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3 Big Things Today, May 3, 2022

Corn Futures Higher Overnight; Weekly Export Inspections Rise.

1. Corn Futures Higher in Overnight Trading

Corn futures were higher in overnight trading as the pace of planting in the U.S. remains well behind normal.

About 14% of the U.S. corn crop was planted as of Sunday, up from 7% a week earlier but well behind the prior five-year average of 33% for this time of year, the Department of Agriculture said in a report.

In Iowa, only 9% of the crop was in the ground, behind the normal 42%, and only 7% of corn was sown in Illinois where 43% is usually planted, the USDA said.

Iowa and Illinois are the biggest producers of corn in the United States.

Some 3% of the U.S. crop had emerged at the start of the week, only a one percentage point gain from the previous week and half the normal 6% for this time of year, the agency said.

No corn had emerged from the ground in Iowa or Illinois.

Soybeans fared a little better with 8% of the crop planted as of Sunday, up from 3% the previous week but still behind the prior five-year average of 13%, the USDA said.

Planting is still way behind the average pace in Iowa and Illinois, where 4% and 5% of the states’ crops were in the ground vs. the normal 17% and 19%, respectively.

Persistent precipitation has kept farmers out of fields in parts of the Corn Belt in the past couple weeks. As much as six times the normal amount of rain has fallen in the past 14 days in a wide chunk of land stretching from the Canadian border in North Dakota and Minnesota south into central Nebraska, according to the National Weather Service’s precipitation page.

The conditions of the U.S. winter-wheat crop was unchanged at 27% good or excellent, the government said. About 23% of the crop was headed as of Sunday, up from 11% seven days earlier but behind the normal 29% for this time of year.

Spring-wheat planting was behind the average pace with 19% in the ground, up from 13% a week earlier but down from the normal 28% at this point in the season, the USDA said.

About 5% had emerged as of the start of the week, up from 2% a week earlier but behind the normal 7%.

Corn futures rose 3½¢ to $8.07 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybean futures for July delivery fell 1½¢ to $16.43¾ a bushel. Soymeal added $2.40 to $433.30 a short ton, while soybean oil futures dropped 0.6¢ to 79.49¢ a pound.

Wheat for May delivery fell 2¼¢ to $10.53¼ a bushel while Kansas City futures rose 2¾¢ to $11.01¾ a bushel.

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2. Grain Export Inspections Rise Week-to-Week, USDA Says

Export inspections of corn and wheat were modestly higher week-to-week while soybean assessments declined, according to the U.S. Ag Department.

Corn inspections in the seven days that ended on April 28 rose to 1.68 million metric tons, up from 1.67 million tons a week earlier, the agency said in a report.

The total was still down from the 2.21 million metric tons examined during the same week last year.

Examinations of wheat for offshore delivery jumped to 384,460 metric tons from 289,607 tons the previous week. That’s still down from the 533,203 tons inspected at the same point in 2021, the USDA said.

Soybean assessments last week were reported at 601,282 metric tons, down from 605,385 tons a week earlier, but up almost fourfold from the 155,374 tons inspected a year earlier.

Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, the government has inspected 36.6 million metric tons of corn for export, the agency said, down from 43.6 million tons during the same time frame a year earlier.

Soybean inspections since the beginning of September now stand at 47.2 million metric tons, well below the 55.7 million tons examined during the same period last year.

Wheat assessments since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are now at 18.8 million metric tons, down from the 23.2 million tons assessed a year earlier, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Freeze Warnings in Effect in the Southern Plains

Freeze warnings are in effect until 9 a.m. Central Time in parts of the southern Plains, according to the National Weather Service, where hard-red winter wheat is attempting to grow.

Temperatures overnight were expected to drop as low as 31˚F. in southwestern Kansas and as low as 28˚F. in eastern Colorado, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

In the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles, temperatures ranged from 29˚F. to 31˚F.

Farther north, rain is expected today in parts of northern Indiana and southern Michigan, the agency said.

“Widespread showers with isolated thunderstorms will occur today,” the NWS said. “Rain will be heavy at times.”

Winds are forecast to gust up to 35 mph in southern Michigan, and flooding is possible in parts of the region, the agency said. More rain is possible Thursday and Friday in the area.

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