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3 Big Things Today, June 22

Wheat Futures Lower Overnight; Ethanol Output Below a Million Barrels Second Week in Three.

1. Wheat Lower Overnight as Ruble Falls, Making Russian Grain More Attractive

Wheat futures were lower again in overnight trading amid declines in the Russian ruble, which makes grain from the country more attractive to overseas buyers. Corn and beans were little changed.

Russia is expected to be the third-biggest grower of wheat in the world behind China and India, but the largest grower that actually exports the grain. The U.S. is the world’s fourth-biggest producer.

A weaker ruble may drive buyers including Egypt and Pakistan to Russia instead of purchasing from the U.S., analysts said. The currency fell below the psychological level of 60 per U.S. dollar.

Wheat futures for July delivery fell 4¾¢ to $4.59¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City wheat lost 5¢ to $4.62¾ a bushel.

Corn futures declined ¾¢ to $3.68 a bushel in Chicago.

Soybean futures for July delivery fell ½¢ to $9.18¼ a bushel. Soy meal was 10¢ higher at $298 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.02¢ to 31.83¢ a pound.

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2. Ethanol Output Disappoints, Drops Below 1 Million Barrels Second Week in Three

Ethanol production in the week that ended on June 16 dropped below 1 million barrels a day, on average, for the second time in three weeks.

Producers pumped out an average of 990,000 barrels a day last week, according to the Energy Information Administration. That’s down from 1.002 million barrels the prior week and 999,000 barrels a week earlier.

The total is the lowest since the seven days that ended on April 28, according to the EIA.

Ethanol stockpiles, meanwhile, fell to 22.28 million barrels, the agency said. That’s down from 22.542 million barrels a week earlier, but up from the week that ended on June 2.

The Weekly Export Sales Report is due out this morning with traders expecting old-crop corn sales of 550,000 to 750,000 metric tons, soybean sales from 200,000 to 400,000 tons, and 2017-2018 wheat sales from 300,000 to 500,000 tons.  

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3. Tropical Storm Cindy Makes Landfall, to Push Rain as Far North as Indiana

Tropical Storm Cindy made landfall overnight near the Texas-Louisiana border, causing severe weather along the entire Gulf Coast this morning.

Much of eastern Texas and western Louisiana are being hit with heavy rainfall, according to Accuweather. Minor coastal flooding is expected with a risk of fresh-water flooding in the Deep South as rain had been falling ahead of the storm.

As much as 15 inches of rain are possible along the Gulf Coast, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm will push showers and thunderstorms up into the Ohio River Valley, reaching as far north as southern Indiana, according to the National Weather Service. In central Kentucky, heavy downpours and gusty winds are expected, along with the off chance of an isolated tornado.

“Severe weather is not the main threat with this rainfall event, but a few strong storms with gusty winds and an isolated tornado will be possible Friday afternoon and evening,” the NWS said.

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