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3 Big Things Today, March 7

Soybeans higher overnight; weekly ethanol production down slightly, stocks surge.

1. Soybeans Higher Overnight on Positive U.S. Trade Stance

Soybeans were higher in overnight trading Thursday as investors remain optimistic that a trade deal between the U.S. and China is indeed being hammered out.

President Donald Trump reassured reporters yesterday that trade talks were going well. He said the negotiations will either end with a good deal or no deal at all.

The president and his counterpart Xi Jinping of China are reportedly scheduled to meet later this month in Florida to finalize an agreement, according to media reports.

Still, investors have grown tired of waiting for a deal that was expected to be signed by March 1, the White House-imposed deadline. Washington instead moved back its deadline and left tariff rates at 10% instead of raising them to 25% as planned due to the talks’ progress.

Soybeans for March delivery rose 4¼¢ to $9.06¼ a bushel overnight. Soy meal jumped $2.10 to $308.20 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.07¢ to 29.71¢ a pound.

Corn for March delivery declined 1¼¢ to $3.71¼ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat for March delivery fell 4½¢ to $4.45½ a bushel overnight while Kansas City futures dropped 4¼¢ to $4.34¼ a bushel.

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2. Ethanol Production Falls Slightly, Inventories Surge in Week Through March 1, EIA Says

Ethanol production in the seven days that ended on March 1 declined slightly while inventories jumped to the highest in almost a year.

Output last week totaled 1.024 million barrels a day, on average, down from 1.028 million barrels a day, according to the Energy Information Administration.

The week-to-week decrease was led by declines in the Midwest, by far the biggest producer, where production fell to an average of 952,000 barrels a day from 964,000 barrels the previous week, the EIA said in a report.

West Coast output declined to 17,000 barrels a day from 19,000 seven days earlier.

East Coast production led gainers, rising to 25,000 barrels a day, on average, from 20,000 barrels the previous week. Gulf Coast production rose to 17,000 barrels a day from 12,000, while Rocky Mountain output was unchanged at an average of 13,000 barrels a day, the agency said.

Inventories, meanwhile, jumped to 24.261 million barrels last week, according to the EIA. That’s the highest level since the seven days that ended on March 9, 2018.

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3. Winter Weather Impacting Parts of Northern Plains, Midwest, Stretching From Dakotas to Indiana

A large winter storm is impacting much of the central Midwest and parts of the northern Plains this morning, stretching from central North Dakota southeast into southern Indiana.

In parts of southern South Dakota, snow will taper off even as a winter storm warning remains in effect, according to the National Weather Service.

In eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, a winter weather advisory is still in effect as snow accumulations of up to 5 inches are expected. The precipitation is expected to taper off through today. Some freezing drizzle also may make its way into the mix, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

In southern Indiana, meanwhile, a winter weather advisory begins at 4 p.m. and will last through 10 a.m. Friday, the agency said.

Snow and light freezing drizzle are in the forecast with total snow accumulations of up to 2 inches. Ice is more likely tonight into early tomorrow morning, the NWS said.  

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