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3 Big Things Today, August 3

Soybeans, Corn Drop Overnight; Ethanol Stockpiles Hit Lowest in Almost Seven Months.

1. Soybeans Plunge, Corn Lower Overnight as Rain Boosts Prospects

Soybean futures plunged and corn was lower overnight as rain fell in several Midwestern states on Wednesday, boosting crop prospects.

As much as an inch of rain fell in a band from the Canadian border near central Montana east into western North Dakota and south through Nebraska, according to the National Weather Service. That will likely help improve spring wheat, corn, and bean crops that had been suffering from a lack of precipitation.

Farther east, however, unneeded rain fell in parts of Illinois and Indiana where excessive precipitation has caused flooding. Most of the rivers along the Iowa and Illinois border that had been over their banks have receded, though some flooding remains, according to the NWS.

Soybean futures for November delivery dropped 15¼¢ to $9.62¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal lost $4.10 to $311.40 a short ton, and soy oil futures declined 0.49¢ to 34.08¢ a pound.

Corn for December delivery lost 3¼¢ to $3.75¾ a bushel overnight.

Wheat for September delivery fell 4¢ to $4.56¾ a bushel, and Kansas City futures lost 5¢ to $4.59½ a bushel.

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2. Ethanol Production Declines, Stockpiles at Lowest Since January, EIA Says

Ethanol production in the U.S. declined for a second straight week, while stockpiles dropped to the lowest level in almost seven months.

Output of the biofuel fell to 1.002 million barrels a day, on average, in the week that ended on July 28, according to the Energy Information Administration.

That’s down from 1.012 million a week earlier and the lowest since the seven days that ended on June 16.

Inventories, meanwhile, fell to 20.852 million barrels, down from 21.529 million the prior week and the lowest since the first week of January, the EIA said in a report.

Commodity Brokerage Allendale noted that ethanol production isn’t as efficient as it was a year ago. In June, ethanol producers made 2.93 gallons of ethanol per bushel.

That rate is down 1.3% during the same month a year earlier, the brokerage said.

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3. Rainfall Expected in Eastern North Dakota, Illinois, Indiana in Midwest

Rain is expected today in much of eastern North Dakota, which will help crops in the region that have been lacking moisture.

“Showers along with isolated thunder will move into much of the region at some point today,” the National Weather Service said in a report early Thursday morning. “Severe thunderstorms are not expected.”

Rainfall will be widespread with as much as 2 inches expected across the southern Red River Valley into west-central Minnesota, the NWS said. Rainfall amounts are expected to be lower farther north.

Chances of thunderstorms continue throughout eastern Iowa into Illinois and Indiana today, the agency said. Some rivers along the Iowa-Illinois border may again reach or breach flood stage.

Storms likely will be stronger in Indiana than they will be in Illinois, the weather service said.

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