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3 Big Things Today, August 17

Soybeans Rise in Overnight Trading; Ethanol Production Nears Record Levels.

1. Soybeans Higher Overnight After China Agrees to Purchase U.S. Supplies

Soybeans rose overnight after a soybean industry group said during a ceremony yesterday that China had signed agreements to purchase U.S. supplies.

The U.S. Soybean Export Council said China signed contracts to buy 3.8 million metric tons from U.S. inventories valued at almost $1.6 billion. The deal was announced at a ceremony in Omaha, Nebraska, where a Chinese delegation was visiting.

Weather-wise, not much has changed with ample rain expected in the Northern Plains and central Midwest throughout the week.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 7¾¢ to $9.33 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal added $3.50 to $301.60 a short ton, and soy oil futures rose 0.19¢ to 33.37¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery rose ½¢ to $3.67 a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures for December delivery fell a penny to $4.46 a bushel in Chicago. Kansas City wheat fell ¼¢ to $4.46¾ a bushel.

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2. Ethanol Production Unexpectedly Rose Near Record Levels Last Week

U.S. ethanol production unexpectedly rose to the highest level since January last week, nearing a record, while inventories jumped to the most in almost a month.

Production of the corn-based biofuel increased to an average of 1.059 million barrels a day in the week that ended on August 11, according to the Energy Information Administration.

That’s up from 1.012 million barrels, on average, the prior week and the highest since January 27 when output reached a record 1.061 million barrels, the EIA said in a report.

Inventories, meanwhile, increased to 21.828 million barrels, up from 21.347 million a week earlier, government data show. Last week’s stockpiles were the highest since the seven days that ended on July 14.

In other news, the Weekly Export Sales Report from the USDA will be released this morning. Analysts expect old-crop corn sales from 0 to 200,000 metric tons and soybean sales from 50,000 to 300,000 tons. New-crop corn sales of 400,000 to 700,000 are expected, soybean sales from 300,000 to 700,000, and wheat sales from 200,000 to 500,000.

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3. Thunderstorms Rolling Through Eastern Midwest, Flood Waters Recede in Nebraska

Thunderstorms are expected in much of the eastern Midwest and Northern Plains on Thursday as a front rolls through the Corn Belt.

Thunderstorms will continue in parts of South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa today. While flooding is expected to continue in parts of Nebraska, waters are gradually receding, the National Weather Service said in a report early Thursday.

The odds of a thunderstorm will still linger in the area through Friday, and there’s a slight chance for storms to continue Sunday through Wednesday, the NWS said.

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