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3 Big Things Today, July 28, 2020

Soybean Futures Lower Overnight; Weekly Export Inspections of Corn Plunge.

1. Soybeans Lower Overnight as Conditions Improve

Soybean futures dropped in overnight trading after the U.S. Department of Agriculture unexpectedly raised its crop ratings in a weekly report.

About 72% of the U.S. soybean crop was in good or excellent condition as of Sunday, up from 69% a week earlier. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected conditions to remain steady at 69%.

Up from the prior five-year average of 72%, 76% of the crop was blooming. Some 43% was setting pods, up from the 36% average for this time of year.

Corn also improved to 72% good or excellent from 69% the previous week, the government said in its report. Analysts had also expected corn conditions to remain unchanged week-to-week.

About 82% of the corn crop was silking at the start of the week, ahead of the average of 75%; 22% was in the dough stage, up from the normal 17% for this time of the year, the USDA said.

Rainfall in some parts of the Midwest and northern Plains likely gave maturing crops a boost.

About 36% of the Midwest, which includes Iowa and Illinois, was facing abnormally dry or drought conditions as of July 21 – the latest data available – though a few counties in west-central Iowa are facing a “severe” drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Under such conditions, crop losses are likely, water shortages are common, and water restrictions are often imposed.

Soybean futures for December delivery dropped 12¼¢ to $8.87½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal fell $3.10 to $298.40 a short ton, and soy oil dropped 0.44¢ to 29.7¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery lost 4¢ to $3.30½ a bushel.

Wheat futures for September delivery fell ¾¢ to $5.27 a bushel while Kansas City futures added ¼¢ to $4.39¾ a bushel.

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2. Export Inspections of Corn Drop While Bean Assessments Rise Slightly

Inspections of corn for overseas delivery plunged week-to-week while bean assessments were up modestly, according to the USDA.

About 797,487 metric tons of corn were inspected for offshore delivery in the seven days that ended on July 23, down from 1.18 million tons a week earlier. The total was up from the 670,962 tons examined during the same week a year earlier.

Soybean assessments, meanwhile, declined to 472,680 metric tons from 454,719 million tons. That’s down from the 1.07 million tons inspected at the same point last year, the agency said.

Wheat inspections rose to 544,010 metric tons from 512,305 tons the previous year and 421,468 tons during the same week in 2019, the USDA said.

Since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, the government has inspected 37.2 million metric tons of corn for offshore delivery. That’s down from the 44.3 million tons assessed during the same time frame a year earlier.

Soybean inspections since the start of September now stand at 37.8 million metric tons, down from 40.3 million tons examined during the same period last year.

Wheat assessments since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are now at 4.13 million metric tons, up from the 3.83 million tons inspected by this point in 2019, the USDA said.

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3. Flood Watches Issued For Much of East-Central Oklahoma

Dozens of counties in east-central Oklahoma are under flood watches and advisories this morning as storms roll through the area, according to the National Weather Service.

A flash flood watch for several towns including Tulsa is now in effect through this evening, the NWS said.

“Multiple rounds of slow moving, heavy rain producing thunderstorms are expected today across portions of northeast Oklahoma, on the eastern side of an upper level low pressure,” the agency said in a report early this morning. “Pockets of locally heavy flooding rainfall are possible, with several inches possible in spots.”

Farther north in eastern Iowa and northern Illinois, there’s a chance for thunderstorms this afternoon and evening. Severe weather isn’t expected.

In southern Wisconsin, meanwhile, scattered storms are forecast today with gusty winds, small hail, and lightning being the main concerns, the NWS said.

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