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3 Big Things Today, March 22

Soybeans Higher in Overnight Trading; Weekly Ethanol Stocks Fall, Production Rises.

1. Soybeans Again Higher as Argentina Precipitation Chances Diminish

Soybeans were again higher in overnight trading as the weather model that had called for rain in parts of Argentina are now showing a drier forecast.

About two thirds of the country’s soybean and corn belts are under stress, and while some forecasts had called for rainfall, the amounts predicted are diminishing, according to Commodity Weather Group.

Some cool weekend weather is expected in Argentina, but it won’t be cold enough to be a threat to crops, the forecaster said.

Wheat futures are higher despite some rain in the Southern Plains forecast for next week. The precipitation is expected in the southeastern third of the Wheat Belt, and weather models show precipitation for much of the Southern Plains, CWG said.

Still, any rain that falls likely won’t be enough to revive crops that haven’t seen any precipitation in at least three months.

Soybean futures for May delivery added 1¾¢ to $10.31½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal rose $4 to $368.50 a short ton, and soy oil was down 0.18¢ to 32.19¢ a pound.

Corn futures for May delivery rose 1¾¢ to $3.76¾ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat for May delivery added 4½¢ to $4.58 a bushel overnight, while Kansas City futures gained 6¼¢ to $4.71¾ a bushel.

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2. Ethanol Stockpiles Retreat From Record Level, Production Improves

Ethanol stockpiles fell from a record last week while production improved, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Inventories of the biofuel in storage fell to 23.758 million barrels in the seven days that ended on March 16, down from a record 24.281 million a week earlier, the EIA said in a report.

Production, meanwhile, jumped to an average of 1.049 million barrels a day last week, up from 1.025 million seven days earlier, agency data show.

The gains were led by increased output in the Midwest region where production rose to an average of 965 million barrels a day from 943 million a week earlier, according to the EIA. Gulf Coast output rose to 27 million barrels form 22 million, the agency said.

In other news, the USDA will release its weekly Export Sales Report this morning. Analysts are expecting corn sales from 1.4 million to 2.1 million metric tons, soybean sales from 700,000 to 1.4 million tons and wheat sales from 100,000 to 300,000 tons, according to Allendale.

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3. Extremely Dry Weather Expected in Southern Plains, While Winter Storm Rages in North

The Southern Plains are extremely dry this morning, while another round of winter storms is hitting the Northern Plains.

A red-flag warning is in effect for much of the Southern Plains, including much of southwestern Kansas and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles, along with a large chunk of eastern New Mexico this morning, according to the National Weather Service.

The greatest chance for wildfires will be tomorrow and Sunday across much of the western panhandles, the NWS said in a report early Thursday.

Winds will be sustained up to 40 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph. Relative humidity will drop as low as 10% Friday, making the region ripe for uncontrollable wildfires, the agency said. Some rain is expected next week, forecasters said.

In the Northern Plains, a winter storm warning is in effect for a large portion of western and northern North Dakota, according to the NWS.

Up to 10 inches of snow are expected with localized amounts of a foot forecast in the region. Along with the snow, a light glaze of ice is possible tomorrow night with freezing drizzle, the agency said.

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