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3 Big Things Today, May 2

Grains, Beans Mixed Overnight; Ethanol Production, Stockpiles Decline Week to Week.

1. Grains, Beans Mixed as Traders Await Trade News

Grains and soybeans were mixed in overnight trading as producers, traders, and analysts await news from the U.S.-China trade talks.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Commerce Secretary Steven Mnuchin are back in Beijing for talks this week with a Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He.

There have been several reports from the negotiations – both good and bad. Reports yesterday indicated that the U.S. was willing to walk away from the table, but a CNBC report said a deal may be announced by next Friday.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that discussions are focused on “important structural issues” and balancing the trade relationship between the world’s two largest economies.

The sides have been talking for months, missing a March 1 deadline for a deal.

Corn futures for May delivery rose ½¢ to $3.69 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybeans for May delivery fell 2½¢ to $8.49¼ a bushel overnight.

Chicago wheat for May delivery rose 2¾¢ to $4.38¾ a bushel, while Kansas City wheat added ½¢ to $4.00½ a bushel.

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2. Ethanol Production, Stockpiles Decline in Seven Days Through April 26

Ethanol production and stockpiles both declined in the seven days that ended on April 26, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Output was reported at an average of 1.024 million barrels a day, down from 1.048 million the previous week, which was the highest level since January, the EIA said in a report.

In the Midwest, by far the biggest producing region in the U.S., production declined to 947,000 barrels a day, on average, from 968,000 barrels the previous week, the agency said.

East Coast output was down by 4,000 barrels to 22,000 barrels a day, West Coast production declined by 2,000 barrels to 17,000 barrels a day, and Rocky Mountain output was down by 1,000 barrels to 13,000 barrels a day, according to the government.

The lone gainer was the Gulf Coast, where production increased to an average of 24,000 barrels a day from 21,000 barrels a week earlier.

Stockpiles, meanwhile, fell to 22.695 million barrels on April 26 from 22.747 million the previous week, the EIA said.

In other news, the USDA is expected to release its Weekly Export Sales Report at 8:30 a.m. in Washington. Analysts expect corn sales from 600,000 to 1.1 million metric tons, soybean sales from 400,000 to 900,000 tons, and wheat sales from 250,000 to 850,000 tons, according to researcher Allendale.

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3. Floods Continue as More Rain is Expected from Texas Through Northern Illinois

The rain isn’t going away, as flood watches and warnings are in effect from northeastern Texas north to Lake Michigan, according to the National Weather Service.

Pretty much all of Missouri is under a flood warning, as more storms roll through the Show Me State this afternoon.

Along with the rain that’s already fallen, there’s a chance of strong storms in south-central Missouri where hail the size of quarters and winds topping 60 mph are in the forecast, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

“Flooding will be ongoing today, especially near rivers, streams, and low-lying areas throughout the Ozarks,” the agency said. “Another round of showers and thunderstorms will move into the area Friday and Saturday.”

In northern Illinois, meanwhile, flash flood watches are in effect for several counties as “several waves” of heavy rainfall are expected today.

While less than 2 inches of rain are expected to fall, already-saturated soils will cause runoff and potentially flash flooding, the NWS said.

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