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3 Big Things Today, May 17, 2022

Wheat Futures Drop Overnight; Corn Export Inspections Decline Week-to-Week.

1. Wheat Futures Plunge in Overnight Trading

Wheat futures plunged in overnight trading after India said it will relax its previously ordered ban on exports, a move that drove up prices globally yesterday.

The country’s Commerce Ministry said it would allow “some relaxation” of its May 13 order halting shipments of the grain.

“It has been decided that wherever wheat consignments have been handed over to customs for examination and have been registered into their systems on or prior to (May 13), such consignments would be allowed to be exported,” the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a statement today.

The restrictions were put in place to ensure Indian food security, help neighboring countries facing food deficits and to prevent hoarding of domestic supplies, the ministry said.

India isn’t known as being a global grain exporter, but exports from Russia, which is expected to be the world’s largest shipper of the wheat, have been shunned by most countries after it attacked Ukraine.

Ukrainian exporters have been unable to ship their grain due to the constant Russian attacks on the country.

In the U.S., meanwhile, the winter-wheat crop was rated 27% good or excellent as of Sunday, down from 29% a week earlier. Extremely dry weather is hurting yields as the hard-red winter crop in the southern Plains continues to grow, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Corn and soybean planting remain behind schedule.

Only 49% of the U.S. corn crop was planted at the start of the week, behind the prior five-year average of 67%, the USDA said, and 14% of the crop had emerged, well behind the normal 32% for this time of year.

Some 30% of soybeans were in the ground as of Sunday, behind the average of 39%. About 9% of the crop had emerged, behind the average of 12%, the agency said.

Wheat for May delivery dropped 22¾¢ to $12.24¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade while Kansas City futures plunged 35¼¢ to $13.16¾ a bushel.

Soybean futures for July delivery lost 4¾¢ to $16.51½ a bushel. Soymeal fell 70¢ to $412.90 a short ton, while soybean oil futures declined 0.28¢ to 82.71¢ a pound.

Corn futures were down 7½¢ to $8.02 a bushel.

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2. Weekly Corn Inspections For Overseas Delivery Fall

Inspections of corn for export fell week-to-week while soybean and wheat assessments improved, according to data from the U.S. Ag Department.

Corn inspections in the seven days that ended on May 12 totaled 1.04 million metric tons, down sharply from 1.48 million tons a week earlier, the agency said in a report.

That also was down from the 1.99 million tons examined during the same week last year.

Soybean assessments, however, jumped to 784,187 metric tons last week, up from 504,441 tons a week earlier and well above the 310,408 tons inspected at the same point a year earlier, the USDA said.

Wheat inspections also gained, rising to 348,048 metric tons from 262,919 tons a week earlier.

Still, that was well below the 660,298 tons examined during the same week in 2021, the agency said.

Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, the government has inspected 39.1 million metric tons of corn for overseas delivery, the report said.

That’s down from the 47.3 million tons assessed during the same time frame a year earlier, the USDA said.

Soybean inspections since the beginning of September are now at 48.5 million metric tons, down from 56.2 million tons during the same period last year.

Examinations of wheat since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 now stand at 19.4 million metric tons, down from the 24.4 million tons assessed at the same point in 2021, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Flood Warnings Remain in Effect in Parts of North Dakota and Minnesota

Flooding continues along the Red River separating North Dakota and Minnesota as warnings remain in effect this morning, according to the National Weather Service.

The Red River was at 11.1 feet yesterday evening, just below its max depth of 11.4 feet, and should be just below flood stage this morning, the NWS said in a report.

Another round of storms may hit the area Thursday and Friday, which may cause more flooding, the agency said. Some snow is possible in the area, though it likely won’t stick due to warm ground temperatures.

Storms are rolling through parts of northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas, though there’s a “limited” chance of severe weather associated with the system, the NWS said.

“There is a low chance of thunderstorms again late tonight across parts of northeast Oklahoma and far northwest Arkansas,” the agency said. “If storms do develop late tonight, a limited severe weather potential will once again exist.”

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