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3 Big Things Today, June 29, 2022

Wheat Futures Rise Overnight; Ag Output to Rise 1.1% a Year in Next Decade

1. Wheat Futures Rise in Overnight Trading

Wheat futures were higher in overnight trading amid slow spring heading in the U.S. and declining conditions for European crops.

The U.S. spring-wheat crop was only 8% headed at the start of this week, behind the prior five-year average of 34%, the Department of Agriculture said in a report this week.

In North Dakota, the biggest producer of spring varieties in the U.S., only 3% was headed as of Sunday, behind the normal 29%, the USDA said.

Each of the top six largest producers of spring wheat are behind their normal growth pace. Minnesota wheat was only 1% headed versus the usual 47% for this time of the year, the government said.

The crop was 59% good or excellent as of Sunday, unchanged from the previous week but well ahead of the 20% that earned top ratings at the same point last year, the USDA said.

In France, 64% of the country's crop was in good or excellent condition last week, down 1 percentage point week-to-week.

SovEcon, which researches agricultural markets in the Black Sea region, lowered its Ukraine wheat estimate to 20.7 million metric tons, down 1.4 million tons from the previous forecast.

The group's corn-output forecast was increased by 1.1 million metric tons to 28.1 million due to higher yields, SovEcon said.

Wheat for September delivery rose 16¢ to $9.52 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade while Kansas City futures gained 16 1/2¢ to $10.06 ¾ a bushel.

Soybean futures for November delivery added 7 1/2¢ to $14.70 a bushel. Soymeal rose $5.30 to $405.50 a short ton, while soybean oil futures fell 0.11¢ to 66.65¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery were up 1/2¢ to $6.59 ¾ a bushel.

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2. Agricultural Production Expected to Rise 1.1% Per Year Through 2031, FAO Says

Agricultural production needs to jump 28% in the next decade to ensure there's enough food for everybody in the world, which would be triple the increase in productivity the world has seen in the past 10 years, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said in a report today.

Unfortunately, global agricultural output is only forecast to grow 1.1% per year during that span, with most of the increase in low- to middle-income countries, the FAO said.

"Globally, trade in the main agricultural commodities and processed products is projected to grow in line with production over the next decade," the report said. "However, some regions are expected to export a growing share of their domestic production, while others are foreseen to import a growing share of their total consumption."

The price of agricultural products have been rising in recent years due to increased demand after COVID-19 lockdowns eased and amid the ongoing Russian attacks on Ukraine.

Fertilizer markets also have been roiled due to the ongoing war as Russia is a major producer of fertilizer, the FAO said.

"Equilibrium prices for wheat could be 19% above pre-conflict levels if Ukraine fully loses its capacity to export and 34% higher in in addition Russian exports are 50% of normal amounts," the organization said.

In North America, production of agriculture and fish products will continue to expand at a rate of about 11% in the coming decade, the report said.

While that seems lofty, it's actually a deceleration in growth caused by declining prices in the medium-term and a strong U.S. dollar, the report said.

Crop sectors will grow 13% in the next 10 years, while livestock and fish output will rise by 7%.

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3. Red-Flag Warnings Issued in Nebraska, South Dakota Amid Dry Weather

Red-flag warnings have been issued for the western half of Nebraska, southern South Dakota and parts of Wyoming, Colorado and Kansas today amid dry weather, according to the National Weather Service.

In central Nebraska, winds will be sustained from 20 to 25 miles an hour with gusts of up to 40 miles per hour expected, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Relative humidity is expected to fall as low as 17%.

"Any fires that ignite may spread rapidly and exhibit extreme fire behavior," the agency said. "Use extreme caution if engaging in activities that could result in fire ignition."

In northern Colorado and northwestern Kansas, winds will gust up to 30 miles per hour with relative humidity dropping as low as 12%.

Strong winds are expected today in parts  of southern Wisconsin where gusts up to 40 miles an hour are expected. Some thunderstorms may pop up in the region tomorrow into Friday morning, the NWS said.

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