3 Big Things Today, January 30
1. Wheat Futures Jump to Multimonth Highs as Drought Curbs Conditions
Chicago wheat reached the highest in three months, while Kansas futures were at their loftiest levels since late September after a report showed how dry, cold weather has affected the winter crop.
Crop conditions in Kansas, the biggest grower of winter wheat in the U.S., was rated only 14% good or excellent as of Sunday, according to the USDA. About 10% was rated very poor, 34% was rated poor, and 42% was fair.
About 37% of the crop was rated good or excellent a month earlier. Extremely dry weather has plunged the Southern Plains into a drought, with the entirety of the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles in either a severe or extreme drought as of January 23, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Little or no rain has fallen in the Southern Plains in the past 30 days, according to the National Weather Service.
Wheat for March delivery rose 6¼¢ to $4.55½ a bushel in overnight trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City futures jumped 10¾¢ to $4.63¾ a bushel.
Corn futures rose 2¢ to $3.60¾ a bushel overnight.
Soybean futures for March delivery gained 2¾¢ to $9.94¼ a bushel. Soybean meal futures gained $1.30 to $338.70 a short ton, while soy oil fell 0.10¢ to 32.77¢ a pound.
2. Export Inspections of Corn, Wheat Higher Week to Week, Soybeans Decline
Export inspections of corn and wheat surged last week, while soybeans plunged, according to the USDA.
USDA officials inspected 993,506 metric tons of corn, up 37% from the prior week, the government said in a report.
Wheat inspections totaled 579,875 metric tons vs. 423,620 tons a week earlier.
Soybean inspections were reported at 1.10 million metric tons in the seven days that ended on January 25, down from 1.42 million tons seven days earlier, according to the USDA.
Inspections of corn since the start of the marketing year on September 1 have totaled 13.7 million tons, well behind the year-ago pace of 20.9 million.
The USDA has inspected 33.4 million tons of soybeans this year, also below last year’s pace of 38.8 million tons during the same time frame.
Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are at 16.2 million tons, slightly behind the 16.8 million tons reported at the same time last year, according to the USDA.
3. Red-Flag Warning Extended in Southern Plains Due to Strong Winds, Low Humidity
The dry weather in the Southern Plains continues today as the red-flag warning has spread further into Oklahoma and Texas.
Relative humidity is expected to be as low as 8% today in much of the region with sustained winds of up to 30 mph and gusts of more than 40 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
The winds are expected to pick up across the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles late this morning and persist into early evening, the NWS said.
A red-flag warning means “critical fire weather conditions” are prevalent. Fires will spread quickly.
Fire danger is also present in parts of eastern Kansas and western Missouri, where sustained winds of 25 mph are expected, combined with low relative humidity around 30% to 35%, according to the agency.