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3 Big Things Today, January 6

Soybeans Lower in Overnight Trading; Ethanol Production Rises to Weekly Record.

1. Soybeans Decline Overnight as Rain Falls in South America

Soybeans futures were lower in overnight trading Friday amid ample rainfall in South America and concerns about another global glut of the oilseeds.

Rain continues to fall in parts of Argentina and Brazil, boosting prospects for crops there. Rains in northern parts of Argentina will improve soil moisture in the region, while precipitation in southern growing areas of Brazil will give crops a boost, according to MDA Information Services.

Domestic growers last year harvested a record amount of both corn and soybeans after favorable weather during the growing season. U.S. farmers produced 15.2 billion bushels of corn and 4.36 billion bushels of soybeans, both record highs, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Soybeans for March delivery fell 5¼¢ to $10.07¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal futures declined $2.20 to $316 a short ton, and soy oil futures lost 0.02¢ to 35.20¢ a pound.

Corn futures for March delivery were unchanged at $3.61¼ a bushel overnight in Chicago.

Wheat for March delivery in Chicago rose ¼¢ to $4.26½ a bushel, and Kansas City futures added 2¾¢ to $4.37¼ a bushel.


2. Ethanol Production Rises to Record as Stockpiles Flat, Indicating Strong Use

Ethanol production rose to a record in the week that ended on December 30, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a report on Thursday.

Output totaled 1.043 million barrels a day, on average, last week, up from 1.028 million barrels the prior seven days, according to the EIA. That tops a previous record set on December 9 of 1.04 million barrels.

Ethanol production has ramped up recently due to increased demand for the biofuel. Still, ethanol producers face potential backlash due to uncertainty over trade with China and concerns about the Renewable Fuel Standard under the new administration.

“The one potential negative for the ethanol industry is that there is growing concern that China could raise its import tariffs on ethanol imports should trade issues arise under the Trump administration,” said Tomm Pfitzenmaier, president of Summit Commodity Brokerage in Des Moines, Iowa. “A slowdown in ethanol exports could really curb the enthusiastic production levels we have seen lately.”

Ethanol stockpiles were almost unchanged week over week, the EIA said.

Inventories on December 30 totaled 18.678 million barrels vs. 18.683 million the prior week, indicating strong use of the biofuel.

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3. Winter Weather Moves Into Southern Plains, Extends East

The Southern Plains where hard red winter wheat is grown is under both a winter storm warning and a winter weather advisory today, according to the National Weather Service.

The winter storm warning is in effect until 6 p.m. on Friday night as more snow is expected throughout the day. As much as 7 inches of snow – locally higher totals are possible – are forecast in western counties of the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles, the NWS said. Snowfall will be sustained in the affected areas.

The rest of the region is in a winter weather advisory, which also remains in effect until 6 p.m. As much as 5 inches of snow are projected in these counties, where snowfall will be periodic, according to the NWS.

The storm hitting the area is actually quite large, extending through Oklahoma and northern Texas all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. A wide band of winter weather is expected through much of the southern U.S. today, according to NWS weather maps.

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