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3 Big Things Today, October 18, 2022

Wheat, Corn Fall Overnight; Weekly Export Inspections of Soybeans Surge

1. Wheat, Corn Futures Fall in Overnight Trading

Wheat and corn futures dropped in overnight trading after news that the Russian deputy defense minister and the United Nations undersecretary general are to discuss the agreement allowing Ukrainian agricultural exports, while some believe the grain deal should be extended.

Alexander Fomin, Russia's deputy defense minister, told UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths that extensions of the deal that was brokered in July are dependent on implementation of agreements previously reached in past talks.

The deal allows safe passage for shipments of grain and other agricultural products. The agreement was implemented to help alleviate global food crises.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to eliminate or renegotiate the deal. He suggested on Friday that the haven corridors through which the products are shipped are being used for terrorism against Russia.

Still, Amir Mahmoud Abdulla, the UN's coordinator for the Black Sea Grain Initiative, told Politico that he believes Putin is posturing and doesn't want to slow shipments from Ukraine.

In fact, he said, it's in the best interests of all countries to extend the agreement.

Exports from Ukraine in the first 17 days of October totaled 2.12 million metric tons of grain, down only slightly from pre-war levels, the Ministry of Agriculture said in a report yesterday.

Wheat futures for December delivery fell 7 ¾¢ to $8.53 ¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City futures lost 6¢ to $9.46 a bushel.

Corn futures for December delivery were down 5 ¾¢ to $6.77 ¾ a bushel.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 6¢ to $13.85 ¾ a bushel. Soymeal dropped $3.60 to $407.40 a short ton, while soybean oil gained 0.53¢ to $67.37 a pound.

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2. Soybean Export Inspections Surge Week-to-Week

Inspections of soybeans for overseas delivery jumped week-to-week, while corn assessments were modestly lower, according to data from USDA.

Soybean inspections in the seven days that ended on Oct. 13 rose to 1.88 million metric tons from 976,877 tons a week earlier, the agency said in a report.

That's still well below the 2.45 million tons assessed during the same week a year earlier.

Examinations of corn for offshore delivery declined to 448,423 metric tons from 457,366 tons the previous week, and well below the 1.04 million tons examined during the same week in 2021, USDA said.

Wheat assessments last week plunged to 231,842 metric tons from 615,868 tons a week ago, the government said. That's still higher than the 141,849 tons examined at the same point last year.

Since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, USDA has inspected 3.29 million metric tons of corn for overseas delivery, down from 4.17 million tons during the same timeframe a year earlier.

Soybean assessments since the beginning of September now stand at 4.67 million metric tons, down from 6.04 million tons during the same period in 2021, the agency said.

Wheat inspections since the start of the grain's marketing year on June 1 are now at 9.36 million metric tons from 9.34 million tons, USDA said in its report.

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3. Freeze Warnings in Effect From Colorado to Atlantic Ocean

Freeze warnings have spread through much of the southern U.S. and now range from Colorado to the Atlantic Ocean, and from northern Kansas through the Gulf Coast, according to maps from the National Weather Service.

In southwestern Kansas and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles, temperatures overnight were expected to drop as low as 28 degrees Fahrenheit, NWS said in a report early this morning.

Another freeze warning already has been issued for tonight and will take effect from 11 p.m. to 9 a.m. Wednesday morning.

In central Illinois, meanwhile, temperatures were expected to fall as low as 26 degrees by sunrise today, the agency said.

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