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3 Big Things Today, October 19, 2022

Soybeans, Corn Decline Overnight; Mississippi River Levels Drop to Record Lows

1. Soybean, Corn Futures Lower in Overnight Trading

Soybeans and corn were lower in overnight trading on reports that Brazilian exports will be better than expected.

Anec, Brazil's grain-exporters association, said it now expects soybean shipments of 3.77 million metric tons in October, up from a previous outlook for 3.46 million tons.

The U.S. tends to be the primary supplier of soybeans globally in October as harvest rolls on. About 63% of the U.S. bean crop was harvested at the start of the week, ahead of the prior five-year average of 52%, the Department of Agriculture said.

Forty-five percent of U.S. corn was collected as of Sunday, USDA said.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 10 ¾¢ to $13.71 ¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal dropped $2.50 to $399.30 a short ton, while soybean oil gained 0.17¢ to $68.91 a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery were down 3 ½¢ to $6.77 ½ a bushel.

Wheat futures, meanwhile, were higher in overnight trading as talk continues on the agreement allowing Ukraine agricultural products to flow from the war-torn country.

United Nations officials had "positive and constructive" talks with Russian officials on extending the deal that was brokered in July, Reuters reported.

Russian officials have been critical of the deal in recent weeks, putting extension or renewal in jeopardy. UN officials, meanwhile, have insisted it's in all nations' best interests 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 earlier this week.

Wheat futures for December delivery rose 4 ¾¢ to $8.54 ¼ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures gained 4 ¾¢ to 9.49 ¼ a bushel.

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2. Mississippi River Flows Fall to Record Lows in Some Areas

The Mississippi River fell to the lowest on record in New Madrid, Mo., over the weekend, according to an analysis from the National Weather Service's Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center.

Water levels dropped to -5.45 feet near the city, which sits about halfway between St. Louis and Memphis on the Mississippi River, the agency said in a report.

That's the lowest level since record-keeping started in 1879.

Low river levels are being driven by drought and extreme heat during the summer and fall months, the report said. In some areas, that led to record-low river stages on the Mississippi and Lower Ohio rivers.

"River stages (this month) on the Mississippi River, from the Ohio-Mississippi River confluence at Cairo, Ill., to Baton Rouge, La., were so low that commercial activities such as barge traffic and riverboats were experiencing difficulty navigating portions of the river," NWS said.

In some areas along the rivers, little rain has fallen in the past 60 days, the NWS precipitation page shows.

Water levels in Cairo, Ill., were at 6.4 feet yesterday and likely will fall to 5.2 feet, the agency said. In Greenville, Miss., river depth will fall to 5.5 feet from 6.5 feet, and in Baton Rouge, they're expected to drop to 2.1 feet from 4.8 feet yesterday.


3. Freeze Warnings Remain From Southern Plains to Atlantic

Freeze warnings remain in effect from the southern Plains to the eastern seaboard, while extremely dry weather makes its way into eastern Colorado and western Nebraska, according to maps from the National Weather Service.

In parts of Illinois and Indiana, temperatures overnight were forecast to fall as low as 27 degrees Fahrenheit, the agency said in a report early this morning.

Temperatures in parts of eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas likely fell to 23 degrees.

Further west, red-flag warnings have been issued for parts of Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas, NWS said. Winds where the three states meet will be sustained today from 10 to 20 mph with gusts of up to 35 mph.

Relative humidity will fall as low as 13%.

"Any fires that start will have extreme fire behavior and spread rapidly," the agency said. "Outdoor burning is not advised."

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