3 Big Things Today, March 29
1. Soybeans Lower as USDA May Raise Planted Acres to Record
Soybeans were lower overnight on concerns that the USDA will boost its prospective plantings number well above a February projection.
Analysts and traders have said they expect the USDA to project soybean acreage from 91 million to 92 million in a report due out this morning while reducing the area committed to corn by about a million acres. The government last month pegged area for both crops at 90 million acres.
Regardless of whether it’s 91 million or 92 million, if the acreage climbs that high it’ll be a record, topping last year’s 90.1 million.
Wheat futures were slightly higher in overnight trading on a technical bounce after prices yesterday fell to a two-month low.
Whether prices maintain their gains throughout the day remains to be seen after much-needed rain fell in parts of the Southern Plains, though the extent of the rainfall and any positive impact it had on hard red winter wheat crops is in question.
Soybean futures for May delivery fell 3¼¢ to $10.14¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal rose 50¢ to $371.80 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.11¢ to 31.51¢ a pound.
Corn futures for May delivery rose a penny to $3.74½ a bushel in Chicago.
Wheat for May delivery rose 1¾¢ to $4.47¼ a bushel overnight, while Kansas City futures gained 1¼¢ to $4.62¼ a bushel.
2. Quarterly Stockpiles, Prospective Plantings, Export Sales Reports All Due Thursday
It’s going to be a big day for reports from the USDA, which will release its quarterly Stocks Report, Prospective Plantings Report, and weekly Export Sales Report.
Analysts expect quarterly stockpiles on March 1, which will come out at 11 a.m., to be pegged at 8.703 billion bushels for corn, up from 8.622 billion a year earlier, according to Allendale.
Soybean inventories at the start of the month were likely around 2.03 billion bushels vs. 1.739 billion in 2017, and wheat stockpiles at 1.498 billion bushels compared with 1.659 billion.
The Prospective Plantings Report will probably show corn acreage at 89.42 million and soybean seeding on 91.05 million acres. The USDA in February pegged both corn and bean area at 90 million acres. All wheat area will likely be estimated at 46.3 million acres, Allendale said in a morning report.
Export sales of corn are seen from 1.2 million to 1.5 million metric tons, bean sales are expected around 600,000 to 900,000 tons and wheat sales are pegged from 200,000 to 400,000 tons.
3. Large Storm Slowly Moving East, Causing Flooding From Texas to Ohio
The large storm that has been hammering several states from Texas to Ohio is moving east but at a very slow clip, leaving several flooded areas in its wake.
The storm now stretches from east Texas up through Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, and into southern Ohio, according to the National Weather Service.
Flash-flood watches are in effect for a few counties in east Texas and several Louisiana parishes, the NWS said in a report early Thursday morning. Four to 8 inches of rain have already fallen, and flooding will be exacerbated this morning as another 1 to 3 inches in the area are expected.
Flash-flood warnings are also in effect in some Tennessee counties where several inches of rain fell and another 2 inches are expected through today, the agency said.
The worst of the storm has moved out of Missouri and Illinois where up to 3 inches of rain fell, but flood warnings were left in place as another inch of rain may fall this morning, the NWS said.