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3 Big Things Today, March 27

Soybeans, Corn Modestly Higher Overnight; Weekly Export Inspections For Grains Down.

1. Soybeans, Corn Modestly Higher as Fears of a Trade War Subside

Soybean and corn futures were modestly higher in overnight trading as fears of a trade war subside.

Talks between the U.S. and China concerning recently imposed or suggested tariffs are ongoing, which is encouraging traders who were concerned that the Asian country, the biggest importer of soybeans, would impose levies against U.S. oilseeds. China Premier Li Kegiang reportedly met with a delegation from the U.S. and said a trade war isn't desirable. 

The U.S. has already imposed tariffs against steel and aluminum, and President Trump last week suggested adding duties to Chinese goods valued from $50 billion to $60 billion. China responded by suggesting it would put tariffs on $3 billion worth of U.S. goods, and while soybeans weren’t included, many feared its government would eventually add excises on the oilseeds.

Officials from the two countries, however, seem to be working on a deal that would avoid that. Traders seem cautiously optimistic.

Soybean futures for May delivery gained 5¢ to $10.30½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal rose $2.50 to $377.50 a short ton, and soy oil was up 0.04¢ to 31.50¢ a pound.

Corn futures for May delivery rose 1¼¢ to $3.75¼ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat for May delivery fell ¾¢ to $4.53½ a bushel overnight, while Kansas City futures declined 2½¢ to $4.65¾ a bushel.


2. Export Inspections of Corn, Wheat Down Week to Week, Soybeans Improve

Export inspections of corn and wheat plunged week to week, while soybeans rose, according to the USDA.

The USDA inspected 1.15 million metric tons of corn for delivery to overseas buyer in the week that ended on March 22, the government said in a report. That’s down from 1.44 million tons a week earlier, and 1.57 million tons a year earlier.

Wheat inspections totaled 278,815 metric tons, down from 476,467 tons seven days earlier, according to the USDA. The government examined 546,209 tons during the same week in 2017.

Inspections of soybeans were reported at 584,612 metric tons last week, up from 499,987 tons seven days prior and 556,400 tons a year earlier, the agency said.

As it has been for most of the year, inspections of all three crops for overseas delivery lag their year-ago pace. Corn examinations since the start of the marketing year on September 1 totaled 22.9 million metric tons, well below 31.9 million during the same period last year.

Soybean inspections came in at 40.8 million tons through March 22, down from 46.4 million tons last year, according to USDA data.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 were reported at 19.4 million tons, below the 21.3 million during the same period a year earlier, the agency said.


3. Large Storm System Stretching From Texas to Indiana to Bring Rain, Possibly Hail to Region

A large storm system is making its way across a wide swath of land stretching from east Texas to central Indiana.

Parts of Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Louisiana are also getting hit by the storm, according to maps from the National Weather Service.

“A slow-moving weather system will bring several days of severe weather and heavy rain from the Southern Plains to the Tennessee Valley,” the NWS said in a report early Tuesday morning.

The heaviest rainfall totals are expected tomorrow across parts of Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi where more than 5 inches of rain are possible, the agency said.

Rains may exacerbate ongoing flooding, and very large hail, damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes are possible in the region, according to the NWS.

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