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3 Big Things Today, January 25, 2022

Wheat Futures Surge Overnight; Export Inspections of Corn, Beans Decline.

1. Wheat Futures Jump in Overnight Trading

Wheat futures surged in overnight trading on declining crop conditions in Kansas and ongoing concerns about tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

The hard-red winter wheat crop in Kansas was rated 30% good or excellent as of Sunday, down from 33% at the start of the month, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The percentage that was rated poor or very poor rose to 31% from 25%, the USDA said in a report.

Topsoil moisture was 22% adequate and 1% surplus and subsoil moisture was 28% adequate this week.

When January started, topsoil moisture was rated 26% adequate and 2% surplus and subsoil moisture was 34% adequate and 1% surplus, the agency said.

Most of southern and central Kansas haven’t seen much rain in the past 30 days, according to the National Weather Service precipitation page. The Oklahoma and Texas panhandles also have been dry.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine, two of the world’s largest wheat exporters, continue to rise after Moscow criticized the U.S. for putting troops on high alert amid fears of war.

The Pentagon has reportedly put 8,500 U.S. troops on alert in the event Russia invades Ukraine. Talks are ongoing but haven’t yet bore fruit, according to media reports.

Around 100,000 Russian troops have reportedly amassed at the Ukraine border.

Russia is expected to export 35 million metric tons of wheat in the 2021-2022 marketing year, USDA data show. Ukraine is forecast to export 24.2 million metric tons of wheat this year, the USDA said.

Wheat for March delivery jumped 11¢ to $8.11½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City futures added 8½¢ to $8.26½ a bushel.

Soybean futures for March delivery fell 3¢ to $14 a bushel overnight. Soymeal lost $3.40 to $390.50 a short ton, and soybean oil futures gained 0.43¢ to 62.4¢ a pound.

Corn futures for March delivery fell ½¢ to $6.20½ a bushel.

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2. Weekly Corn, Soybean Export Inspections Fall

Inspections of corn and soybeans for overseas delivery both dropped in the week that ended on January 20 while wheat assessments improved, according to the USDA.

Corn inspections totaled 1.12 million metric tons, down from 1.24 million tons a week earlier, the agency said in a report. That’s also down from the 1.4 million tons assessed during the same week last year.

Examinations of soybeans for export were reported at 1.3 million metric tons.

That’s down from the 1.73 million tons inspected a week earlier and the 2.1 million tons assessed at the same point in 2021, the government said.

Wheat inspections last week totaled 400,973 metric tons, up from 384,291 tons the previous week and below the 571,677 tons examined in the same week a year ago.

Since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, the USDA has inspected 16.4 million metric tons of corn for offshore delivery, down from 18.9 million tons during the same time frame a year ago.

Soybean inspections since the beginning of September are at 34.8 million metric tons, well below the 45.6 million tons examined during the same period last year.

Wheat assessments since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 now stand at 13.2 million metric tons, which compares with the 16.2 million tons inspected at this point in 2021, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Winter-Storm Warnings Issued For Parts of Western Kansas

Winter-storm warnings and winter-weather advisories have been issued for much of eastern Colorado and western Kansas, according to the National Weather Service.

Up to 7 inches of snow is expected in parts of western Kansas with some areas potentially seeing more, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

A winter-storm warning is in effect in several western Kansas counties until 6 p.m. Central Time.

“A narrow band of heavy snow, with 1- to 2-inch-per-hour snowfall rates, is expected to develop within the warning area with higher snowfall amounts possible,” the agency said. “While there is some uncertainty, it is possible that heavier snow accumulations could occur a little farther southeast of the warning area.”

In the northern U.S., meanwhile, wind-chill warnings and advisories are in effect as the cold snap continues.

Values were expected to drop as low as -40°F. in parts of Minnesota this morning, the NWS said. A second wind-chill warning will take effect this evening and last through tomorrow morning.

“The dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes,” the agency said.

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