3 Big Things Today, October 4

Wheat Futures Rise Overnight; Ethanol Production Falls to Five-Month Low, Stockpiles Surge.

1. Wheat Rises Overnight on Russia Worries, Egypt Tender

Wheat futures were higher overnight on further concerns that Russian exports could be curbed due to phytosanitary concerns.

The Russian government warned the 30 grain-loading ports could be shut temporarily due to violations of phytosanitary rules, Reuters reported.

Prices also may be rising after Egypt’s General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) said it’s seeking cargoes of 55,000 to 60,000 metric tons of soft or milling wheat for delivery in early December. The vice chairman of the organization said he wants cargoes of U.S. soft white wheat, soft red winter wheat, hard wheat, or Canadian soft wheat.

Wheat could also be sourced from several other countries including France, Ukraine, or Russia, GASC said in a statement. Results of the tender will be released today.

Wheat for December delivery rose 3¾¢ to $5.19 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, and Kansas City futures added 3½¢ to $5.22¼ a bushel.

Corn futures for December gained 1¼¢ to $3.66 a bushel in Chicago.

Soybeans for November delivery rose 1¼¢ to $8.62¾ a bushel overnight. Soy meal futures added 60¢ to $311.80 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.02¢ to 29.86¢ a pound.

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2. Ethanol Production Falls to Five-Month Low, Stockpiles Jump to Highest Since March

Ethanol production fell to a five-month low last week while stockpiles jumped, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Output of the biofuel declined to 1.015 million barrels a day, on average, in the week that ended on September 28, the EIA said in a report. That’s down from 1.036 million barrels per day last week and the lowest since the seven days that ended on April 20.

Inventories, however, surged to 23.445 million barrels, up from 22.629 million the previous week and the highest since March 17, government data show.

President Trump will give a speech in Council Bluffs, Iowa, next week where he’s expected to announce year-round sales of E15, according to several media reports, in a bid to rally support for Corn Belt Republicans who are up for reelection in November.

Removing the ban on sales of E15 in the summer would end a contentious debate between the ethanol and oil-refining industries who’ve both reminded the president several times since he took office that they helped him get elected.

Several farm groups including the National Corn Growers Association, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and the Renewable Fuels Association last month sent a letter to President Trump asking him to allow year-round sales of E15 and ensure blending requirements for small refiners that were erased by the EPA, mostly under former administrator Scott Pruitt, to be reallocated to larger refiners as required by law.

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3. Heavy Rains Expected From Eastern Nebraska to Northern Illinois Into Next Week

Locally heavy rains and continuing thunderstorms likely will keep farmers out of their fields for at least the next few days.

Storms in parts of eastern Nebraska across pretty much all of Iowa and into Illinois are expected today and may last through early next week, according to the National Weather Service.

In eastern Nebraska, isolated thunderstorms are expected to start today, and the “overall weather pattern will be active for the rest of the week into early next week,” the NWS said in a report early Thursday morning. Locally heavy rain is the main threat association with this system.

In Iowa and Illinois, scattered thunderstorms are expected tonight with rain falling at a rate of an inch an hour. Lightning is also a concern, the agency said.

The heaviest rain is expected late Friday where excessive precipitation likely will cause flash flooding, mostly north of Interstate 80. The runoff from the rain will aggravate flooding that’s already occurring on several rivers and streams in the area, the NWS said.

After Friday, the next chance of excessive rain is on Monday, which would further exacerbate flooding in the area.

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