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3 Big Things Today, March 29, 2022

Grains Fall in Overnight Trading; Export Inspections Rise Across the Board.

1. Grain Futures Decline in Overnight Trading

Grain futures were lower in overnight trading while soybeans eked out narrow gains.

Wheat and corn fell overnight amid ongoing talks between Ukraine and Russia.

Officials from the countries are meeting today in Turkey in a bid to find enough common ground for a cease-fire. Still, neither side is optimistic that a deal will be reached, according to several media reports.

Ukraine retook Irpin, a town near the capital of Kyiv, and Russian advances have slowed in several other areas, according to the reports. Ukrainian troops reportedly launched counteroffenses in the capital city and southern areas.

Still, Russian forces bombed a government building in southwestern Ukraine, leaving several people missing.

European countries have refused to pay for Russian gas in rubles after the country’s government said any purchases must be paid in the currency.

Prices also may be falling as some rainfall is expected in the next week in much of the central Corn Belt.

As much as 3 inches of rain is expected in a wide patch of land from central Oklahoma east into the Gulf states and north through Missouri and Illinois, according to maps from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

The eight- to 14-day outlook shows near normal temperatures and precipitation in the southern Plains, though the forecast for the eastern Midwest shows below-normal temperatures and a better-than-average chance for rain.

Wheat for May delivery lost 14½¢ to $10.42½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade while Kansas City futures fell 14¼¢ to $10.56¼ a bushel.

Corn futures were down 5¢ to $7.43½ a bushel. 

Soybean futures for May delivery rose 3¢ to $16.67¼ a bushel. Soymeal was down $2.40 to $476.50 a short ton, and soybean oil futures added 0.78¢ to 73.23¢ a pound.

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2. Export Inspections Increase Across the Board

Export inspections were higher across the board last week as corn, bean, and wheat assessments all rose, according to the USDA.

Corn inspections in the seven days that ended on March 24 totaled 1.61 million metric tons, the agency said.

That’s up from 1.5 million metric tons the previous week, but down from 1.79 million tons assessed during the same week a year earlier.

Examinations of soybeans for offshore delivery increased to 628,819 metric tons from 553,582 tons the previous week and up from the 450,807 tons inspected at the same point last year, the USDA said.

Wheat inspections last week were reported at 341,191 metric tons, up from 333,970 tons a week earlier and ahead of the 307,167 tons examined during the same week in 2021, the government said.

Since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, the agency has inspected 29 million metric tons of corn for overseas delivery. That’s down from the 34 million tons assessed during the same time frame a year earlier.

Soybean assessments since the beginning of September now stand at 43.4 million metric tons, down from 54.3 million tons during the same period last year, the agency said.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s 2021-2022 marketing year on June 1 were reported at 16.9 million metric tons, down from 20.3 million tons a year earlier, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Red-Flag, High-Wind Warnings Issued For Central U.S.

Extremely dry weather has spread throughout the Southern Plains with high-wind and red-flag warnings issued from south Texas north into Nebraska, according to maps from the National Weather Service.

In southwestern and central Kansas, winds today are forecast from 20 to 30 mph with gusts of up to 45 mph, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Relative humidity is expected to drop as low as 14%.

In the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, grass is expected to be “very dry” and wind gusts likely will top 60 mph, the agency said. Humidity will drop as low as 10%.

In southeastern Nebraska, meanwhile, winds will be sustained from 20 to 25 mph with gusts of up to 35 mph expected, the NWS said. Humidity will fall to about 19% this afternoon.

“Any fires that ignite may spread rapidly, exhibit extreme fire behavior, and be very difficult to control,” the agency said.

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