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3 Big Things Today, October 26, 2022

Wheat Futures Rise Overnight; La Nina Pattern Expected to Continue

1. Grain, Soybean Futures Rise in Overnight Trading 

Wheat futures were higher in overnight trading as speculative investors who were short the market, or bet on lower prices, buy back contracts and book profits after prices dropped to the lowest level in a month yesterday.

Prices had been down in Chicago as rain is expected in some drought-affected areas of the U.S. and South America.

Investors instead may be focused on increasing tensions between Ukraine and Russia that could affect shipments, and an investigation into what may be a mine in the corridor where ships leave Ukrainian ports.

Ukrainian officials have accused Russia of intentionally delaying more than 165 ships making their way to ports along the Black Sea to transport grain from the war-torn area.

Kyiv has accused Moscow of unnecessarily extending inspection times for vessels. Ships are required to be inspected under the so-called Black Sea Grain Initiative, a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey that allows vessels hauling agricultural supplies to leave Ukrainian ports.

The Joint Coordination Center (JCC) which oversees the agreement, acknowledged there were delays but didn't name a cause.

Officials from the United Nations and Turkey continue to work on an extension of the agreement even as Russian politicians continue to insist that such an extension isn't a foregone conclusion.

JCC also is investigating an object found in a shipping corridor off the port city Odesa that some are concerned is a mine. Ukraine was given permission to send a tugboat and a search-and-rescue vessel to the area to inspect the object.

Before this morning, wheat prices were falling on forecasts for better weather in parts of winter-wheat country in the U.S.

Rains later this week are expected in parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, said Don Keeney, an agricultural meteorologist with Maxar.

"Rains in southern areas are improving moisture with more improvements later this week," he said. "Dryness continues in central (and) northern areas."

Rain also is falling in parts of Brazil and will continue in central and southern regions tomorrow through the weekend, Keeney said in a note to clients. Precipitation next week likely will improve soil moisture in northern growing areas of Brazil.

In Europe, meanwhile, "limited" rainfall in central and southern growing regions through next week will likely cause water shortages to expand, he said.

Wheat futures for December delivery rose 4¢ to $8.38 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City futures gained 3¾¢ to $9.38 ¼ a bushel.

Corn for December delivery was up 1¼¢ to $6.87 ½ a bushel.

Soybean futures for November delivery gained 12¢ to $14.04 ½ a bushel. Soymeal rose $3.30 to $418.90 a short ton, while soybean oil added 0.47¢ to 72.75¢ a pound.

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2. La Nina Expected to Continue, November Rains `Limited' in Southern Plains, CWG Says

A La Nina weather system featuring warm waters in the south Atlanta and cooler waters in the South Pacific is expected to continue, Commodity Weather Group said in its Ag Seasonal Outlook report.

Precipitation in the U.S. southern Plains likely will remain limited in November, resulting in poor establishment of hard-red winter wheat that's grown in the region, the forecaster said.

"La Nina signals continue to keep Plains dry but improve river flow in the Ohio and lower Mississippi basins," CWG said.

Dry weather patterns will remain from northern and eastern Argentina to far southern Brazil for another year, though it's not expected to be as dry as it was in Paraguay a year ago, the forecaster said.

CWG said in its second-most-likely scenario that severe dryness may occur in parts of Argentina, resulting in corn and soybean losses. Dry weather also may reach into central and southern Brazil, resulting in "patchy dryness."

Dry weather will linger into December in Argentina and southern Brazil, though in January, the dry weather will diminish in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, but persist in parts of Argentina, the forecaster said.

"Needed showers return in central Brazil prior to waning again in February," CWG said.

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3. Severe Weather Forecast in Parts of Southern Plains

Severe weather is expected in parts of the southern Plains tomorrow with large hail being the main threat, according to the National Weather Service.

The storms will mainly hit southwestern Oklahoma and western north Texas, NWS said in a report early this morning.

Showers will give way to dry weather throughout the weekend into early next week, the agency said.

"The potential exists for elevated fire conditions to increase in coverage across southwest Kansas this weekend," NWS said. "Monday and Tuesday, the fire risk potential will range from elevated to near critical.

Further east in northern Indiana, winds will gust up to 35 mph today. Gusts of up to 40 mph are forecast closer to Lake Michigan, the forecaster said.

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