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3 Big Things Today, May 29

Wheat Futures Surge Overnight; Canada’s Trade Minister Heads to Washington.

1. Wheat Futures Hit 10-Month High on Adverse Weather

Wheat futures rose to the highest level in 10 months overnight on worries about adverse weather globally.

Temperatures in southwestern Kansas and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles will reach well into the 90s this week and potentially triple digits on Friday.

The Southern Plains is already suffering from extreme and exceptional droughts, the worst-possible ratings, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Little rain has fallen in the region for the past six months, according to the National Weather Service.

Wheat growers in Australia and Russia are also facing weather problems.

Corn and soybeans were also higher.

Wheat for July delivery rose 9¢ to $5.52 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City futures added 9¢ to $5.73 a bushel.

Corn added 2½¢ to $4.08½ a bushel.

Soybean futures for July delivery gained 4¾¢ to $10.46¼ a bushel overnight. Soy meal gained $1.60 to $381.90 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.06¢ to 31.40¢ a pound.


2. Canada’s Foreign Minister Heads to Washington to Talk Trade                                                         

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is heading back to Washington this week to try to hammer out a deal that furthers North American Free Trade Agreement talks.

Canada, the U.S., and Mexico have thus far been unable to find a compromise as trilateral talks have dragged on for months. In this round of negotiations, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo won’t be there as he will be in Paris talking with members of OPEC, according to Reuters.

In its latest trade salvo, the Trade Representative’s office said in a statement that the U.S. has requested the World Trade Organization organize a dispute settlement panel to examine whether Canada’s government is discriminating against U.S. wine by allowing only British Columbia wines to be sold on regular grocery shelfs in the province.

“Discriminatory regulations implemented by British Columbia are unfairly keeping U.S. wine off of grocery store shelves, and that is unacceptable,” USTR Robert Lighthizer said. “Canada and all Canadian provinces, including BC, must play by the rules.”

Lighthizer earlier this month called the current NAFTA “a seriously flawed trade deal,” but also said that the trilateral talks were “nowhere near” ending in an agreement.

All sides wanted to push the deal forward in recent weeks as the U.S. is facing upcoming elections that may change the landscape on Capitol Hill, while Mexico’s presidential election is July 1.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has acknowledged the difficulties surrounding the negotiations during a speech in mid-May in Colorado.

“Obviously there's concern about NAFTA,” he said. “We were optimistic at one time, and probably not quite so right now because we're running out of time. But once again, NAFTA is very important to agricultural producers – not only in Colorado but across the country. So we hope to get a deal restored with NAFTA.”


3. Alberto Expected to Bring Rain as Far North as Southern Illinois, Indiana

Tropical Storm Alberto made land yesterday and has weakened into a subtropical depression, but rainfall is expected as far north as southern Illinois and Indiana, the National Weather Service said on Tuesday.

“Alberto weakened to a subtropical depression on Monday night,” the NWS said. “However, heavy rainfall from Alberto will spread into northern Georgia, the western Carolinas, and Tennessee on Tuesday, increasing the threat of flash flooding in those areas. Flash flood watches are in effect for a large swath of the South, and even as far north as the Ohio River Valley and central Appalachians.”

While the mid-South is getting rain, it’s extremely hot in the Twin Cities and surrounding counties.

A heat advisory is in effect for the area, according to the NWS, as temperatures will reach the mid-90s today and humidity will be extremely high.

In the Southern Plains, meanwhile, thunderstorms are possible across the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles today, which may be accompanied by large hail and damaging winds, the NWS said.  

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