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3 Big Things Today, January 8

Soybeans, Grains Higher Overnight; Export Inspections of Corn, Beans, Wheat Decline.

1. Soybeans, Grains Rise on Cautious Optimism

Soybeans and corn were cautiously higher on continued optimism that the U.S. and China will find common ground on trade and hammer out an agreement by March 1, though gains were limited on the prospects that Washington may not get everything it wants.

U.S. Commerce Secretary said the countries, the world’s two largest economies, could come to an agreement that “we can live with.” Not necessarily a resounding promotion of a trade deal, but progress nonetheless.

Negotiations from the countries enter their second day today. The White House has set a deadline of March 1 for a new agreement to be put in place, or it will raise its tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from their current level of 10%. If that happens, it’s likely China would retaliate.

Soybeans for March delivery rose ½¢ to $9.24¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained 30¢ to $322.50 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.15¢ to 28.66¢ a pound.

Corn gained 1½¢ to $3.83¾ a bushel overnight.

Wheat rose 2¢ to $5.18¾ a bushel, while Kansas City futures added 1¾¢ to $5.04¾ a bushel overnight.  

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2. Soybeans, Corn, Wheat Inspections All Decline Week to Week, USDA Says

Inspections of soybeans, corn, and wheat for overseas delivery fell in the week that ended on January 3, according to the USDA.

Soybean assessments for overseas delivery declined to 673,172 metric tons last week, down from 756,153 tons the prior week and 1.21 million tons during at the same time last year, the USDA said in its Weekly Export Inspections Report, which is one of the only reports still being released from the agency.

Examinations of corn dropped to 501,541 metric tons, down from 952,881 tons seven days earlier and the 850,768 tons during the same week last year, the government said.

Wheat inspections for overseas delivery dropped to 260,134 metric tons from 380,152 tons the previous week, but up from the 235,216 inspected during the same time frame last year.

On an annual basis, soybeans are well behind the prior year’s pace, while corn is way ahead. Wheat is just behind the year-earlier pace, USDA data show.

Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, the government has inspected 17.3 million metric tons of soybeans for overseas delivery. That’s down from 29.6 million tons during the same period a year earlier.

Corn inspections, meanwhile, have jumped to 18.5 million metric tons since the start of the marketing year from 11.4 million tons, the USDA said.

Wheat assessments since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are at 12.9 million metric tons, down from 14.8 million tons during the same time frame last year.

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3. Strong Winds Expected as Advisory Issued From North Dakota East Into Ohio

A wind advisory is in effect across much of the central U.S. this morning, stretching from the U.S.-Canadian border in North Dakota southeast into central Ohio, according to the National Weather Service.

In central Iowa, winds will be sustained out of the northwest at 25 to 35 mph with gusts of up to 50 mph, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

In North Dakota, similar wind speeds are expected. That, combined with recent snowfall, could create white-out conditions that make travel dangerous. A winter weather advisory is in effect for a small amount of the state today with “near-blizzard conditions” expected at times, the agency said.

Wind chills in the areas affected by the winds are expected to drop into the single digits. In Indiana, temperatures will decline, and some accumulating snow is expected later this week, the NWS said.

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