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3 Big Things Today, September 13, 2022

Wheat Futures Jump in Overnight Trading; Weekly Inspections of Corn, Beans Fall

1. Wheat, Soybean Futures Surge in Overnight Trading

Wheat futures jumped in overnight trading on concerns that Russia will disrupt grain exports from Ukraine.

Ukraine Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba reportedly said in an interview with RBC-Ukraine that Russia likely will disrupt an agreement that allows Ukrainian agricultural products safe passage to importing countries.

He said the government is working with Turkey and the United Nations, which originally brokered the deal that was signed in late July, to ensure the agreement remains in place.

Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent weeks accused Ukraine of shipping grain only to wealthy European countries instead of African nations where it's needed most to alleviate hunger.

Ukraine countered by showing exactly where the shipments have gone since the agreement took effect. Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a Putin ally, concurred with the Russian president despite evidence from Ukraine.

In the U.S., meanwhile, 85% of the spring-wheat crop was harvested at the start of the week, just behind the prior five-year average of 89%, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report yesterday.

Winter-wheat growers had planted 10% of the crop as of Sunday, ahead of the normal 7% for this time of the year, the agency said.

Soybean futures jumped overnight as the condition of the U.S. crop dropped in the seven days that ended on Sunday.

About 56% of soybeans were in good or excellent condition at the start of the week, down from 57% a week earlier. That's also down from the 57% that earned top ratings at the same point last year.

Twenty-two percent of the crop was dropping leaves, behind the prior five-year average of 28%, and pod-setting was all but complete, the USDA said.

Some 53% of the U.S. corn crop was in good or excellent condition as of Sunday, down from 54% the previous week. A quarter of the crop was mature, behind the average of 30% for this time of the year.

Five percent was harvested, ahead of the normal 4% for this time of the year, the government said.

Wheat surged 12 1/2¢ to $8.71 ¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City futures added 12¢ to $9.39 a bushel.

Soybean futures for November delivery jumped 15 1/2¢ to $15.03 ¾ a bushel. Soymeal fell $1 to $433.60 a short ton, while soybean oil gained 1.34¢ to $67.83 a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery were up 3/4¢ to $6.96 ¾ a bushel.

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2. Corn and Bean Export Inspections Down Week-to-Week

Inspections of corn and beans declined week-to-week while wheat assessments increased, according to data from the USDA.

Corn assessments in the seven days that ended on Sept. 8 totaled 446,620 metric tons, down from 531,667 tons a week earlier, the agency said. That's still well above the 179,166 tons inspected during the same week a year earlier.

Soybean inspections were lower, falling to 329,225 metric tons from 500,286 tons the previous week. The total was higher than the 193,894 tons examined at the same point in 2021, the government said.

Wheat inspections, meanwhile, jumped to 736,515 metric tons last week.

That's up from 538,329 metric tons a week earlier and 567,438 tons during the same week last year, the agency said.

Since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, the USDA has inspected 558,699 metric tons of corn for overseas delivery, up from the 218,619 tons examined during the same timeframe a year earlier.

Soybean inspections since the beginning of the month now stand at 381,524 metric tons, up from 224,248 tons assessed in the same period last year, the government said.

Wheat assessments since the start of the grain's marketing year on June 1 now stand at 6.4 million metric tons, down from the 7.18 million tons examined at the same point a year earlier, the USDA said in its report.


3. Dry Weather Leads to Wildfire Risks in Western Nebraska, South Dakota

Extremely dry weather may lead to wildfires this afternoon and early evening in parts of western Nebraska, western South Dakota and eastern Wyoming, according to the National Weather Service.

 In western and north-central Nebraska, winds will be sustained from 20 to 30 miles an hour with gusts of up to 35 miles per hour, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Relative humidity will be low in the region, the agency said.

In eastern Wyoming and western South Dakota, a red-flag warning has been issued for this afternoon.

"Warm temperatures, low relative humidity and breezy southwest winds will continue to create critical fire weather conditions," the NWS said.

Looking ahead, isolated thunderstorms are possible in the same area starting Wednesday. The threat of severe weather is low at this time, the agency said.

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