to you by Golden Harvest Seeds.

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3. Winter Storm Warnings Issued as 9 Inches of Snow Expected in Central Midwest

Winter storm warnings and watches are now in effect for much of the east-central Midwest, as a large storm moves through the region, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm stretches from the Rocky Mountains, east through Kansas, Missouri, southern Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and east to the mid-Atlantic.

Warnings already have been issued for much of Missouri and the southern halves of Illinois and Indiana, the NWS said in a report.

Heavy snow is expected throughout the warning area starting today with accumulations of up to 9 inches, the agency said. Sleet accumulations of around a third of an inch are forecast.

In central Indiana, the first “significant” snowfall is expected to start late tonight and continue through Saturday before ending late tomorrow night. Total accumulations of 7 inches will be possible with the highest amounts south of Interstate 70, the NWS said.

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