3 Big Things Today, August 27, 2020

Soybeans, Grains Higher Overnight; Ethanol Production Rises Second Straight Week.

1. Soybeans, Grains Higher in Overnight Trading on Hot Weather

Soybeans and grains were higher in overnight trading as hot, dry weather continues in the Midwest.

Temperatures are expected to reach the mid-90s in central Iowa today, according to the National Weather Service. There’s only a “slight risk” of thunderstorms tomorrow in parts of the state.

“Current heat lingers the next two days in the Midwest (but) eases slightly Friday and notably by the weekend,” Commodity Weather Group said in a report. Temperatures in the central Corn Belt are expected to be in the low- to mid-90s, CWG said.

The main risks to yield are in the driest parts of Iowa and adjacent areas in Illinois, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Nebraska, the forecaster said.

Some areas in the far western Midwest also are missing rainfall and the dry weather may hinder corn and soybean filling.

Precipitation likely will be limited in the central and southern Plains in the next 16 to 30 days, which could stunt early winter-wheat growth, CWG said.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 7¢ to $9.31¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal gained $2.40 to $301.70 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.25¢ to 32.78¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery were up 3¼¢ to $3.57½ a bushel.

Wheat futures for September delivery added 6¼¢ to $5.46 a bushel, while Kansas City futures gained 4½¢ to $4.65¾ a bushel.

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2. Ethanol Output and Stockpiles Each Rise For a Second Straight Week

Ethanol production and stockpiles both rose for a second straight week, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Output of the biofuel increased to an average of 931,000 barrels a day in the week that ended on Aug. 21, the EIA said in a report.

That’s up from 926,000 barrels a day, on average, seven days earlier and the highest level since the end of July.

In the Midwest, by far the biggest producing region, output rose to an average of 884,000 barrels a day from 883,000 barrels a week earlier, the agency said. That’s also the highest level since July 31.

Gulf Coast production rose to 19,000 barrels a day from 16,000 the previous week, and West Coast output improved to an average of 9,000 barrels a day from 8,000, the government report said.

East Coast output was unchanged at 12,000 barrels a day, on average. Rocky Mountain production declined to 7,000 barrels a day from 8,000 barrels the previous week, the EIA said.

Stockpiles, meanwhile, rose to 20.409 million barrels in the seven days that ended on Aug. 21.

That’s up from 20.27 million barrels a week earlier and is now at the highest level since the week that ended on July 10, the report said.

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3. Hurricane Laura Makes Landfall, Winds Still Reaching 110 Miles an Hour

Hurricane Laura made landfall overnight, becoming a Category 4 storm just before hitting the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coasts at about 1 a.m. local time, according to weather reports.

The storm has weakened to a Category 2 hurricane after reaching land, but maximum sustained winds are still at 110 miles an hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The National Weather Service said the wind has remained “nearly steady” and that a flood watch is in effect. As much as 8 inches of precipitation are expected in the area.

Tornadoes may be spawned from the hurricane, the NWS said.

“Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings, chimneys toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned, large tree tops and branches snapped off, shallow-rooted trees knocked over, moving vehicles blown off roads, and small boats pulled from moorings,” the agency said.

The storm will move north over the next few days, hitting parts of the Mississippi, Tennessee, and Ohio river valleys by the end of the week, Accuweather.com said.

Damaging winds, flooding, and tornadoes are all likely as Laura tracks north before turning east as it reaches the bootheel of Missouri later tonight, the forecaster said.

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