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3 Big Things Today, June 2

Wheat Futures Little Changed Overnight; Ethanol Production Back Up as USGC Touts Biofuel.

1. Wheat Little Changed as Investors Weigh Favorable U.S., Wet Canada Weather

Wheat was little changed in overnight trading, along with corn and beans, as investors weigh dry weather in the U.S. that will aid harvest of winter varieties in the U.S. against wet weather in Canada that’s slowing planting of spring crops.

Dry weather is expected to continue in much of the Southern Plains and eastern Midwest as growers begin to harvest in parts of Texas and Oklahoma, where 100% of winter wheat is headed. That’s weighing on prices as traders know a lot of wheat is about to hit the market.

In Canada, however, spring wheat planting may be delayed due to inclement weather, according to Commodity Weather Group.

Wheat futures for July delivery fell ½¢ to $4.28½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City wheat added ¼¢ to $4.31 a bushel in Chicago.

Corn futures for July delivery was unchanged at $3.70½ a bushel overnight.

Soybeans rose ¾¢ to $9.13 a bushel in Chicago. Soy meal gained 80¢ to $298.30 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.19¢ to 31.09¢ a pound.

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2. Ethanol Production, Stockpiles Rise Slightly Last Week; Grains Council Touts U.S. Biofuel

Ethanol production in the U.S. bumped back up, albeit only slightly, and inventories of the biofuel rose in the week that ended on May 26, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Output has been pretty steady the past few weeks, hovering just above 1 million barrels a day, on average, for the past four weeks. Production last week totaled 1.02 million barrels, nearing the highest level since March set two weeks ago and up from 1.01 million the prior week, the EIA said in a report.

Inventories, meanwhile, rose to 22.763 million barrels, up from 22.684 million a week earlier, according to the government.

As with production, stockpiles of the biofuel have been basically unchanged for the past several weeks, not fluctuating much since the start of the year.

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) earlier this week noted that it’s put on two events to provide information about ethanol to other countries. The USGC  put on a workshop in South Korea to outline the global ethanol market and to tout the benefits of the biofuel including improved air quality and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

South Korea has imported 49.1 million gallons of ethanol so far this year.

The USGC also put on an event in Vietnam, which is set to implement an E5 blending rate for the country’s most widely used fuel grade, the agency said. It will move to E10 by 2020.

While Vietnam expects to source much of its ethanol from local sources, the Grains Council encouraged those in attendance at the event to take a look at U.S. ethanol.

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3. Scattered Thunderstorms Expected to Roll Across Midwest, Though Rain Will Be Isolated

Scattered thunderstorms are expected to make their way across eastern Nebraska into western Iowa today, but it’s unlikely any will be severe, according to the National Weather Service.

Thunderstorms are also possible Saturday as a cold front moves into the area, the NWS said.

In parts of central and eastern Iowa, there’s a slight chance of isolated or scattered thunderstorms in much of the region, though the odds of rainfall are slim in most areas, according to the agency.

Moving east, it’s much of the same with “limited” thunderstorm risk for the weekend, the weather service said.

The biggest issue right now is continued flooding along the Mississippi River and its tributaries stretching from northern Missouri all the way into Louisiana. The river is receding in many areas, but it still remains above its banks in some lower-lying areas.

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