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3 Big Things Today, April 27

Corn, Beans Little Changed Overnight; Ethanol Production Declines Amid Rising Stocks.

1. Corn, Soybeans Again Little Changed as Investors Weigh Dollar, Planting

Corn and soybeans were little changed in overnight trading as investors still aren’t quite sure whether to focus on the weak dollar or accelerated planting in the Midwest.

The value of the dollar against a basket of currencies fell to the lowest since November earlier this week and is again nearing that level. That, in turn, is bullish for agricultural commodities that are traded in dollars as it gives overseas buyers more purchasing power.

Some investors are betting prices will rise based on the weaker greenback. Meanwhile, others are betting prices will fall as planting speeds in the U.S.

Corn sowing is almost caught up with the five-year average, and soybean seeding is well above average for this time of year, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Corn futures for July delivery rose 1¢ to $3.67¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybean futures were down ½¢ to $9.56 a bushel in Chicago. Soy meal gained 10¢ to $313.80 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.06¢ to 32.10¢ a pound.

Wheat futures for July delivery added a penny to $4.27½ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City wheat rose 1¢ to $4.26¼ a bushel.

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2. Ethanol Production Drops as Inventories Remain Historically High

Ethanol production again dropped week over week to near the lowest since October amid rising inventories.

Output of the corn-based biofuel declined to an average of 987,000 barrels a day in the week that ended on April 21, the third straight weekly average below 1 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration said in a report. That’s down from the prior week’s 993,000 daily average.

Production fell to 986,000 barrels a day in the week through April 7, the lowest in six months.

While output declined, inventories increased.

Stockpiles as of last week totaled 23.269 million barrels, up from 23.034 million a week earlier, according to the EIA. The total was the highest in four weeks.

Inventories of ethanol have been historically high in recent weeks, hitting a record on March 31. As such, producers may be scaling back production until inventories are scaled back slightly, according to analysts.

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3. Late-April Snow Likely to Fall in Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan

It’s almost May, but somebody didn’t tell Mother Nature.

Rain is expected to turn to snow on Thursday in parts of the western Midwest, including eastern Wyoming and western Nebraska and South Dakota, weather maps show.

The air may be cool enough in parts of eastern Colorado and western Kansas to turn rainfall into snow, forecasters said.

The weather system is strong enough that it could make its way into the Upper Midwest this weekend, bringing snow to parts of Michigan and northern Indiana and the upper Mississippi Valley on Sunday and Monday. Parts of Iowa and Minnesota also may see snow.

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