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3 Big Things Today, July 18

Grains, Beans Higher in Overnight Trading; Crop Progress Shows Weekly Ratings Declined.

1. Grains, Beans Higher Overnight on Crop Ratings, Dollar’s Decline

Grains and beans were higher in overnight trading after a Department of Agriculture report showed a decline in crop ratings and as the dollar fell to a new 10-month low.

The USDA said both corn and soybean ratings declined by a point in the latest Crop Progress Report, which was expected amid hot weather in parts of the Midwest and Northern Plains.

The dollar tanked overnight after Republicans said they were abandoning their latest iteration of a health care bill. The bill would’ve failed in a vote after four Republicans said they would vote against it in its current form.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said yesterday that he will seek a vote on a repeal of the Affordable Care Act that’s delayed by two years to give lawmakers enough time to come up with a replacement.

The dollar declined 0.5% overnight, again falling to the lowest in 10 months, which boosts the attractiveness of U.S. products, including grains and soybeans, to overseas buyers. A declining greenback gives importers more purchasing power.

Wheat for September delivery rose 9¼¢ to $5.15¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, and Kansas City futures added 9½¢ to $5.16 a bushel.

Corn for December delivery added 10½¢ to $3.98½ a bushel.

Soybeans for November delivery rose 13¾¢ to $10.11¼ a bushel overnight. Soy meal gained $4.40 to $333.90 a short ton, and soy oil futures added 0.27¢ to 33.71¢ a pound.

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2. Crop Progress Shows Spring Wheat in Trouble; NOPA Crush Report Disappoints

Several reports were released by various agencies on Monday with crop progress having the most effect on markets.

The Crop Progress Report from the Department of Agriculture showed U.S. corn was rated 64% good or excellent as of Sunday, down a percentage point from the prior week but in line with expectations.

About 40% of the crop was silking, up from 19% a week earlier but behind the prior five-year average of 47% for this time of year.  

Soybean ratings also dropped a point to 61% good or excellent. Some 52% of the crop was blooming, just ahead of the five-year average of 52%, and 16% was setting pods, slightly ahead of average.

The spring wheat crop looks to be in trouble, falling to 34% good or excellent from 35% last week, according to the USDA. Some 91% is headed, topping the average of 87% for this time of year. In North Dakota, 32% of the spring wheat crop received top ratings, while in South Dakota, only 7% was rated good or excellent.  

The National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) released its Crush Report yesterday, saying 138.1 million bushels of soybeans were crushed in June, missing estimates for 143.1 million bushels. That marks the fifth month in a row that crush has been behind the same month a year earlier.

The USDA also released its Export Inspections Report on Monday. Inspectors reviewed 1.11 million metric tons of corn for export in the week that ended on July 13, up from 1.01 million a week earlier. Soybean inspections totaled 285,972 metric tons, well below the prior week’s 476,136 tons.

Some 578,627 metric tons of wheat were inspected for export, just ahead of the previous week’s 536,002 tons, according to the USDA.

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3. Heat Wave Parked Over Central U.S. Brings Triple-Digit Temperatures  

Another heat wave will roll through the Midwest starting today with temperatures expected to near triple digits.

Much of eastern Nebraska and Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois are under excessive heat watches, warnings, or advisories starting today, according to the National Weather Service.

“Hot and humid temperatures are expected to build this week and linger through Saturday across the region,” the NWS said in a report on Tuesday morning. “Air temperatures will reach near the triple-digit mark by midweek, and heat indices may reach or exceed 105˚F. to 110˚F. each afternoon Wednesday through Saturday.”

Some cloud cover or spotty showers may provide some relief in limited areas, but it’s going to be extremely hot in the heart of the Corn Belt for the next few days, according to the agency.

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