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3 Big Things Today, November 17

Soybeans, Corn Rise in Overnight Trading; Ethanol Production Keeps Domestic Demand Strong.

1. Soybean, Corn Higher in Overnight Trading on Continued Export Sales

Soybeans and corn were higher in overnight trading on continued signs of strong demand for U.S. supplies.

Exporters sold another 165,000 metric tons of soybeans to China for delivery in the marketing year that started on September 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report on Wednesday. The USDA earlier this week reported sales of 121,500 tons and 324,000 tons of beans to China and a total of 258,000 tons to unknown buyers.

Sales of 175,000 tons of grain sorghum to China also were reported by the government.

Soybeans for January delivery rose 4¢ to $9.89¾ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal futures for December delivery gained $1.20 to $309.60 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.10¢ to 34.20¢ a pound. 

Corn futures for December delivery gained 1¼¢ to $3.39¾ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures for December delivery rose 2¾¢ to $3.99¾ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures gained 1½¢ to $4.05 a bushel. 

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2. Ethanol Production Rises Week Over Week as Domestic Demand Also Strong

It’s not just export demand that’s been strong lately; ethanol producers have been producing a lot of the biofuel in recent weeks.

Production of ethanol rose in the week that ended on November 11 to a pace of 1.02 million barrels a day, up from a million barrels the prior week, the Energy Information Administration said in a report. That’s the second-highest level since the end of August.

Stockpiles of ethanol, however, declined to 18.6 million barrels from 19.2 million the prior week, the EIA said.

It’s been mostly overseas demand that’s been buoying corn and soybean prices, but ethanol production has been strong for several weeks, topping a pace of more than a million barrels a day for three weeks straight, according to the EIA.

That’s good news as export sales, which have been persistent, likely won’t last forever as buyers meet their needs. Still, as long as prices remain low, the hope is that overseas importers of U.S. crops continue to snap up supplies amid record harvests for both crops.

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3. Blizzard Warning Issued in Parts of South Dakota, Minnesota as Storm Intensifies

The blizzard watch in parts of South Dakota and Minnesota has become a full-on blizzard warning, according to the National Weather Service.

The warning will be in effect starting Friday morning at about 3 a.m., the NWS said.

“Rain will quickly turn to snow and continue heavy at times throughout the late morning,” the weather forecaster said. “The snow will begin to decrease during the afternoon. Northwest winds will increase around daybreak with gusts around 50 mph likely through the day.”

As much as 6 inches of snow is expected to fall, and whiteout conditions are expected.

The storm is much wider than previously expected as about two thirds of Nebraska, all of South Dakota, and almost of Minnesota are in some sort of winter storm or blizzard warning. In the western two thirds of Nebraska, snowfall will total up to 6 inches, the NWS said.  

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