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3 Big Things Today, November 15, 2019

Soybeans, Grains Down Slightly Overnight; Weekly Ethanol Production Rises to Two-Month High.

1. Soybeans, Grains Slightly Lower Amid Ongoing Trade Worries

Soybeans and grains were slightly lower in overnight trading as concerns about a trade deal – or lack thereof – weigh on investors.

An agreement is reportedly being held up by a number of issues including China’s hesitance to agree to a set number of agricultural purchases.

President Donald Trump said last month that China would buy up to $50 billion worth of agricultural products, but Beijing is reluctant to agree to a certain level of purchases, The Wall Street Journal reported this week.

The report said China is reluctant to make a deal that favors the U.S. and wants flexibility to alter its purchases should another trade spat arise. The issue is one of many holding up an agreement.

Trump said that he would raise tariffs if a new deal isn’t agreed upon, further escalating tensions between the world’s two largest economies. He also said Wednesday that negotiations are “moving along rapidly.”

A U.S. Commerce Department report, meanwhile, showed more than 30 states saw goods exports to China fall by double digits.

Soybean futures for January delivery fell 1¢ to $9.15¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal rose $1 to $304.10 a short ton, while soybean oil lost 0.15¢ to 30.63¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery declined  ¼¢ to $3.75½ a bushel.

Wheat for September delivery dropped 2¢ to $5.05¾ a bushel, while Kansas City futures fell 1¾¢ to $4.20½ a bushel.

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2. Ethanol Production Highest in More Than Two Months, Stockpiles at Two-Year Low

Ethanol production rose to the highest level in more than two months, while stockpiles hit a two-year low, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Output of the biofuel jumped to an average of 1.03 million barrels a day in the week that ended on November 8, up from 1.014 million the prior week and the highest since August 23, the EIA said in a report that was delayed a day.

In the Midwest, by far the biggest-producing region, production reached 957,000 barrels a day, on average, up from 936,000 barrels the previous week.

Rocky Mountain output increased to 15,000 barrels a day from 14,000 barrels, and West Coast production rose to 17,000 barrels a day from 16,000 barrels, the agency said.

East Coast output, meanwhile, declined to 26,000 barrels a day, on average, from 27,000 barrels the previous week. Gulf Coast production plunged to 15,000 barrels a day from 21,000 barrels, the EIA said.

Stockpiles on November 8 were reported at 20.985 million barrels, down from 21.874 million a week earlier and the lowest level since September 22, 2017, government data show.

In other news, the USDA is scheduled to release its Weekly Export Sales Report this morning, also a day late due to Veterans Day.

Analysts are looking for corn sales from 400,000 to 800,000 metric tons, soybean sales from 800,000 to 1.4 million tons, and wheat sales from 200,000 to 500,000 tons, according to researcher Allendale.

NOPA crush is due out today at 11 a.m. with market-watchers forecasting 166.8 million bushels processed in October.

“This October estimate would be a slight improvement, but still a bit low,” Allendale said.

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3. Freezing Drizzle Possible Overnight in Parts of North Dakota; Midwest Mostly Dry

Freezing drizzle may fall starting overnight tonight in parts of North Dakota before temperatures rise above freezing, according to the National Weather Service.

Precipitation is expected in the area Saturday afternoon and likely will continue throughout the weekend, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

“Light rain would be favored Saturday afternoon; however, a brief wintry mix of freezing rain, sleet, and snow will be possible Saturday evening before completely changing over to snow,” the agency said. “A light glaze can`t be ruled out.”

In northwest Minnesota, snowfall of less than 1 inch is expected on Saturday night.

The weather maps look mostly dry for the bulk of the Midwest heading into the weekend.

Dry weather with gusty winds and low humidity creates a fire risk in parts of western Kansas. Burning is highly discouraged in the area, the NWS said.

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