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3 Big Things Today, October 26

Grains, Beans Little Changed Overnight; Ethanol Production Jumps to Six-Week High.

1. Grains, Soybeans Again Little Changed Overnight as Prices Stuck in Range

Grains and soybeans were little changed overnight ahead of this week’s Export Sales Report on few fundamental changes.

It’s been quiet recently with futures stuck in a trading range. Yields are reportedly good in the Midwest, which has capped prices, but harvest delays and adverse weather overseas have kept futures underpinned, analysts said.

The value of the dollar is lower this morning and has been steadily dropping all week, which is also buoying prices as a weaker greenback boosts the appeal of U.S. supplies.

Demand for soybeans has been decent this marketing year, but is still behind the year-ago pace, while export inspections of corn, at least, have been abysmal. It’s that sort of push and pull that’s kept prices in a trading range for weeks.

Corn futures fell ¼¢ to $3.50¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose a penny to $9.76½ a bushel in Chicago. Soy meal declined 20¢ to $315.20 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.12¢ to 34.38¢ a pound.

Wheat for December delivery was unchanged at $4.35½ a bushel in Chicago. Kansas City futures lost ¼¢ to $4.33¼ a bushel.

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2. Ethanol Production Rises to Highest Level in Six Weeks, Inventories Decline

Ethanol production rose to the highest level in six weeks, a good sign for corn demand, while stockpiles of the biofuel declined.

U.S. ethanol output in the week that ended on October 20 averaged 1.039 million barrels a day, the highest level since the week that ended on September 8, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That’s up from 1.019 million barrels a week earlier.

Ethanol stockpiles last week totaled 21.034 million barrels, down for a fourth straight week, the EIA said in a report. That’s the lowest level since September 29.

Average weekly demand for gasoline, however, rose almost 2% to 391 million gallons on a daily basis, and refiner blending of ethanol increased 0.3% to 925,000 barrels a day, according to the government.

In other news, the Export Sales Report from the USDA is due out today. Analysts have pegged corn sales from 800,000 to 1.2 million metric tons, soybean sales from 1.2 million to 1.6 million, and wheat sales from 300,000 to 500,000 tons, according to Allendale.  

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3. Freeze Warnings Set to Take Effect as Temperatures Plunge in Plains, Midwest

The weather maps are extremely active this morning as cold moves into much of the Plains and Midwest after what’s been a very mild autumn.

Hard-freeze warnings are in effect for the western half of Kansas where temperatures are expected to drop into the low- and mid-20s starting tonight, according to the National Weather Service.  

Temperatures that low could cause damage to exposed hard red winter wheat plants that don’t yet have a protective layer of snow to keep them warm. The hard-freeze warning goes into effect at 1 a.m. tonight and ends at 9 a.m. central time, the NWS said.

Freeze warnings have been issued for much of the Southern Plains with both the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles affected.

Farther east, freeze warnings have been issued for almost all of Ohio as temperatures are expected to drop to around 30˚F. The same warnings also have been issued for parts of southeastern Nebraska and central Kansas

Frost advisories have been issued for several states including Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and parts of Tennessee.

High wind is still a problem in much of the Dakotas where gusts have been reported up to 60 mph with sustained winds of 45 mph, according to the NWS. High-wind warnings have been issued in much of both states.  

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