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3 Big Things Today, September 5
1. Wheat Futures Rise as Investors Jump on Bargains
Wheat was higher in overnight trading as investors seeking a bargain jumped back into the market after double-digit losses yesterday.
Futures fell 14¢ yesterday after Russia’s government said it didn’t see a need to limit exports of the grain. Many analysts and traders had driven up the price of wheat on speculation that shipments from Russia, the world’s biggest exporter of the grain, would be curbed due to production issues.
Dry weather throughout the growing season hurt the crop, which is expected by the USDA to fall to 68 million metric tons this year from almost 85 million last year. Exports are pegged at 35 million metric tons, down from 42 million a year earlier.
Also underpinning prices was news that Argentina would put a tax on grain exports in a bid to stabilize its economy. President Mauricio Macri said in his televised speech that the government will implement an export tax of 4 pesos per dollar on exports of agricultural products.
The president called the tax “terrible,” but said it’s necessary to ensure the country’s economy doesn’t slide further. The peso is down almost 50% against the dollar so far this year, making it difficult for borrowers in the country to pay back their dollar-denominated debt.
Wheat for December delivery rose 4¼¢ to $5.35¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City futures gained 4½¢ to $5.41½ a bushel.
Corn futures were down ½¢ to $3.67¾ a bushel overnight.
Soybeans for November delivery fell ¼¢ to $8.44 a bushel in Chicago. Soy meal lost 50¢ to $310.70 a short ton, and soy oil rose 0.10¢ to 28.68¢ a pound.
2. Exports Inspections of Corn Higher, Soybeans, Wheat Lower Week to Week
Exports inspections of corn rose week to week, but assessments of beans and wheat were lower, according to the USDA.
Corn inspections in the week that ended on August 30 totaled 1.33 million metric tons, the USDA said in a report that was delayed due to Labor Day. That’s up from 1.26 million a week earlier and well above inspections of 828,036 tons during the same time frame a year earlier.
Soybean assessments, meanwhile, dropped to 769,357 metric tons from 907,945 tons seven days earlier, the government said. That’s still higher than the year-earlier level of 712,121 tons.
Wheat inspections totaled 391,920 metric tons, down considerably from the prior week’s 488,750 tons but still higher than the year-ago total of 291,266 tons.
Inspections of corn in the marketing year that ended on August 31 ended up just ahead of the year-earlier pace. From September 1 to August 30, corn assessments totaled 57.7 million metric tons vs. 56.9 million during the same period the prior year, according to the USDA.
Soybean inspections came in just behind the year-earlier pace at 56.3 million metric tons. Assessments totaled 57.8 million tons the prior year, the government said.
Wheat inspections since the start of the grain’s marketing year on June 1 are now at 5.24 million metric tons, behind the prior year’s pace of 7.75 million tons during the same period.
3. Tropical Storm Gordon Makes Landfall; Flood Warnings Issued in Kansas, Iowa, Wisconsin
Tropical Storm Gordon made landfall near the Mississippi-Alabama border yesterday, which means rain, floods, and storms for parts of the states into Arkansas for the next few days, according to the National Weather Service.
Flash flood warnings, watches, and advisories along with several hydrological warnings are in effect for much of the Gulf Coast this morning.
“The threat for heavy rains and flooding, strong winds, and storm surge continues along the central Gulf Coast as the center of Gordon continues to move inland,” the NWS said in a report early Wednesday morning. “Despite expected weakening, heavy rain and additional flash flooding are possible inland across the Lower Mississippi Valley. Across the Midwest, additional rounds of heavy rain will keep the flood threat going into Thursday.”
The Gulf Coast isn’t the only area seeing excessive rains this morning. Much of central Kansas is getting hammered by one storm and is also under flash flood warnings, flood watches, and thunderstorm threats.
As much as 2 inches of rain fell overnight, and another 2 inches are possible in parts of central Kansas, the NWS said.
In northeastern Iowa, flood warnings are also in effect, as a line of showers and thunderstorms continues to hound the area and likely will continue to do so throughout the morning. Some of the storms are producing rain at a rate of 1 to 2 inches an hour with briefly higher rates at times, the NWS said.
The same is true for Wisconsin, where periods of rainfall this morning likely will result in “widespread” flooding.