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3 Big Things Today, June 21, 2022

Grains, Soybeans Fall Overnight; Ukraine Grain Shipments Plunge

1. Grain, Soybean Futures Plunge Overnight

Grain and soybean futures dropped in overnight trading amid the ongoing wheat harvest, favorable growing conditions in several exporting countries and on profit-taking by speculative investors.

The hard-red winter-wheat harvest in the U.S. rolls on amid dry weather in most of the southern Plains in the past week.

Little to no rain has fallen in much of the region in the past seven days, according to the National Weather Service, which has allowed farmers to accelerate collection of their wheat.

About 10% of the U.S. winter-wheat crop was harvested as of last week, the Department of Agriculture said in a report. The agency is scheduled to update its weekly crop progress report this afternoon.

In the northern Plains, rains in some northwestern areas later this week likely will help improve soil moisture, though shortages likely will increase in other areas, said Donald Keeney, an agricultural meteorologist with Maxar.

Global weather has been mostly favorable for crops as rain over the weekend gave European wheat and corn a boost, Keeney said. Rain in central and west-central areas of the European Union this week is forecast to improve conditions, he said.

In Brazil, rains were seen in the states of Mato Grosso, south Goias and Parana, among others, and likely will favor major growing areas throughout the week.

Still, the EU's MARS crop service on Monday reduced its outlook for crop yields in Europe by 2.2%. Dry weather in some EU growing areas likely reduced yields in the bloc, MARS said.  

Wheat for September delivery dropped 11 3/4¢ to $10.35 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade while Kansas City futures fell 11 1/2¢ to $11.00 ½ a bushel.

Corn futures for December delivery were down 22¢ to $7.09 a bushel.

Soybean futures for November delivery lost 24¢ to $15.13 ½ a bushel. Soymeal dropped $5.40 to $401.60 a short ton, while soybean oil futures fell 1.42¢ to 69.64¢ a pound.

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2. Ukraine Grain Shipments Plunge as Humanitarian Crisis Worsens

Ukraine grain exports so far in June have plunged compared with the same timeframe last year in what one European Union official called "a real war crime."

Shipments of corn, wheat and barley from Ukraine have dropped almost 56% to 777,000 metric tons, Reuters reported, citing data from the country's Ministry of Agriculture.

The country has been unable to ship grain from ports due to the continued Russian attacks that have been ongoing since February.

"For people around the world, the war, together with the other crises, is threatening to unleash an unprecedented wave of hunger and destitution, leaving social and economic chaos in its wake," United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said earlier this month.

Farmers in Ukraine have planted 20% fewer spring crops than they did a year earlier due to the ongoing war, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the UN said in a report, citing data from the ag ministry.

A quarter of agriculture producers in Ukraine are lacking the necessary inputs they need and can't get fuel for their equipment, the FAO said. Blocked ports are forcing shippers to use overland routes that are causing "significant" delays.

Prior to the beginning of the Russian attacks, Ukraine was forecast to ship 24.2 million metric tons of wheat in the 2021-2022 marketing year, which if realized would've made it the third-largest shipper of the grain, according to data from the USDA.

The agency this month said it now expects wheat exports of only 10 million metric tons from Ukraine.

Josep Borrell, the foreign policy head for the European Union, said over the weekend that it's unimaginable that Russia would continue to block grain exports out of Ukraine when so many people are starving.

"This is a real war crime," Borrell told reporters, according to several media reports.


3. More Hot Weather Forecast For Parts of the Corn Belt

The heat wave continues in parts of the U.S. Corn Belt as heat advisories have been issued for a large chunk of land streatching from northeastern Kansas into northern Wisconsin, according to the National Weather Service.

Heat advisories also have been issued for most of the state of Michigan and parts of northern Indiana and Ohio, the NWS said.

In eastern Iowa and northern Illinois, heat indexes are forecast to hit as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit today.

Values in northern Missouri and northeastern Kansas also are expected to hit about 105 degrees, the agency said.

In parts of southern Michigan, northern Indiana and northwestern Ohio, heat indexes are projected from about 95 to 100 degrees this afternoon into the evening, the NWS said.

"Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside," the agency said.

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