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3 Big Things Today, May 4
1. Soybeans Lower Overnight After Informa Increases Brazil Forecast
Soybeans were lower in overnight trading as Informa increased its forecast for Brazilian output by 2 million tons from a month earlier.
The private researcher said it now expects growers in the South American country to produce 113 million metric tons of soybeans. The effect of the increase was somewhat muted, however, as Informa lowered its projection for output in Argentina by 700,000 tons to 56.8 million, according to industry sources.
Wheat futures were lower after the Kansas Wheat Tour found favorable yields in the parts of western Kansas where a large chunk of the state’s hard-red winter wheat crop is grown. Participants estimated yields of 46.9 bushels an acre, down by about 3 bushels from last year but well above the average.
Wheat futures fell from a two-month high on reports from the Kansas Wheat Tour that yields in the northwestern part of the state may be better than expected.
Soybean futures for July delivery fell 3¾ cents to $9.71½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal declined $1.80 to $317 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.03¢ to 32.53¢ a pound.
Wheat for July delivery declined 3¾ cents to $4.50¼ a bushel in Chicago, and Kansas City futures lost 4¾ cents to $4.58½ a bushel.
Corn futures for July delivery fell 2½ cents to $3.72¼ a bushel.
2. Ethanol Production Declines, Ties Six-Month Low, Amid Lower Seasonal Trend
Ethanol production fell, tying the lowest level since October, though stockpiles were also lower week-over-week.
Ethanol production fell by 1,000 barrels to an average of 986,000 barrels a day in the week that ended April 28, according to the Energy Information Administration. That ties the mark from three weeks earlier as the lowest in six months.
The normal seasonal trend is down for this time of year, so it’s not overly shocking that production has been lower in recent weeks, and a general ramp-up in stockpiles isn’t helping matters.
Inventories last week declined slightly to 23.213 million barrels, down from 23.269 million the previous week, according to the EIA.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said last month that it expects ethanol producers to use 5.45 billion bushels of corn for ethanol in the current marketing year that ends August 31. The projection is up from 5.224 billion bushels a year earlier and its month-earlier forecast for 5.4 billion bushels.
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3. Precipitation Continues in Much of Illinois, Indiana, as Floods Worsen
The precipitation situation in the Midwest isn’t getting any better as a slow-moving storm continues to dump rain in several states, causing flooding and saturating fields.
“A slow-moving and intensifying weather system is drawing deep moisture from the Gulf of Mexico,” the National Weather Service said in a report early Thursday. “Heavy rain on top of major-to-record flooding is prolonging and worsening flood conditions, and producing flash floods in some areas.”
Heavy rains are expected to move into the southeast Gulf and Ohio Valley today, and severe thunderstorms are forecast for central Gulf states and the southeastern U.S., the NWS said.
Most of Illinois and all of Indiana along with parts of several other nearby states are under flood watches or warnings.
An additional 2 to 4 inches of rain is expected in eastern Illinois and much of Indiana through Friday afternoon, which will cause “significant flooding,” according to the NWS. Flood crests in central Indiana including areas near Indianapolis will be the highest since April 2013, the agency said.
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