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3 Big Things Today, September 20, 2022

Corn, Wheat Futures Rise Overnight; Export Inspections Rise Across the Board

1. Corn and Wheat Futures Rise in Overnight Trading

Corn and wheat were higher in overnight trading and soybeans were little changed as crop conditions declined and planting progress was behind expectations.

About 52% of the U.S. corn crop was in good or excellent condition as of Sunday, down from 53% a week earlier, the Department of Agriculture said in a report.

Seven percent of the crop was harvested, up from 5% a week earlier but just behind the prior five-year average of 8%, the USDA said. Analysts polled by Reuters were expecting 10% of the harvest to be complete.

Forty percent of corn was mature versus 25% last week and the average of 45%, the agency said.

Fifty-five percent of U.S. soybeans earned top ratings, down from 56% the previous week. Three percent of the crop was harvested at the start of the week, behind the normal 5% for this time of the year. Analysts were expecting 5% to be in the bin.

Some 42% were dropping leaves, up from 22% a week earlier but down from the average of 47%, the government said.

The spring-wheat harvest in the U.S. was almost complete with 94% in the bin, on par with the prior five-year average.

Winter-wheat planting continues with 21% in the ground as of Sunday, up from 10% a week earlier and ahead of the normal 17% for this time of year, the USDA said. Analysts had projected sowing at 20% complete, according to the Reuters poll.

Two percent of the crop had emerged, on par with the average.

Rainfall is expected in the central Plains into the southern Midwest tomorrow and Thursday, though the six- to 15-day outlook is "largely dry," Commodity Weather Group said in a report.

Some late-season dryness continues in about 30% of corn and soybean growing areas, mainly in the western Midwest, the forecaster said. That will allow early harvest to progress.

Long-term moisture deficits persist in about half of U.S. wheat, though showers may offer "modest short-term improvement for central Plains seeding," CWG said.

Corn futures for December delivery rose 3¢ to $6.81 ¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Wheat futures for December delivery gained 4 3/4¢ to $8.35 ¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures were up 4 1/4¢ to $9.14 a bushel.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 1 1/4¢ to $14.60 a bushel. Soymeal lost $2.20 to $427.10 a short ton, while soybean oil dropped 0.15¢ to $65.01 a pound.

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2. Grain and Bean Export Inspections Rise Week-to-Week

Inspections of grains and soybeans for overseas delivery rose in the seven days that ended on Sept. 15, according to a report from the USDA.

Corn inspections last week totaled 549,354 metric tons, the agency said.

That's up from 474,388 tons the previous week and the 403,422 tons that were assessed during the same week a year earlier.

Examinations of soybeans for export improved to 518,743 metric tons, well above the 341,713 tons inspected a week earlier and the 279,572 tons assessed at the same time the previous year, the government said.

Wheat inspections last week rose to 790,145 metric tons from 757,804 tons the previous week and the 567,522 tons assessed at the same point in 2021.

Since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, the government has assessed 1.15 million metric tons of corn for export, up from only 622,041 tons during the same timeframe a year earlier.

Soybean inspections since the beginning of September now stand at 912,755 metric tons, in increase from 503,820 tons during the same period in 2021, the agency said.

Wheat assessments since the start of the grain's marketing year on June 1 are now at 7.21 million metric tons, down from the 7.75 million tons that were inspected at the same point last year, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Thunderstorms Possible in Wisconsin, Illinois Amid Hot Weather

Thunderstorms are possible in parts of southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, though odds are slim that some small hail will fall, according to the National Weather Service.

It's going to be hot in the area this afternoon into early evening "with a humid air mass accompanying highs around or a little above 90," the NWS said. Those working outside are advised to use caution.

"Such heat in late September can be deceptive, and can cause added stress for those outdoors for prolonged periods especially if at work or exercise," the agency said.

In the southern Plains, meanwhile, thunderstorms may fire up starting tomorrow.

Widespread severe weather isn't expected, though storms will be possible in the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles where hard-red winter wheat seeding is underway.

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