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3 Big Things Today, May 22
1. Wheat Futures Rise as Crop Conditions Plateau
Wheat futures were higher in overnight trading as speculative investors who were short the market, or bet on lower prices, bought back contracts after crop conditions plateaued.
The U.S. winter wheat crop was 36% good or excellent as of Sunday, unchanged from the prior week after improving the past couple of weeks, according to the USDA. In Kansas, the biggest producer of winter varieties, 15% earned top ratings, unchanged from the prior week, the agency said.
Producers managed to get another 19% of the U.S. corn crop in the ground in the seven days through Sunday. Growers planted 42% of the crop in the past two weeks, according to the USDA.
Some 56% of soybeans were in the ground, up from 35% a week earlier.
Soybeans continue to see gains, as trade tensions between the U.S. and China ease.
Wheat for July delivery rose 7¼¢ to $5.14½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City futures added 8¢ to $5.25 a bushel.
Soybean futures for July delivery rose 1¾¢ to $10.27 a bushel overnight. Soy meal futures added 20¢ to $379.30 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.23¢ to 31.65¢ a pound.
Corn futures rose 1½¢ to $4.04¼ a bushel overnight.
2. Weekly Export Inspections For Soybeans Higher, Corn, Wheat Lower
Export inspections for soybeans jumped, while corn was little changed week to week.
Officials from the USDA inspected 893,680 metric tons of soybeans for overseas delivery in the week that ended on May 17. That’s up from 698,645 tons a week earlier and more than double the year-ago total of 330,274 tons, according to the USDA.
Corn inspections, meanwhile, were reported at 1.53 million tons last week, down from 1.58 million seven days earlier but up from 1.18 million a year ago, the agency said in a report.
Wheat assessments last week totaled 341,299 metric tons, well below the prior week’s 466,960 tons and 687,033 tons during the same week a year earlier.
Export inspections for all three crops trail the year-ago pace. Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, the USDA has inspected 36.3 million metric tons of corn for overseas delivery, behind the year-earlier pace of 42 million tons.
Soybean inspections are at 45.6 million tons, below 50.5 million tons at the same time a year earlier.
Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are at 23.1 million tons, behind last year’s 26.4 million, the USDA said.
3. More Precipitation Expected in Parts of Upper Midwest, Southern Plains
More rain is on the way for parts of the Midwest today, according to the National Weather Service.
Thunderstorms are possible in parts of southern Wisconsin, eastern Iowa, and much of Illinois and Indiana, the agency said in a report early Tuesday morning.
Lightning will be the primary hazard as severe weather isn’t expected. Patchy fog is lingering this morning, creating some dense fog advisories in the area. Thunderstorms likely will continue throughout the week, the NWS said.
Storms are also possible in the Southern Plains today and tonight.
“Widespread severe weather is not expected, however, an isolated strong to marginally severe storm with up to quarter-size hail and gusty winds can’t be ruled out, mainly for the western panhandles,” the NWS said.