3 Big Things Today, August 29
1. Soybeans, Corn Slightly Higher on Cool Midwest Weather
Soybeans and corn were slightly higher in overnight trading amid a cool streak in the Midwest that could further slow crop development.
Lows in the 50s and highs in the 70s through the weekend could keep plants from maturing, which normally wouldn’t be much of a big deal, but with a relatively large portion of beans and corn planted so late, the cool weather could have implications toward the end of the season, analysts and forecasters said.
Temperatures will warm next week, but in Iowa and Illinois, the largest producers of both crops, highs will be in the 70s after midweek, according to forecasts.
Traders, producers, and analysts also are keeping one eye on the seemingly never-ending trade war with China. Deutsche Bank economist Yi Xiong said in a research report that China isn’t aiming for a quick trade deal nor negotiations with the U.S.
Instead, China may be attempting to outlast the life cycle of the current administration, Yi said.
Soybean futures for November delivery rose 3¾¢ to $8.69½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained $1 to $300.70 a short ton, while soybean oil fell 0.07¢ to 28.38¢ a pound.
Corn futures for December delivery added 1¾¢ to $3.72¾ a bushel.
Wheat for September delivery lost 2¢ to $4.73¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures dropped ¾¢ to $4.03½ a bushel.
2. Ethanol Production Surges Week to Week, Stockpiles Decline, EIA Says
Ethanol production jumped week to week, while stockpiles declined, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Output of the biofuel increased to an average of 1.038 million barrels a day in the seven days that ended on August 23, the EIA said in a report. That’s up from 1.023 million barrels a day the previous week.
In the Midwest, by far the largest producing area in the U.S., production was reported at 963,000 barrels a day, on average, up from 945,000 barrels a week earlier.
West Coast production rose to 16,000 barrels a day from 15,000 barrels, the agency said.
Gulf Coast output, meanwhile, declined to 23,000 barrels a day from 24,000 barrels a week earlier, and Rocky Mountain production dropped to 11,000 barrels a day, on average, from 13,000 barrels.
East Coast production was unchanged week to week at 26,000 barrels, the EIA said.
Inventories in the seven days that ended on August 23 totaled 22.982 million barrels, down from 23.367 million the previous week and the smallest amount since June 28, government data show.
Ethanol has been a hot-button topic as of late.
After granting waivers to 31 small oil refiners that allowed them to bypass the Renewable Fuels Standard, which angered corn growers and ethanol producers, President Trump will reportedly take action to soften the blow.
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue told farmers in Decatur, Illinois, that the waivers were “way overdone” and that he and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler have been meeting to find ways to undo some of the demand destruction caused by the waivers.
3. Risks of Thunderstorms in Parts of Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana Thursday
There’s a slight risk for thunderstorms for parts of Nebraska, eastern Kansas into Missouri, and also in much of Iowa this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
In central and southeastern Nebraska, the biggest hazards associated with any storms are hail, damaging winds, and localized flooding, the NWS said in a report early this morning.
Rainfall totals are pegged from 1 to 3 inches.
In northern Illinois and Indiana, meanwhile, storms with winds up to 60 mph and “limited” hail are possible, the agency said.
“Isolated to scattered thunderstorms are expected to develop across Wisconsin and northwest and north-central Illinois” this afternoon, the NWS said. “Some of these storms may near or briefly reach severe limits.”
Hurricane Dorian is now, in fact, a hurricane and is expected to continue to strengthen as it heads west. The storm is expected to hit the southeastern U.S. this weekend.
“The risk of dangerous storm surge and hurricane-force winds later this week and this weekend continues to increase in the central and northwestern Bahamas and along the Florida east coast,” the agency said. “Heavy rain from Dorian may cause life-threatening flash floods.”