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3 Big Things Today, May 8

Soybeans Higher in Overnight Trading; Corn Planting 39% Finished After Busy Week.

1. Soybeans Regain Some of Monday’s Losses as Trade Talks to Resume

Soybeans were modestly higher overnight, regaining some of their 25¢ losses on Monday, after China said it would send its top economic adviser to Washington next week to resume trade talks.  

Negotiations in Beijing last week didn’t go as well as many hoped, so another round of discussions over everything from steel and aluminum imports from China to soybean and pork imports from the U.S. will be discussed.

China proposed import tariffs on $50 billion worth of U.S. goods including soybeans and pork after the U.S. said it would put levies on up to $150 billion worth of Chinese goods. China has significantly reduced its purchases of U.S. soybeans already, according to export sales reports.

Soybean futures for July delivery rose 4¾¢ to $10.16¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal added $1.60 to $384.10 a short ton, while soy oil fell 0.11¢ to 30.76¢ a pound.

Corn futures rose ½¢ to $4.01¼ a bushel overnight.

Wheat for July delivery were unchanged at $5.11¼ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures fell ¼¢ to $5.39¼ a bushel.

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2. Corn Planting Stands at 39% Finished After Busy Week For Farmers                                  

Corn growers were busy last week as they planted more than a fifth of the U.S. crop in the seven days through May 6.

Planting of the grain was 39% complete as of Sunday, up from 17% a week earlier and now just behind the prior five-year average of 44%, according to the USDA.

Only 8% of the crop was emerged, ahead of 3% a week earlier but still behind the average of 14% for this time of year.

Soybeans were 15% seeded as of Sunday, up from 5% last week and ahead of the average pace of 13%, the USDA said in a report.

Winter wheat, meanwhile, was rated 34% good or excellent, up a point from the prior week, according to the government. Still, 53% of the crop earned top ratings at this time last year. In Kansas, the biggest producer of winter wheat, 14% was good and 0% was excellent.

A third of the U.S. crop is headed, well behind the average of 41%, the government said. The big complaint during last week’s Kansas Wheat Tour was that the crop was behind developmentally due to cool, dry weather.

In other news, export inspections of corn were reported at 1.92 million metric tons in the seven days through May 3, up from 1.48 million in the prior week.

Soybean inspections totaled 533,667 tons, down from 692,037 tons a week earlier, and wheat assessments came in at 327,662 tons, down from 395,209 tons the previous week, according to the USDA.

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3. Flooding, Rain Expected in Upper Midwest, Southern Plains Still Dry

Flooding is expected in parts of Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin today while more thunderstorms are forecast move through the states.

“Minor flooding will continue today and tonight along stretches of the Mississippi, Yellow, and Kickapoo rivers,” the National Weather Service said in a report early Tuesday morning. “Thunderstorms are possible tonight. The primary threats will be lightning and localized heavy downpours.”

Scattered storms are again likely Wednesday and Friday, the agency said.

In the Southern Plains, meanwhile, the NWS has issued an outlook for “unseasonably warm temperatures” this afternoon. That, along with low humidity and increasingly strong winds, makes for dangerous fire conditions.

The warm weather will continue through Friday with highs “well above normal,” which will contribute to ongoing fire hazards, the NWS said.

Some thunderstorms, however, are expected Friday afternoon, though moisture will be limited. Strong winds are the biggest threat from the storms, the agency said.

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