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3 Big Things Today, August 23

Soybeans Again Lower Overnight; Ethanol Output Rises, Inventories Hit Five-Month High.

1. Soybean Futures Again Lower as New Tariffs Begin

Soybean futures were again lower as new tariffs kicked in overnight, and though they don’t directly affect agriculture, it’s another sign that a solution to the ongoing trade war is far from within reach.

The U.S. put tariffs on another $16 billion worth of Chinese goods overnight, as it had been promising to do for several weeks. Beijing retaliated by putting duties on an equal amount of U.S. items.

That brings the total amount of goods on which each country has imposed tariffs to $50 billion. The U.S. has threatened to put levies on another $200 billion of Chinese imports. President Trump has said he will impose duties on more than $500 billion worth of goods from the Asian nation, encompassing everything it ships to the U.S.

Negotiators from the world’s two biggest economies have reportedly started midlevel meetings in Washington in a bid to end the trade war, or at least keep it from escalating.

President Trump said in an interview with Reuters this week that there’s no time frame for resolving the trade dispute with China and that despite negotiators efforts, he doesn’t “anticipate much” from the discussions, the news agency reported.

Soybean futures fell 4¢ to $8.66¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal futures lost $1 to $322.20 a short ton, and soy oil dropped 0.12¢ to 28.44¢ a pound.

Corn for December delivery declined ¼¢ to $3.66½ a bushel overnight.

Wheat for December delivery fell 1¾¢ to $5.43¼ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures lost 1¢ to $5.56¼ a bushel.

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2. Ethanol Production Rises, Stockpiles Jump to Five-Month High; Export Sales Report on Deck

Ethanol production rose slightly week to week, while stockpiles jumped to a fresh five-month high.

Output of the biofuel that’s made from corn in the U.S. rose to 1.073 million barrels a day, on average, in the week that ended on August 17, the Energy Information Administration said in a report.

That’s up from an average of 1.072 million barrels a day a week earlier, according to the EIA. During the same week last year, production totaled 1.052 million barrels, on average.

Stockpiles, meanwhile, rose to 23.259 million barrels last week, the government said. That’s up from 23.017 million a week earlier and the highest since the seven days that ended on March 16. During the same week last year, inventories totaled 21.509 million barrels.

In other news, the Weekly Export Sales Report is due at 7:30 a.m. central time this morning. Analysts expect old-crop corn sales from 200,000 to 500,000 metric tons and soybean sales from 100,000 to 300,000 tons, according to Allendale.

New-crop corn sales are pegged from 700,000 to 1 million metric tons, and soybean sales are seen from 400,000 to 650,000 tons.

Wheat sales are forecast from 450,000 to 850,000 metric tons, Allendale said.  

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3. Thunderstorms Expected in Several Parts of Missouri on Thursday, Into Weekend

Thunderstorms are expected in parts of southern Missouri this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

“Isolated thunderstorms will be possible today,” the NWS said in a report early Thursday morning. “Better chances for storms will occur late tonight. No severe weather is expected at this time.”

Still, there’s a risk for strong storms on Friday, mostly across central Missouri. The main risks will be large hail and damaging winds, the agency said.

Farther north, showers and thunderstorms are forecast for parts of norther Missouri, some of which could bring strong winds and small hail. Wind speeds are pegged from 30 to 40 mph. Flooding should be minimal but some small streams are still up from prior rains, so there could be some concerns, the NWS said.

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