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3 Big Things Today, March 14

Soybeans, Corn Little Changed Overnight; Ethanol Production Falls to Three-Week Low.

1. Beans, Corn Little Changed Overnight on Trade Uncertainty

Soybeans and corn were again little changed amid ongoing uncertainty about trade talks between the U.S. and China.

Bloomberg reported Wednesday that a planned meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping may not happen this month.

Trump said yesterday he was in “no rush” to complete a trade agreement with China, saying there won’t be a deal unless it includes protections for intellectual property, which has been a point of contention in the talks.

Negotiators from the world’s two largest economies have met several times in the past few months in a bid to end the tit-for-tat tariffs they’ve imposed on each other. A March 1 deadline set by the White House came and went without an agreement, and now it looks like negotiations could drag on without an end in sight.

State-run Xinhua News Agency reported this week that negotiators from both sides have had phone conversations to determine the next step of a deal, but no official news from the White House has been released.

Soybeans for March delivery fell 1¼¢ to $8.99¾ a bushel overnight. Soy meal gained 50¢ to $305.20 a short ton, and soy oil dropped 0.19¢ to 29.74¢ a pound.

Corn for March delivery gained ¼¢ to $3.66¾ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat for March delivery rose 3½¢ to $4.50¾ a bushel, while Kansas City futures added 3¢ to $4.39¾ a bushel.


2. Ethanol Production Falls to Three-Week Low in Seven Days Through March 8

Ethanol production dropped the lowest level in three weeks, while inventories declined in the seven days that ended on March 8, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Output off the biofuel fell to an average of 1.005 million barrels a day last week, the EIA said in a report. That’s down from 1.024 million barrels, on average, the previous week and the lowest amount since February 15, government data show.

In the Midwest, the biggest producer of ethanol by far, output averaged 936,000 barrels a day, down from 952,000 barrels the previous week.

Gulf Coast production declined to 14,000 barrels a day from 17,000 last week, and West Coast output fell to an average of 15,000 barrels a day from 17,000, the EIA said.

East Coast production rose to 26,000 barrels a day from 25,000, and Rocky Mountain output rose to 14,000 barrels from 13,000 the prior week, the government said.

Stockpiles of ethanol, meanwhile, dropped to 23.731 million barrels last week. That’s down from 24.261 million barrels seven days earlier, the EIA said.


3. More Snow, Strong Winds For Nebraska, Dakotas as Winter Storm Rages On

A blizzard continues blasting parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska today as more snow and strong winds are expected.

An additional 2 to 4 inches on top of what’s already fallen are expected today and wind gusts will be as high as 65 mph in parts of Nebraska and South Dakota, according to the National Weather Service. The combination will create blowing and drifting snow and create dangerous conditions.

Wind speed will decrease gradually as the day goes on, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

In North Dakota, total snow accumulations of more than a foot are possible in areas along with a light glaze of ice.

Wind gusts are pegged as high as 60 mph, the agency said.

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