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3 Big Things Today, March 2, 2021

Soybeans, Corn Lower Overnight; Weekly Export Inspections Mostly Higher.

1. Soybeans, Corn Lower Overnight While Wheat Futures Rise

Soybeans and corn were lower in overnight trading on signs of slack overseas demand for U.S. supplies.

Exports of agricultural products haven’t reported sales of 100,000 metric tons or more to offshore buyers since Feb. 12, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The USDA last week said corn export sales in the seven days that ended on Feb. 18 hit a marketing-year low of 453,300 metric tons and that soybean sales plunged 63% week-to-week.

Soybean crushings in January totaled 197 million bushels, or 5.9 million tons, up from 193 million bushels during the same month a year earlier, the agency said in a report yesterday.

That topped expectations from analysts polled by Reuters for 195.6 million bushels.

Soybean futures for March delivery fell 3¼¢ to $13.88 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal was down $2.50 to $415.80 a short ton, and soy oil rose 0.08¢ to 49.31¢ a pound.

Corn for March delivery dropped 3½¢ to $5.34¾ a bushel. 

Wheat futures, meanwhile, were higher overnight after a report from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service showed the condition of crops in Kansas declined week-to-week.

Some 37% of winter wheat in the state, the biggest producer of the grain in the U.S., was rated good or excellent as of Sunday, down from 40% a week earlier, the agency said.

Soil moisture was 58% adequate or in surplus vs. 56% a week earlier. Subsoil moisture was 54% adequate or in surplus, down from 56% the previous week.

Wheat futures for March delivery added 5½¢ to $6.55¾ a bushel, while Kansas City futures gained 5¢ to $6.28¼ a bushel.

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2. Export Inspections of Corn and Beans Rise Week-to-Week

Inspections of corn and beans for overseas delivery rose week-to-week while wheat assessments declined, according to the USDA.

Corn inspections rose to 1.64 million metric tons in the seven days that ended on Feb. 25 from 1.27 million the previous week, the agency said in a report.

That was well above the 896,221 tons examined during the same week a year earlier.

Soybean assessments were reported at 879,582 metric tons, up from 803,548 tons the previous week, the government said.

Last week’s total was up from 589,230 tons assessed at the same time in 2020.

Wheat inspections totaled 272,820 metric tons, down from 324,597 tons the previous week and well below the 656,160 tons examined during the same week last year, the Department of Agriculture said.

Since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, the USDA has inspected 25.7 million metric tons of corn for offshore delivery.

That’s well above the 14.2 million tons assessed during the same time frame a year earlier, the agency said.

Soybean assessments since the beginning of September now stand at 51.9 million metric tons, up from 29.4 million tons inspected during the same period last year.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 have totaled 18 million metric tons, down from 18.8 million tons at this point last year, the USDA said in its report.


3. Dry Conditions Result in Red-Flag Warning in North-Central Kansas  

A red-flag warning has been issued for several counties in north-central Kansas and the surrounding areas are under a fire watch due to extremely dry conditions, according to the National Weather Service.

Winds are forecast to be sustained from 10 to 20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph, the NWS said in a report.

Relative humidity is expected to fall as low as 10%, the agency said.

“Any fires that start will have extreme fire behavior and spread rapidly,” the agency said. “Outdoor burning is not advised.”

Farther north in Wisconsin, gale-force winds are possible along the Lake Michigan shore today. Wind gusts of up to 40 mph are likely this afternoon, which may result in difficult conditions for high-profile vehicles, the NWS said.

Along with the strong winds, some light freezing drizzle is possible in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the agency said.

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