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3 Big Things Today, June 13

Grains, Soybeans Higher Overnight; Ethanol Production Hits Highest Since August, Stocks Drop.

1. Grains, Soybeans Higher Overnight on Weather Concerns

Grains and soybeans were higher in overnight trading amid renewed concerns about wet weather in the Midwest.

It’s been dry in most parts of the Corn Belt this week, but more precipitation is forecast for this weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

Growers likely sped planting, taking advantage of the dry weather, and while most of the corn crop is planted, much of the soybean crop still needs to be put in the ground.

About 83% of U.S. corn was seeded as of Sunday, behind the prior five-year average of 99% for this time of year, while 60% of soybeans were in the ground, well behind the normal 88%, the USDA said earlier this week.

As much as six times the normal amount of rain has fallen in parts of the Midwest in the past 30 days, government data show.

Corn futures for May delivery rose 5½¢ to $4.35½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Wheat for May delivery added ½¢ to $5.26¾ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City wheat gained ½¢ to $4.63¼ a bushel.

Soybeans for May delivery rose 1¾¢ to $8.79¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal added 90¢ to $320.40 a short ton, while soy oil gained 0.08¢ to 27.64¢ a pound.

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2. Ethanol Production Jumps to Highest Since August While Stocks Fall to 10-Month Low

Ethanol production in the week that ended on June 7 jumped to the highest since August, while stockpiles dropped to the lowest in more than 10 months.

Output of the biofuel in the U.S. averaged 1.096 million barrels a day last week, up from 1.044 million the previous week, according to the Energy Information Administration. The total was the third highest on record.

In the Midwest, by far the biggest producer, production jumped to an average of 1.014 million barrels a day, the EIA said in a report.

East Coast output was up to 28,000 barrels a day, on average, from 26,000 the previous week. Gulf Coast production rose to 26,000 barrels from 19,000 barrels a day.

West Coast production dropped to 16,000 barrels a day from 20,000 barrels, while Rocky Mountain output declined to 13,000 barrels from 14,000 in the prior seven-day period, the agency said.

Stockpiles, meanwhile, plunged to 21.802 million barrels last week. That’s down from 22.553 million barrels the previous week and the lowest since July 20, according to government data.

In other news, the USDA is expected to release its Weekly Export Sales Report this morning. Analysts have pegged corn sales from 350,000 to 850,000 metric tons, soybean sales from 300,000 to 800,000 tons, and wheat sales from 200,000 to 500,000 tons, researcher Allendale said in a note this morning.

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3. Dry Weather Today Precedes Potential For Thunderstorms Throughout Midwest

It looks to be dry in much of the Midwest today, though flooding continues to be a problem and more wet weather is possible into the weekend.

In southern Illinois and Indiana and parts of eastern Missouri, thunderstorms will develop tomorrow and may last through Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

That will exacerbate flooding along the Mississippi River and its tributaries that are already over flood stage in many areas. The Missouri River and Illinois River likely will be affected, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

In northern Illinois, there’s a chance of thunderstorms Friday evening with the potential for heavy rainfall in spots, the agency said. A few storms could be severe this weekend though location is uncertain at this time.

Rain also is expected Friday and Saturday in much of eastern Nebraska, the NWS said.

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