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3 Big Things Today, February 2

Soybean, Grain Futures Decline Overnight; Ethanol Production Rises Again to Record.

1. Grains, Beans Again Lower Overnight After Rising in Day Session

Soybeans and grains again swung to overnight losses as overseas investors are seemingly more worried about export demand than their U.S. counterparts.

Prices recently have declined overnight but rebounded during the U.S. trading session. Societe Generale said in a note to investors that a trade war with China would be harmful to soybean prices in Chicago and would benefit those in South America.

President Trump has suggested he would put levies on imports from certain countries, though his focus since taking office has been on Mexico rather than China. Talk about imposing a border levy on Mexican goods has some agriculture groups worried that it will slow exports of U.S. goods.

Soybean futures for March delivery fell 2¾¢ to $10.34 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal futures lost $2.10 to $333.90 a short ton, and soy oil rose 0.17¢ to 34.48¢ a pound.

Wheat for March delivery declined 2¼¢ to $4.31½ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures fell 1¾¢ to $4.38¾ a bushel.


2. Ethanol Production Jumps to Record For Fourth Time in Five Weeks

Ethanol production jumped to a record for the fourth time in five weeks in the seven days that ended on January 27, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Output in the U.S. totaled a record 1.061 million barrels a day, on average, up from 1.051 million the prior week, the EIA said in a report. Production returned to a record after falling off slightly in the week that ended on January 20.

Stockpiles of the biofuel, meanwhile, rose to the highest level in nine months. Inventories rose to 21.87 million barrels, up from 21.728 million the prior week, the highest since April, according to the EIA.

The increased ethanol production is good news for farmers as producers used 108.9 million bushels of corn in the week, according to data from INTL FCStone Chief Economist Arlan Suderman.

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3. Winter Storm Hovers Over Black Hills; Little Snow Expected in Iowa, Nebraska

A winter storm warning is still in effect for parts of northeastern Wyoming, southwestern South Dakota, and northwestern Nebraska, according to the National Weather Service.

“Snow is expected to be moderate at times late this afternoon and evening over the Black Hills area and especially over southwestern South Dakota,” the NWS said in a report this morning.

From 2 to 6 inches is expected to fall in the area with higher amounts likely over parts of the Black Hills, the agency said. The storm began yesterday but seems to have stalled out and is hovering over that specific region for now.

Some light snow is expected for parts of western Iowa and eastern Nebraska today, but little accumulation is expected, according to the NWS.

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