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3 Big Things Today, May 1

Wheat Futures Decline Overnight; Export Inspections For Grains Lower, Soybeans Higher.

1. Wheat Futures Fall Overnight as Winter Crop Conditions Improve

Wheat futures were lower overnight as the condition of the U.S. winter crop improved week to week.

About 33% of the crop was in good or excellent condition as of Sunday, up from 31% a week earlier, according to the USDA. That’s still well below last year when 54% of winter wheat earned top ratings.

In Kansas, the biggest producer of the grain, 13% was good or excellent while only 9% of Oklahoma wheat was in top form, the USDA said in a report. The hard red winter wheat tour starts today as producers, analysts, government officials, and members of the media fan out across Kansas and parts of Nebraska and Oklahoma to assess the crop.

The USDA also said 17% of the U.S. corn crop was planted, up from only 5% a week earlier but well behind the prior five-year average of 27% for this time of year. About 3% of corn was emerged.

Soybean seeding was 5% finished, on par with the average, according to the government.  

Wheat for July delivery fell 3¢ to $5.07½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City futures lost 6½¢ to $5.31 a bushel.

Corn futures for July delivery was unchanged at $4.00¾ a bushel overnight.

Soybean futures for May delivery lost 5¢ to $10.43½ a bushel. Soy meal fell 80¢ to $393 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.07¢ to 30.55¢ a pound.


2. Weekly Export Inspections of Corn, Wheat Decline, Soybean Assessments Rise

Export inspections of corn and wheat declined week to week, while soybean assessments increased, according to the USDA.

Government officials inspected 1.47 million metric tons of corn for delivery to overseas buyers in the week that ended on April 26, the USDA said in a report. That’s down from 1.74 million tons seven days earlier.

Wheat inspections totaled 376,256 metric tons last week, almost half the prior 643,937 tons, according to the government. Soybean inspections, meanwhile, rose to 679,379 metric tons, up from 472,335 tons the prior week.

While assessments for soybeans were solid week to week, inspections of all three commodities are still well below last year’s pace.

Corn inspections since the start of the marketing year on September 1 are at 31.3 million metric tons, down from 38.5 million a year earlier, and soybean assessments are at 43.5 million tons, down from 49.5 million last year.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing on June 1 are at 21.9 million tons, behind the year-earlier pace of 24.4 million tons, according to the USDA.


3. Red-Flag Warning in Much of Southern Plains; Storms Roll Into Eastern Nebraska

A red-flag warning is in effect for much of the Southern Plains including parts of southwestern Kansas and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles.

Winds of up to almost 30 mph are expected in the panhandles today, while relative humidity will be around 9% in some areas, according to the National Weather Service. That will make for dangerous conditions in which fires can spread rapidly.

Gusts of up to 45 mph are expected in some counties, the NWS said.

In Nebraska, thunderstorms are expected to start this afternoon after severe windstorms caused major crashes along Interstate 80 yesterday. Today’s storms likely will be extremely strong.

“Some of these storms could contain very large hail, damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes,” the NWS said in a report early Tuesday morning. “Locally heavy rainfall will also accompany any storms that develop with a slight risk of excessive rainfall possible in southeast Nebraska and southwest Iowa if storms can repeat over the same areas.”

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