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3 Big Things Today, January 24, 2023

Grains, Soybeans Higher Overnight; Weekly Export Inspections Mostly Lower

1. Grain and Soybean Futures Rise in Overnight Trading

Grain and soybean futures were modestly higher in overnight trading on signs of demand for U.S. products and some profit-taking.

Exporters sold 192,000 metric tons of soybeans to an unnamed country, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday. On Friday, the government announced sales of 220,000 tons of beans to an unknown buyer and on Thursday said 195,000 tons of corn were sold to Mexico.

Sales of corn, wheat, and beans to overseas buyers all jumped in the week that ended on Jan. 12, USDA said in a report Friday.

Corn sales rose to 1.13 million metric tons from 255,700 tons a week earlier, wheat sales surged to 473,100 tons from only 90,800 tons the previous week, and soybean sales rose 38% to 986,200 metric tons, the government said in its report.

Still, prices had been dropping amid favorable growing weather in several countries.

Rain has been falling and more is on the way in corn and soybean-producing areas of Argentina, which has been extremely dry for the past several weeks. More rain is expected this week.

The country is expected to produce 45.5 million metric tons of soybeans this year, which if realized would be up from 43.9 million tons a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report last week. Corn production is pegged at 52 million metric tons, up from 49.5 million tons last year, USDA said.

In the U.S. southern Plains, meanwhile, mixed precipitation has fallen in the area and snowfall is expected this week, according to weather forecasters. That likely will aid hard-red winter wheat, some of which hadn't seen moisture in quite some time.

Corn futures for March delivery rose 4½ cents to $6.70 ¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Wheat futures for March delivery gained 4¼ cents to $7.24 ¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures added 8¼ cents to $8.27 ¼ a bushel.

Soybean futures rose 7 cents to $14.97 ¼ a bushel. Soymeal was up $7.40 to $469.30 a short ton, while soy oil lost 0.43 cents to 61.61 cents a pound.

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2. Weekly Export Inspections of Corn, Beans Decline

Inspections of corn and beans for overseas delivery fell week-to-week while wheat assessments improved, according to data from USDA.

Corn inspections in the seven days that ended on Jan. 19 declined to 727,643 metric tons from 779,788 tons a week earlier, the agency said in a report.

That's also well below the 1.19 million tons examined during the same week a year earlier.

Soybean assessments were down to 1.81 million metric tons from 2.19 million tons, the government said. Last week's total, however, was up from the 1.38 million tons inspected at the same point last year.

Wheat inspections last week came in at 334,217 metric tons, up from 325,643 tons the previous week, but down from the 417,638 tons examined during the same week in 2022.

Since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, USDA has inspected 11.5 million metric tons of corn for export. That's down from 16.5 million tons during the same timeframe a year earlier.

Soybean assessments since the beginning of September now stand at 34.1 million metric tons, down from 35 million tons in the same period last year, the government said.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain's marketing year on Sept. 1 totaled 12.8 million metric tons, down narrowly from the 13.2 million tons assessed at this point in 2022, USDA said in its report.

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3. Winter Storms Forecast From New Mexico to Maine

Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories have been issued for a large chunk of the U.S. stretching from western New Mexico into Maine, according to National Weather Service maps.

In the southern Plains, as much as 7 inches of snow is expected in the Texas panhandle today, the NWS said in a report early this morning. A winter storm warning will remain in effect until early tomorrow morning.

Further east in southern Missouri, between 6 and 10 inches of snow are expected with some areas seeing as much as a foot, the agency said. A winter storm warning will take effect this evening and last until midday Wednesday.

In central Illinois and Indiana, 4 to 8 inches of snow are forecast along with winds gusting up to 35 mph, the NWS said

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