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3 Big Things Today, April 11
1. Soybeans, Grains Again Little Changed Overnight
Soybeans and corn were again little changed, which seems to be a common theme in recent weeks, as traders, producers, and analysts all await news on a trade deal between the U.S. and China.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He met with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week and sat down with President Donald Trump to discuss an agreement between the world’s two largest economies.
All sides reportedly said the negotiations were fruitful, leading many to believe a deal was close.
Still, no news has come out of either camp. Trump and his counterpart Xi Jinping have yet to schedule a meeting where they’re expected to sign a final agreement.
Soybeans for May delivery fell ¾¢ to $9.01¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal lost 20¢ to $309.90 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.1¢ to 28.97¢ a pound.
Corn futures were unchanged at $3.61¾ a bushel in Chicago.
Wheat futures for May delivery rose 1½¢ to $4.59½ a bushel overnight, while Kansas City wheat gained 2¼¢ to $4.35 a bushel.
2. Ethanol Production Breaks Million-Barrel Mark, Rises to Highest in Three Weeks
Weekly ethanol production rose to the highest level in three weeks in the seven days that ended on April 5, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Output last week averaged 1.002 million barrels a day, topping the million-barrel mark for the first time since the week that ended on March 15, the EIA said in a report. That’s up from 999,000 barrels a day, on average, the previous week.
In the Midwest, by far the biggest producer, production averaged 931,000 barrels a day, up from 925,000 a day in the prior seven-day period.
The gains in the region were partially offset by a decline in the East Coast, where output fell by 2,000 barrels a day to 24,000, in the Gulf Coast, where production declined by 1,000 barrels a day to 13,000, and in the West Coast, where output fell by 1,000 barrels to an average of 19,000 a day, the EIA said.
Rocky Mountain production was unchanged at 14,000 barrels a day, on average.
Ethanol stockpiles, meanwhile, declined for a second straight week to 23.193 million barrels a day, the lowest level since December 28, the agency said.
3. Blizzards in Nebraska, South Dakota Bring Up To 17 Inches of Snow, Make Travel Impossible
A blizzard warning is in effect for two thirds of western and central Nebraska, almost all of South Dakota, and parts of western Minnesota this morning.
In central Nebraska, total snow accumulations are expected to top out around 12 inches, according to the National Weather Service.
Wind gusts as high as 50 mph will reduce visibility and make travel difficult, the NWS said in a report early this morning.
“Falling and blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibilities are likely,” the agency said. “This will lead to whiteout conditions, making travel extremely dangerous. Do not travel.“
In eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota, meanwhile, up to 17 inches of snow and sleet are expected with ice accumulations of around 1⁄10 inch. Wind gusts as high as 50 mph are expected.
Power outages and tree damage are expected due to the ice buildup, and travel will be nearly impossible, the NWS said.