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3 Big Things Today, April 14, 2022

Wheat, corn futures extend gains; weekly ethanol production drops.

1. Wheat, corn futures extend gains

Wheat and corn futures extended gains in trading overnight. As the war in Ukraine approaches two months, worries over tight global supply and production prospects lifted grain prices.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 0.6% at $11.28 a bushel. CBOT corn climbed 0.29% to $7.8¼ a bushel. However, dry weather in the Plains wheat belt threatens the size and quality of the crop.

While there are signs of slowing demand from China, soybeans still rose 0.7% to $16.87¾ a bushel. The world’s top soybean importer, China brought in 6.35 million tons of the oilseed in March, down 18% since the beginning of the year.

As the war rages on, grain buyers continue to look for alternative origins while countries such as India work to meet rising global demand.

Talks to end a strike among grain-truck drivers in Argentina failed, raising a threat to corn and soybean exports during the country’s key harvest season.

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2. Weekly ethanol production, inventories drop

Ethanol output declined week-to-week and inventories dropped, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Production of the biofuel fell to an average of 995,000 barrels a day in the week that ended April 8, the EIA said in a report. That’s down from 1.003 million barrels, on average, the previous week.

In the Midwest, by far the largest producing area, output fell to an average of 935,000 barrels a day, down from 946,000 barrels a week earlier, the EIA said.

Gulf Coast production rose to 24,000 barrels a day, on average, from 23,000 barrels the previous week, and West Coast output rose to an average of 9,000 barrels a day from 7,000 barrels.

Rocky Mountain output, however, was steady at 15,000 barrels a day, on average, government data show.

East Coast production also remained steady at an average of 12,000 barrels a day, the agency said.

Stockpiles, meanwhile, dropped to 24.803 million barrels in the week through April 8. That’s down from 25.903 million barrels the previous week and the lowest level since the week ending February 4, according to the EIA report.

3. Powerful Spring storm causes blizzard conditions, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and more

A powerful spring storm continues to bring blizzard conditions to portions of the Northern Plains today, with snowfall intensity lessening by the afternoon. Farther south, numerous severe thunderstorms are likely across a large part of the Mississippi Valley northward into the Midwest and lower Ohio Valley. Several tornadoes, widespread damaging winds, and large hail will likely occur. Along the East Coast, there will be a threat of isolated severe thunderstorms today. Dry, gusty winds continue in the southern High Plains.

This afternoon and into the early evening there is a threat for scattered damaging winds from thunderstorms across parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

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