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3 Big Things Today, March 22, 2022

Wheat Futures Jump Overnight; Weekly Grain Export Inspections Rise.

1. Wheat Futures Surge in Overnight Trading

Wheat futures jumped in overnight trading after talks between Russia and Ukraine, two of the world’s biggest exporters of the grain, failed to result in a cease-fire.

The Ukrainian port city of Mariupol remains under siege by Russian forces with no end to the fighting in sight.

Civilians remain trapped in the city and attacks by Russian troops and aircraft continue throughout Ukraine, according to media reports.

About 6.5 million people have been displaced because of the attacks and 3.5 million have left Ukraine, according to data from the United Nations.

The U.S. is ramping up operations in the region, and relations with Russia remain strained. Russia has banned social media platforms Facebook and Instagram in what some are saying is a bid to prevent news about the war from spreading.

Russia is the world’s largest exporter of wheat and Ukraine is now projected to be the fourth-biggest exporter of the grain.

Soybean prices were higher in overnight trading as precipitation in parts of South American missed their mark.

Stress is expected to build in some areas of Brazil where the safrinha corn crop is being grown into the weekend, though some rain next week may alleviate dryness, Commodity Weather Group said.

It’s the opposite in southern Brazil and southern Paraguay where rains will fall through Thursday, but drier weather is projected in the next six to 10 days.

Dry patches are expected in parts of Argentina into early April, the forecaster said.

Wheat for May delivery jumped 48¾¢ to $11.68 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade while Kansas City futures added 42¼¢ to $11.55½ a bushel.

Soybean futures for delivery rose 17½¢ to $17.08½ a bushel. Soymeal was down $1.40 to $479.90 a short ton, and soybean oil futures gained 0.6¢ to 74.31¢ a pound.

Corn futures for May delivery added 3¾¢ to $7.60 a bushel. 

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2. Weekly Grain Inspections Rise, Soybean Assessments Fall

Inspections of corn and wheat for export were higher week-to-week while soybean assessments declined, according to the U.S. Ag Department.

Corn inspections for offshore delivery totaled 1.47 million metric tons, up from 1.45 million a week earlier, the USDA said in a report.

That was, however, down from the 2.02 million tons assessed during the same week a year earlier.

Wheat assessments last week were reported at 330,632 metric tons, up from 307,218 tons the previous week, but well below the 656,914 tons inspected at the same point last year, the government said.

Soybean inspections totaled 544,986 metric tons, down from 796,785 tons a week earlier, but still ahead of the 495,329 tons examined for overseas delivery during the same week in 2021.

Since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, the USDA has examined 27.4 million metric tons of corn for overseas delivery, down from 32.2 million during the same time frame a year earlier.

Soybean assessments since the beginning of September are now at 42.7 million metric tons, down from 53.8 million at the same point last year, the agency said.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 now stand at 16.5 million metric tons, down from 20 million tons a year earlier, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Winter Weather Expected This Morning in Central Nebraska

Winter-weather advisories remain in effect until early this afternoon in much of east-central Nebraska, according to the National Weather Service.

Snowfall will top out at about 4 inches, though some locally higher amounts are possible in some areas, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Winds are forecast to top out at 45 mph and blowing snow could reduce visibility.

“Slick roads and periods of reduced visibility” may make travel dangerous, the agency said. “Additionally, strong winds and wet, heavy snow could bring down tree branches.”

In the southern Plains, meanwhile, strong winds are forecast today along with localized winter weather.

A high-wind warning is in effect as winds will be sustained from 35 to 45 mph with gusts of up to 65 mph expected, the NWS said.

In a few counties in the Texas panhandle, snow accumulations of up to 1 inch are expected. Winds in the area will top out at about 60 mph, the agency said.

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