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3 Big Things Today, January 4, 2022

Wheat Futures Rise in Overnight Trading; Weekly Export Inspections Decline.

1. Wheat Futures Higher in Overnight Trading

Wheat futures were higher in overnight trading after a government report showed crop conditions and soil moisture declined in Kansas, the biggest U.S. producer of the grain.

Winter wheat in Kansas was rated 33% good or excellent as of Sunday, the Department of Agriculture said in a report.

That’s well below the 51% that had received top ratings in a Dec. 13 survey, which was the last time the state’s crop progress report was released, government data show. At the same time in 2021, 46% of the crop was rated good or excellent.

Topsoil moisture was 28% adequate or surplus at the start of this week, down from 37% about three weeks ago and 57% a year earlier. Subsoil moisture as of Sunday was 35% adequate or surplus, down from 43% on Dec. 13 and 55% the previous year, the USDA said.

Drought conditions have spread in the Southern Plains where hard-red winter wheat is at least attempting to overwinter.

About 50% of Kansas was facing drought conditions as of Dec. 28, up from 33% a week earlier and 15% three months earlier, according to data from the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Just over 90% of Oklahoma, the second-biggest producer of hard-red winter wheat in the U.S., was seeing drought, up from 79% the previous week and 73% three months ago, the monitor said.

Little or no rain has fallen in much of southwestern Kansas and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles in the past 30 days, according to the National Weather Service’s precipitation page.

Soybeans and corn also rose in overnight trading on worries about dry weather in South America.

Crops in southern Brazil were sown into extremely dry soils as farmers waited for rainfall that never arrived, according to data from WeatherTrends360.

Commodity Weather Group said in a report that up to a quarter of Brazil’s soybean crop and half of Paraguay’s are at risk of missing precipitation in the 11- to 15-day outlook.

Some weather models are showing a slightly wetter pattern in parts of southern Brazil through midweek, CWG said.

Wheat futures for March delivery rose 3½¢ to $7.61½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City futures gained 7½¢ to $7.99 a bushel.

Soybean futures for March delivery added 7¼¢ to $13.62¾ a bushel. Soymeal dropped $1.80 to $409.50 a short ton, and soy oil rose 0.73¢ to 57.15¢ a pound.

Corn futures for March delivery rose 4½¢ to $5.93¾ a bushel.

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2. Grain and Bean Inspections Fall Week-to-Week

Inspections of grains and soybeans fell in the week that ended on Dec. 30, according to a report from the USDA.

The agency inspected 596,092 metric tons of corn for overseas delivery last week, down from 954,488 tons the previous week, the agency said.

That’s also well below the 1.09 million tons assessed during the same week a year earlier.

Wheat assessments were reported at 141,816 metric tons, less than half the 291,207 tons examined a week earlier and a drop from the 475,901 tons inspected during the same time frame the previous year, the USDA said.

The government inspected 1.19 million metric tons for offshore delivery, down from 1.73 million the previous week. About 1.76 million tons of soybeans were assessed a year earlier.

Since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, the agency has inspected 12.9 million metric tons of corn for export, down from 15.2 million during the same time frame the previous year.

Soybean inspections since the beginning of September are now at 30.3 million metric tons, down from 39.2 million a year earlier.

Wheat assessments since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 now stand at 12.1 million metric tons, down from 15 million at the same point last year, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Winter Weather to Slam Much of Northern U.S.

Winter weather advisories, high-wind warnings, and wind-chill warnings have all been issued in parts of the northern U.S. Midwest, according to the National Weather Service.

Storms are expected in parts of eastern South Dakota starting at about 3 p.m. today while wind-chill advisories go into effect at 9 p.m. tonight, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Total snow accumulations will only be about an inch in the area, but winds will gust as high as 55 mph, the agency said. Wind chills will fall to -30°F.

In eastern Iowa and northern Illinois, a winter weather advisory will take effect at 9 p.m. local time as blowing snow and strong winds are in the forecast, the NWS said.

Winds will be sustained from 15 to 25 mph with gusts of up to 45 mph expected. Wind chills are expected to drop to as low as -20°F.

“Patchy blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility, especially in rural areas,” the NWS said. “This may cause roads to become snow covered again and make travel difficult across the advisory area.”

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