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3 Big Things Today, January 26, 2023

Soybeans, Grains Rise Overnight; Ethanol Output Jumps to Highest in a Month

1. Soybeans, Grains Higher in Overnight Trading

Soybeans and grains were higher in overnight trading on continued signs of demand for U.S. agricultural products.

Exporters reported sales of 130,000 metric tons of soybeans and 100,000 tons of corn to an unnamed country yesterday, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Shippers are required to report any sales of 100,000 metric tons or more.

USDA said on Tuesday that an unknown buyer purchased 130,000 metric tons of U.S. corn for delivery in the 2022/2023 marketing year that ends on Aug. 31, and on Monday announced sales of 192,000 tons of soybeans to an unnamed country.

Yesterday's announcement marks the fifth straight business day the government has announced large sales of soybeans or grains.

Still, keeping a lid on prices is favorable weather in several growing countries.

Rain is expected to expand today and tomorrow and again Monday and Tuesday in parts of Argentina, Commodity Weather Group said in a report. Short-term stress is forecast to be limited to 15% or less of the South American country.

Heat may return in the 11- to 15-day forecast but will be limited to far northern Argentina in the next week, the forecaster said.

Precipitation is expected next week in parts of Paraguay and southern Brazil after a hot and dry pattern moves out of the area, CWG said.

In the U.S. southern Plains where hard-red winter wheat is overwintering, "beneficial snow" from 4 to 8 inches fell in the southeastern third of the region and as much as 3 inches of rain in areas of the Delta where soft-red winter varieties are grown, the forecaster said.

That likely will boost crop prospects for overwintering wheat.

Soybean futures rose 7¼ cents to $15.09 ¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal was up $3.20 to $468.70 a short ton, while soy oil added 0.39 cents to 60.93¢ a pound.

Corn futures for March delivery rose 2¾ cents to $6.77 ½ a bushel.

Wheat futures for March delivery gained 2¾ cents to $7.44 a bushel, while Kansas City futures added 5½ cents to $8.48 ¾ a bushel.

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2. Ethanol Output Rises to Highest Since Mid-December

Ethanol production rose to the highest level in more than a month last week while inventories surged, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.

Output increased to an average of 1.012 million barrels a day in the week that ended on Jan. 20, the EIA said in a report.

That's up from 1.008 million barrels per day the previous week and the highest since Dec. 16.

In the Midwest, by far the biggest producing region, production rose to an average of 963,000 barrels a day last week from 958,000 barrels, the agency said. That was also the highest output level since mid-December.

That was the entirety of the gains for the week.

East Coast production was unchanged at 11,000 barrels per day, Gulf Coast output remained at an average of 24,000 barrels a day, and West Coast producers kicked out 4,000 barrels per day, the government said.

Rocky Mountain output declined to an average of 10,000 barrels per day from 12,000 a week earlier.

Ethanol inventories in the week that ended on Jan. 20 were reported at 25.077 million barrels.

That's up from 23.402 million a week earlier, and the largest level of stocks since the seven days that ended on April 1, the EIA said in its report.


3. Strong Winds, Winter Weather Expected in Northern Plains

Wind and winter weather advisories have been issued for much of the northern Plains this morning, according to the National Weather Service.

Winds in parts of North Dakota will be sustained at about 35 mph with gusts up to 55 mph expected, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

In eastern North Dakota, western Minnesota, and a sliver of northeastern South Dakota, snow is expected late this afternoon and evening, with 1 to 2 inches forecast for the area.

"After midnight, winds will turn northwest with gusts of 40 to 50 mph possible through Friday morning," the NWS said. "Plan on slippery road conditions. Widespread blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility."

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