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3 Big Things Today, November 16

Corn, Soybeans Little Changed Overnight; Ethanol Stockpiles at Six-Week High, Production Down Slightly.

1. Grains, Soybeans Little Changed as Fundamental News Lacking

Grains and soybeans were little changed overnight on little fundamental news.

Prices continue to be stuck in a trading range due to little market-moving news. The harvest is almost complete in the U.S. with 83% of corn in the bin and 93% of soybeans collected, according to the USDA.

With crops almost harvested, traders and investors are keeping a close eye on demand, but so far that’s been pretty quiet, as well.

So far, export sales in the marketing year that started on September 1 have been behind normal. Overseas buyers have committed to purchase 25% less corn so far this year than they did a year ago, while soybean sales are down 15%, according to USDA data.

Wheat sales since the start of the marketing year on June 1 are down 5% year over year, the government said.

With no fundamental news to boost prices, they’re likely to stay in a trading range, analysts said.

Corn futures for December delivery were unchanged at $3.38¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Wheat futures added 1¾¢ to $4.21¾ a bushel in Chicago. Kansas City futures rose 1¾¢ to $4.19½ a bushel.

Soybean futures for January delivery fell 1½¢ to $9.74¾ a bushel overnight. Soy meal declined a dime to $311.20 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.11¢ to 34.64¢ a pound.


2. Ethanol Production Down Slightly to Three-Week Low, Stocks Push to Highest Since October 6

Ethanol production was down slightly but still at lofty levels, while inventories of the biofuel in the U.S. rose to the highest level in five weeks.

Output in the week that ended on November 10 came in at 1.054 million barrels, down from 1.057 million seven days earlier, the Energy Information Administration said in a report. While it’s only off slightly, it’s the lowest level in three weeks.

Stockpiles, meanwhile, bumped up to the highest level since the week that ended on October 6, according to the EIA. Inventories last week totaled 21.497 million barrels in the U.S., up from 21.345 million a week earlier, the administration said.

Despite the gain, stockpiles of ethanol have been stuck in a range between 21 million and 21.5 million barrels for the past several weeks.

The weekly Export Sales Report is due up today with traders expecting corn sales of 1.2 million to 1.7 million metric tons, soybean sales of 1.1 million to 1.5 million, and wheat sales of 350,000 to 550,000 tons, according to Allendale.


3. Wintry Mix of Snow, Sleet Expected in Wisconsin; Parts of South to See Thunderstorms

A wintry mix of snow and sleet is expected today in parts of northwestern Wisconsin, while thunderstorms are forming over parts of the mid-South.

In Wisconsin, snowfall is expected to start late tonight and continue through Friday, the National Weather Service said in an early report on Thursday.

The chance for snow is expected to last through Saturday, the NWS said.

Farther south, fog is thick this morning in parts of extreme eastern Arkansas, western Tennessee, and northern Mississippi. The fog is expected to burn off, though a dense fog advisory is in effect for the region, according to the NWS.

Strong thunderstorms with gusty winds are forecast this weekend for much of the region, though the potential for extremely severe weather remains low, the agency said.

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