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3 Big Things Today, October 4, 2022

Wheat, Beans Higher Overnight; Export Inspections Up Across the Board

1. Wheat, Soybean Futures Rise in Overnight Trading

Wheat and soybeans were higher in overnight trading amid ongoing threats to Ukrainian agricultural exports and as the U.S. harvest continues to trail the average pace for this time of year.

Ukraine's armed forces continue to extend gains, even as Russia forges on with illegal annexations, according to media reports.

Russian lawmakers voted to approve the annexations, which aren't recognized internationally, on Tuesday. Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to sign them into law soon.

An Associated Press and Frontline report yesterday said Russia has been  smuggling grain from occupied areas of Ukraine to ports in several countries including Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon. The reports included reviews of shipping manifests, social media, and interviews of farmers and shippers, the AP said.

Russia's losses and Putin's lack of enthusiasm over a grain deal brokered in late July that allows legal shipments of Ukraine grain may put exports from the war-torn country at risk.

That, in turn, leads to unease among investors.

In the U.S., meanwhile, the fall harvest rolls on, though collection of both corn and soybeans are behind schedule.

Twenty percent of the corn crop was harvested as of Sunday, behind the prior five-year average of 22% for this time of year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report.

About 52% of the crop was in good or excellent condition at the start of the week, unchanged from the previous week, the USDA said. Some 22% of soybeans were in the bin, behind the normal 25%. Around 55% of the crop earned top ratings, also unchanged week-to-week.

Winter-wheat producers are forging ahead with planting, with 40% in the ground. That's still behind the average of 44%, the government said. Fifteen percent had emerged as of Sunday, just behind the average of 17%.

Wheat futures for December delivery gained 3 ¼¢ to $9.15 ¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City futures added 7 ¾¢ to $9.96 ½ a bushel.

Corn futures for December delivery rose 1¢ to $6.81 ¾ a bushel.

Soybean futures for November delivery were up 4 ½¢ to $13.78 ½ a bushel. Soymeal rose $1.90 to $407.20 a short ton, while soybean oil added 0.55¢ to $63.89 a pound.

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2. Grains, Bean Inspections Rise Week-to-Week, USDA Says

Inspections of grains and soybeans for overseas delivery were higher in the week that ended on Sept. 29, according to data from the USDA.

Corn assessments last week were reported at 661,658 metric tons, up from 549,608 tons a week earlier, the agency said in a report. That was still well below the 941,560 tons examined in the same week a year earlier.

Wheat inspections totaled 667,577 metric tons, up from 589,207 tons a week earlier and 616,311 tons a year earlier.

Examinations of soybeans for offshore delivery jumped to 575,220 metric tons from 291,413 tons the previous week, the government said. Still, that's well below the 849,556 tons examined a year earlier.

Since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, the USDA has inspected 2.36 million metric tons of corn for overseas delivery.

That's up narrowly from the 2.27 million metric tons assessed during the same timeframe last year.

Soybean inspections since the beginning of September now stand at 1.78 million metric tons, trailing the 1.84 million tons assessed during the same period a year earlier, the agency said.

Wheat assessments since the start of the grain's marketing year on June 1 are now at 8.52 million metric tons, down from the 8.75 million tons examined at the same point last year, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Thunderstorms Forecast For Parts of South Dakota, Minnesota

Scattered showers are forecast today and tonight for parts of South Dakota and western Minnesota, according to the National Weather Service.

A few thunderstorms are possible this afternoon before temperatures turn colder later in the week.

"A widespread freeze is looking increasingly likely for late Thursday into Friday morning," the NWS said in a report early this morning. "The cold temperatures will likely end the growing season."

Windy conditions with gusts of up to 45 mph are expected in the area last Wednesday.

In the southern Plains, scattered storms that could bring lighting are expected, though no further severe weather is forecast, the NWS said.

Frost may move into the area starting Thursday, as temperatures heading toward the weekend drop into the 30s, the agency said.

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