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3 Big Things Today, June 26

Grains, Beans Little Changed Overnight; Export Inspections Decline Week to Week.

1. Grains, Soybeans Little Changed in Overnight Trading

Grain and soybean futures were little changed overnight as investors weigh declining corn conditions against ongoing trade tensions.

The condition of the U.S. corn crop declined to 76% good or excellent from 77% the prior week, according to the USDA. That’s down from 80% good or excellent during the same period a year earlier.

Despite the one-point drop, conditions are still at lofty levels for this time of year. In Iowa, 72% was in good or excellent condition; in Illinois, 68% earned top ratings, according to the government.

The condition of the soybean crop was unchanged week to week at 73% good or excellent, which is up from 66% the same week last year.

Some parts of the country have had excessive amounts of rainfall in the past week including areas in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, and Minnesota, according to the National Weather Service.

Soybean prices also may be underpinned, as investors seek a bargain jump into contracts after yesterday's decline, analysts said. 

Still, trade tensions continue to flare between the U.S. and China. President Trump over the weekend again threatened China, saying the Asian nation needs to end its tariffs against U.S. products or face consequences.

Corn futures for July delivery were unchanged at $3.50½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Wheat for September delivery fell a penny to $4.89½ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures fell 3½¢ to $4.84 a bushel.

Soybean futures for November delivery gained 2¢ to $8.97½ a bushel overnight. Soy meal rose a dime to $334.10 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.04¢ to 29.66¢ a pound.

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2. Export Inspections of Corn, Beans, Wheat All Lower Week to Week

Export inspections of corn, soybeans, and wheat all declined week over week, according to the USDA.

Corn inspections in the seven days that ended on June 21 were reported at 1.51 million metric tons, down from 1.68 million a week earlier. That’s still better than the 969,602 tons inspected during the same week in 2017, the USDA said.

Government officials inspected 514,214 metric tons of soybeans last week, down from 818,396 tons seven days earlier. The total is an improvement from the same period last year when inspections totaled only 328,634 tons.

Wheat inspections were also lower at 352,836 metric tons, down from the prior week’s 374,340 tons, according to the USDA. The total is well below the 659,851 tons assessed a year earlier, government data show.

Inspections for the marketing year as a whole are down across the board.

Since the start of the 2017-2018 year on September 1, the USDA has inspected 44.2 million metric tons of corn, down from 47.6 million during the same time frame a year earlier. Soybean assessments are at 48.8 million tons, down from 52.3 million tons last year.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are at 1.15 million tons, well below the 2.29 million tons recorded at the same time last year, the USDA said.

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3. Scattered Storms Likely to Worsen Flooding in Northern Illinois

Another round of scattered thunderstorms is forecast in parts of northern Illinois and extreme southern Wisconsin, worsening flooding that’s occurred in the region, according to the National Weather Service.

Flood warnings are in effect in several areas around Waukegan on Lake Michigan, Rockford in north-central Illinois, and Clinton, on the Iowa border, the NWS said in a report early Tuesday morning.

Flash flood watches also have been issued for pretty much all of northern Illinois starting at 1 p.m.

“Periods of heavy rain are expected this afternoon through the evening,” the NWS said. “Given recent heavy rainfall, any additional heavy rain may produce localized flash flooding. Area rivers and streams are running high, and the ground remains moist, which will cause rainfall to more quickly go into runoff.”

In the eastern half of Kansas, a heat advisory has been issued starting tomorrow as the heat index is expected to hit 105˚F., the agency said.

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