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3 Big Things Today, January 17

Soybeans, Corn Higher Overnight; Ethanol Production Rises to Highest Since November.

1. Soybeans, Corn Higher as Brazil Crop Forecast Cut

Soybeans and corn were higher in overnight trading as hot, dry weather takes its toll on Brazil’s crops.

Consultancy Celeres on Wednesday lowered its soybean output forecast due to the ongoing drought in some areas to 117.2 million metric tons. The USDA last month pegged output in the country at 122 million tons.

Temperatures in central and northwestern Brazil have been in the mid-90s this week and are intensifying, Commodity Weather Group said in a report.

A shift to even hotter weather in the center of the country is expected for the remainder of the week, and temperatures will stay hot in northeastern regions, the forecaster said.

As usual, investors are keeping one eye on trade talks between the U.S. and China. After last week’s negotiations, China will send one of its top officials to Washington, according to U.S. officials.

Soybeans for March delivery rose 3¼¢ to $8.97¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained 50¢ to $310.60 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.08¢ to 28.31¢ a pound.

Corn rose 1¾¢ to $3.75¾ a bushel overnight

Wheat for March delivery added ¾¢ to $5.13¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures gained 2½¢ to $4.98 a bushel. 

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Today’s 3 Big Things from Successful Farming magazine is brought to you by Golden Harvest Seeds.

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2. Ethanol Production Rises to Highest Level in Six Weeks, Stockpiles Also Increase

Ethanol production jumped to the highest level in six weeks and stockpiles rose in the seven days that ended on January 11, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Output of the biofuel rose to an average of 1.051 million barrels a day last week, up from 1 million barrels a day, on average, seven days earlier and the highest amount since the week that ended on November 30, the EIA said in a report.

The Midwest region, by far the biggest producer of ethanol, increased weekly production to 977,000 barrels a day from 929,000. Gulf Coast output rose to an average of 15,000 barrels a day from 13,000 the prior week.

Stockpiles, meanwhile, jumped to 23.351 million barrels, up from 23.254 million seven days earlier and the highest since the week that ended on December 14, the government said.

In other news, Brazil’s Logum, its sole ethanol pipeline operator, may expand into central parts of the South American country and is looking into the corn-based ethanol industry, Reuters reported.

The company has secured financing to link to new mills in the state of Minas Gerais and increase delivery to Sao Paulo state, bumping output to 6 billion liters a year, Chief Executive Wagner Biasoli told the news company.

Logum also is looking to move into Goias and Mato Grosso states, and new biofuel incentives in 2020 will help boost demand for ethanol, he said.

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Today’s 3 Big Things from Successful Farming magazine is brought to you by Golden Harvest Seeds.

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3. Large Storm Hitting Central Midwest Brings Snow Accumulations, Freezing Drizzle

The weather maps are lit up this morning as a major storm stretching from western South Dakota south to central Missouri and east into Indiana is expected to bring snow and a wintry mix to much of the central Corn Belt.

In parts of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, patchy freezing drizzle is falling, creating a light glaze of ice on surfaces, and light snow is falling in some areas, according to the National Weather Service.

A stronger system is behind this one, which will bring snow to the entire state of Iowa, the NWS said in a report early this morning. The second storm is forecast to start tomorrow morning and last through Saturday morning.

Farther north in South Dakota, up to 4 inches of snow are expected starting today, accompanied by extremely cold weather and blowing snow, the agency said.

In parts of southern Missouri and southern Illinois, meanwhile, total accumulations will reach 3 inches. Freezing drizzle is in the forecast, making surfaces slippery, the NWS said.

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