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3 Big Things Today, August 16

Soybeans, Grains Higher Overnight; Ethanol Production Falls Modestly Week to Week.

1. Soybeans Rise as U.S., China Will Resume Trade Talks

Soybean futures were up sharply in overnight trading on reports that the U.S. and China will hold talks in Washington in late August.

The ongoing trade war between the two countries has been escalating in recent weeks, but it appears officials from the world’s two biggest economies will gather in a bid to resolve some of the issues.

The U.S. wants to reduce the $375 billion trade deficit it has with China, while Beijing wants fewer restrictions on investment. The sides have been going toe-to-toe, as the U.S. imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods, which China matched.

Another round of duties on $16 billion worth of Chinese wares is set to take effect on August 23, but it’s not yet known how the newly announced trade talks will affect those levies. China has said it will match the tariffs if they’re imposed.

Soybean futures for November delivery jumped 14½¢ to $8.83½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal futures gained $4.30 to $335.60 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.15¢ to 28.35¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery rose 3¢ to $3.79 a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat for September delivery gained 6½¢ to $5.58¼ a bushel in in Chicago, while Kansas City futures rose 6¼¢ to $5.69 a bushel.

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2. Ethanol Production Falls Week to Week, Stockpiles Increase Third Straight Week

Ethanol production fell slightly week to week while stockpiles rose for a third consecutive week.

Output of the biofuel declined from a seven-month high of 1.1 million barrels a day last week to an average of 1.072 million in the week that ended on August 10, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Inventories, meanwhile, rose to 23.017 million barrels, from 22.923 million a week earlier and the highest since March 16, the EIA said in a report.

Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) reportedly said the EPA is no longer considering allowing companies to use exports of biofuels including ethanol and biodiesel to meet requirements under the Renewable Fuels Standard.

The EPA had suggested allowing refiners to count exports toward their blending mandates after lobbying former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, drawing the ire of corn growers and lawmakers from Corn Belt states, including Grassley.

The acting administrator took over for Pruitt after he resigned amid myriad scandals.

Grassley told reporters that the suggestion of allowing exports to count toward blending credits Is “not on the table,” according to Agri-Pulse.

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3. Storms That Left Floods in Oklahoma Moving North Into Missouri

The storm that left some rivers and streams flooded in Oklahoma and Arkansas the past couple days is moving north into central Missouri today, according to the National Weather Service.

“An episode of strong to severe thunderstorms is possible from late this afternoon into the overnight hours,” the NWS said in a report early Thursday morning.

Large hail, damaging wind, and excessive rain will be possible with the storms. Fog will continue through midmorning in parts of southern Missouri, as well.

The storms are expected to continue into Friday and possibly early next week, the NWS said.

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