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3 Big Things Today, July 24

Crop Futures Lower Overnight; Weekly Export Inspections Higher For Corn, Beans.

1. Grains, Soybeans Lower Overnight on Improved Crop Ratings

Crop futures were lower overnight after a report from the USDA showed soybean conditions unexpectedly improved while corn ratings were unchanged.

Some 70% of the U.S. soybean crop was rated good or excellent as of Sunday, up from 69% a week earlier, according to the USDA. About 44% were setting pods, almost double the prior five-year average for this time of year, and 78% of the crop was blooming, up from the average of 63%.

About 72% of the U.S. corn crop earned top ratings, unchanged from the week earlier, the government said in a report. Eighteen percent was in the dough stage, up from the average of 8% for this time of year. About 81% was silking, up from the 62% average.

In Missouri, where it’s been extremely hot and dry in recent weeks, the corn crop was rated 35% good or excellent, up from 33% the prior week, the USDA said.

Prices are also being capped by the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China, which thus far shows no signs of an end.

The U.S. continues to insist it will put tariffs on pretty much everything China sends, while Beijing further devalues the currency in a bid to make U.S. products more expensive on the world market.

Corn futures for December delivery fell 4½¢ to $3.66¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybean futures for November delivery declined 4½¢ to $8.58¼ a bushel overnight. Soy meal lost $1.50 to $323.90 a short ton, and soy oil fell 0.01¢ to 28.31¢ a pound.

Wheat for September delivery declined 5¼¢ to $5.08½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures lost 4¢ to $5.06¾ a bushel.

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2. Weekly Export Inspections Higher For Corn, Beans; Wheat Assessments Lower

Weekly inspections of corn and soybeans for overseas delivery were higher, while wheat assessments declined, the USDA said in a report.

The USDA inspected 1.31 million metric tons of corn in the seven days that ended on July 19, up from 1.26 million a week earlier easily topping the 983,291 tons inspected during the same time frame a year earlier, the agency said.

Soybean assessments totaled 722,048 metric tons, up from 637,486 seven days prio and 641,814 during the same week in 2017, according to the government.

Wheat inspections, however, declined to 397,862 metric tons from 471,514 tons last week, the USDA said. That’s also down from the 504,072 inspected a year earlier.

Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, the government has assessed 49.8 million metric tons of corn, down from 51.8 million during the same period a year earlier, government data show. Soybean inspections are at 51.7 million tons, behind the year-ago level of 54 million tons.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are at 2.62 million metric tons, well behind the year-earlier total of 4.44 million tons for this time of year, the USDA said.

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3. Heat Wave Over, For Now, as Temperatures Moderate Into Upper 80s, Low 90s

It’s still going to be hot today in some parts of the Midwest, but not as hot as it has been for the past week.

In what will likely feel like a cold front to many residents, Missouri is going to be in the high 80s and low 90s today, according to the National Weather Service.

Parts of eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas, where the heat index reached up to 115˚F. last week, are expected to be in the low 90s today, as well, the NWS said in a report early Tuesday morning.

In the central Midwest, meanwhile, some isolated thunderstorms are expected in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa tonight, but severe weather isn’t expected, the agency said. Minor flooding is forecast along the Missouri River from Brownville to Rulo in Nebraska.

The storms may continue into Wednesday, as a cold front moves through the area, the NWS said.

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