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3 Big Things Today, April 4

Soybeans, Grains Rise Overnight; Ethanol Production Rises to Just Below 1 Million-Barrel Mark.

1. Soybean, Corn Futures Again Slightly Higher Overnight

Soybeans and corn were again higher overnight on optimism that the U.S. and China are close to a trade agreement.

Negotiators from both sides will meet again today as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is in Washington for another round of talks. He’s scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump today to discuss the potential trade deal.

That could be a positive sign that negotiations are nearing an end.

Soybeans for May delivery rose 2¾¢ to $9.01½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal fell 20¢ to $310.80 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.16¢ to 28.96¢ a pound.

Corn futures rose 1¢ to $3.63¾ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures for May delivery added 2½¢ to $4.73½ a bushel overnight, while Kansas City wheat gained 3¢ to $4.39¾ a bushel.

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2. Ethanol Production Rises in Week Through March 29, Still Below 1 Million-Barrel Average

U.S. ethanol production rose in the seven days that ended on March 29 but was still just below the 1 million-barrel-per-day average, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Output last week average 999,000 barrels a day, up from 975,000 barrels the previous week, the EIA said in a report.

Production in the Midwest, by far the biggest region in terms of output, jumped to 924,000 barrels a day, on average, according to the report.

East Coast production rose by 1,000 barrels to 26,000 last week, Rocky Mountain output increased by 2,000 barrels to an average of 14,000 a day, and West Coast production was reported at 20,000 barrels, on average, up by 1,000 a day.

Gulf Coast output was unchanged week to week at an average of 14,000 barrels a day, the EIA said.

Stockpiles, meanwhile, fell from a record in the seven days through March 29.

Inventories in storage totaled 23.992 million barrels last week, down from 24.448 million seven days earlier, which was the highest ever, according to the government.

In other news, the Weekly Export Sales Report is due from the USDA at 8:30 a.m. in Washington. Corn sales are pegged from 700,000 to 1.25 million metric tons, researcher Allendale said in a morning note to clients. Soybean sales are forecast from 800,000 to 1.8 million tons, and wheat sales are seen from 300,000 to 800,000 tons.

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3. Flooding Still Dominates Weather Maps as Flooding Expected to Worsen in North Dakota  

Flooding is still the predominate concern on today’s weather maps as warnings are in effect for several counties in North Dakota and Minnesota and along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

 In North Dakota and Minnesota, increased river levels are expected as warmer weather accelerates snowmelt and runoff, according to the National Weather Service.

Tributaries are being blocked by ice dams that’s preventing water from moving downstream, the NWS said in a report early this morning. That makes the timing of any increase in river levels uncertain at this point, the agency said.

Farther south near Cape Girardeau, Thebes, and New Madrid, Missouri, the Mississippi River continues to rise slowly.

At New Madrid, the river was at 33.4 feet as of late last night, just below flood stage of 34 feet. The river is expected to rive to almost 34.5 feet by Saturday afternoon, which will affect only low-lying areas, the NWS said.

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