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3 Big Things Today, December 4, 2019

Soybeans Higher in Overnight Trading; Iowa Requires New State Vehicles to Run on Biodiesel Blend.

1. Soybeans Higher Overnight on Report Trade Deal May Still Happen

Soybeans were higher in overnight trading after a report that said the U.S. and China may actually be closer to a so-called Phase One trade deal despite rhetoric between the countries.

Bloomberg News said in a report overnight that Washington and Beijing are closing in on an agreeable amount of tariffs that would be reduced or eliminated in such a deal, citing people familiar with the talks.

The sources said President Donald Trump’s comments indicating he “like(s) the idea” of waiting until after the 2020 elections next November shouldn’t be construed to mean an agreement will be delayed and that he was speaking off the cuff as he often does.

In fact, Bloomberg reported that sources believe a trade deal will be in place before December 15 when the U.S. is set to boost tariffs on more than $150 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Soybean futures for January delivery rose 6¼¢ to $8.77¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal rose $1.40 to $296.10 a short ton, while soybean oil rose 0.2¢ to 30.39¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery were unchanged at $3.81¼ a bushel.

Wheat for September delivery gained 2¼¢ to $5.27½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures added 3¼¢ to $4.40 a bushel.

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2. Iowa Governor Signs Order Requiring New State Diesel Vehicles Run on 20% Biodiesel Blends

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed an executive order yesterday requiring new state vehicles that use diesel engines to run on a blend of 20% or more biodiesel.

In a statement, the governor said the Iowa Department of Transportation started using biodiesel 25 years ago and that the state’s diesel vehicles almost exclusively use the blended fuel.

“Ethanol and biodiesel remain essential to the health of the agricultural economy, sustainable environmental commitments, and employ thousands of Iowans,” Reynolds said in a statement.

The Iowa Biodiesel Board applauded the move, saying it's a “driver of increased support” for the industry.

The executive order says that since Iowa is the leading producer of biodiesel, it makes sense that the state should ensure engine manufacturers support the use of the biofuel, which boosts the economy, helps the environment, and adds value to the agriculture industry.

Iowa produced 365 million gallons of biodiesel in 2018, making it the top producer in the country, the board said.

With farm incomes hurt by several factors including low prices, the ongoing trade war with China, and a host of other factors this year, the executive order will help offset some of those hardships, said Grant Kimberley, the executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board.

Donnell Rehagen, the chief executive of the National Biodiesel Board, said in a statement that Reynolds’ order was “groundbreaking.”

“While B20 biodiesel has achieved support from the vast majority of diesel engine manufacturers, some engine companies have said they haven’t received clear signals from customers that biodiesel support matters to them,” he said. “The state of Iowa has once again gone to bat for biodiesel by sending a clear signal with its buying power.”

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3. Parts of Central Oklahoma, North Texas May See Thunderstorms Starting Thursday, Maps Quiet

Much of central Oklahoma and parts of northern Texas are staring down isolated thunderstorms that are expected to start tomorrow, according to the National Weather Service.

The storms aren’t expected to be severe, and the storms will move through the area quickly, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Weather maps, otherwise, are mostly quiet this morning.

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