3 Big Things Today, October 27, 2020

Wheat Futures Mixed Overnight; Weekly Soybean Export Inspections Surge.

1. Wheat Futures Mixed in Overnight Trading, Corn Rises

Wheat diverged in overnight trading as soft-red winter prices were higher and hard-red winter futures plunged.

Overseas buyers have committed to purchase 15.5 million metric tons of U.S. wheat since the marketing year started on June 1, according to the Department of Agriculture.

That’s up 10% from the same time frame last year, the USDA said.

Prices also got a bump from Monday’s crop progress report, which showed 41% of the winter crop was in good or excellent condition, down from 56% at this point last year. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected 52% would receive top ratings.

Hard-red winter futures, meanwhile, plunged in overnight trading as snow falls in the southern Plains, which will create a protective layer over plants that had recently emerged from the ground.

Another 8 inches of snow are expected today in parts of the southern Plains where hard-red winter wheat is grown, according to the National Weather Service.

About 85% of the U.S. winter crop was planted as of Sunday, up from 77% a week earlier and ahead of the prior five-year average of 80%, the USDA said.

Some 62% of the crop had emerged, up from 51% the previous week and the average of 60%.

In Kansas, the biggest producer of winter wheat, 92% of the crop was in the ground and 70% had emerged at the start of the week, the agency said.

Corn also was higher in overnight trading while soybeans were little changed.

Wheat futures for December delivery rose 4¼¢ to 6.24¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade while Kansas City futures dropped 15¾¢ to $5.54 a bushel.

Corn futures for December delivery gained 3½¢ to $4.21¼ a bushel.

Soybean futures for January delivery fell ¼¢ to $10.83¼ a bushel. Soymeal added $2.50 to $392.10 a short ton, and soy oil fell 0.04¢ to 34.42¢ a pound.

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2. Export Inspections of Beans Surges Week-to-Week While Corn Assessments Fall

Export inspections of soybeans jumped week-to-week while corn assessments declined, the USDA said in a report.

Inspections of U.S. beans increased to 2.66 million metric tons in the seven days that ended on Oct. 22, the agency said.

That’s up from 2.32 million tons assessed a week earlier and the 1.58 million tons examined during the same week in 2019.

Demand for soybeans has been robust in recent months as China has been making some large purchases from U.S. supplies.

Corn inspections, meanwhile, dropped to 636,290 metric tons, the government said. That’s down from 911,648 tons the previous week, but well ahead of the 391,231 tons assessed at the same time last year.

Wheat assessments last week were up to 363,806 metric tons from 241,283 tons the previous week, the USDA said in its report. That’s down, however, from the 543,166 tons examined the same week last year.

Since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, the agency has examined 14.3 million metric tons of soybeans for offshore delivery. That’s up from the 8.07 million tons examined during the same time frame last year.

Corn assessments since the beginning of September now stand at 6.09 million metric tons, well above the 3.48 million tons inspected during the same period in 2019.

Since the start of wheat’s marketing year on June 1, the USDA has inspected 11 million tons of the grain for overseas delivery, up modestly from the 10.6 million tons examined at the same point a year earlier, the agency said in its report.

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3. Heavy Snow Forecast in Much of Southern Plains Into Wednesday

Heavy snow is forecast in much of the southern Plains into tomorrow as up to 8 inches is expected, according to the National Weather Service.

As much as 4 inches of snow is predicted in parts of the eastern Texas and Oklahoma panhandles while up to 8 inches is forecast in the central and western panhandles, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

A winter storm warning is in effect for much of New Mexico into the panhandles.

In central Oklahoma, meanwhile, an ice storm warning is in effect through 1 p.m. tomorrow. Up to 0.3 inch of ice is expected in the area.

“Power outages and tree damage are likely due to the ice,” the NWS said. “Travel could be nearly impossible.”

Farther northeast, in parts of central Missouri and west-central Illinois, freezing weather will lead to a glaze of ice on elevated surfaces this morning, the agency said.

“Light wintry precipitation will remain off and on through the morning, mainly south of I-70 and with little to no accumulation,” the NWS said. “This will transition to liquid rain by this afternoon.”

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