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3 Big Things Today, May 27, 2020

Soybeans, Grains Higher Overnight; Export Inspections Down Across the Board.

1. Soybeans and Grains Higher in Overnight Trading

Soybeans and grains were higher in overnight trading on optimism about demand as the dollar weakens, making U.S. products more attractive to overseas buyers.

The dollar has declined about 1.25% so far this week, which could incentivize overseas buyers to purchase agricultural products.

The USDA yesterday said private exporters sold 258,000 metric tons of soybeans to China, including 60,000 tons in the marketing year that ends on August 31 and the rest for delivery in the 2020-2021 year.

Exporters also sold 216,000 tons of soybean cake and meal to unnamed destinations for delivery before the end of September, the USDA said.

Still, investors are keeping an eye on trade relations between the U.S. and China as the sides increase rhetoric over Hong Kong and the spread of the COVID-19 virus. That could lead to reduced purchases of U.S. ag products by the Asian nation.

The USDA released its weekly Crop Progress Report yesterday, which showed 88% of the corn crop was in the ground, ahead of the prior five-year average of 82%. Sixty-four percent of the crop had emerged at the start of the week, ahead of the normal 58%, the agency said.

About 65% of U.S. soybeans were seeded as of Sunday, ahead of the average of 55% for this time of year. Some 35% had emerged, up from the 27% average.

Soybean futures for July delivery rose 2¾¢ to $8.49¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal futures added 40¢ to $284.30 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.28¢ to 27.55¢ a pound.

Corn futures were up 1¢ to $3.20 a bushel overnight.

Soft red winter wheat futures for July delivery gained 2¾¢ to $5.09½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures added 4¼¢ to $4.51½ a bushel.  

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2. Weekly Export Inspections Lower Across the Board

Export inspections of grains and beans were all lower week to week, according to the USDA.

Inspections of corn to overseas buyers in the seven days that ended on May 21 were reported at 1.09 million metric tons, down from 1.18 million tons a week earlier, the agency said in a report.

That’s also down from the 1.11 million tons assessed at the same time a year earlier.

Soybean assessments came in at 333,127 metric tons last week, down from 356,078 tons the previous week, the USDA said. The agency inspected 537,216 metric tons for offshore delivery during the same week in 2019.

The government inspected 457,777 metric tons of wheat for export, down from 491,776 tons a week earlier and 532,901 tons at this point last year, the report said.

Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, the USDA has inspected 27.4 million metric tons of corn for overseas delivery. That’s well below the 38.6 million tons assessed during the same time frame a year earlier.

Soybean examinations since the start of September now stand at 35.1 million metric tons, down from the 33.7 million tons inspected during the same period last year.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are now at 24.4 million metric tons, up slightly from the 24.2 million tons assessed during the same time frame last year, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Flood Warnings in Effect on Mississippi and Missouri Rivers

Flooding has become a concern in several parts of the Midwest after storms rumbled through several areas in the past few days, according to the National Weather Service.

The Mississippi River is over its banks in several areas along the Missouri-Illinois border, the NWS said in a report.

At Cape Girardeau, Missouri, the river crested at 34.5 feet, topping flood stage of 32 feet, the agency said. At Grafton, the river was at 20.3 feet late Tuesday night, well above the 18-foot flood stage.

On the west side of Missouri, meanwhile, the Missouri River at St. Joseph was at 18.9 feet as of late Tuesday evening, easily topping flood stage of 17 feet. At 19 feet, the river begins flooding property near Nodaway, Missouri.

Scattered thunderstorms and more rain are expected tonight in northwestern Missouri, the NWS said. That likely will exacerbate flooding in the area.

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