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3 Big Things Today, October 9

Soybeans Slightly Lower Overnight; Trump Set to End Ban on Year-Round E85 Sales.

1. Soybeans Slightly Lower Overnight on WASDE Outlook

Soybeans were slightly lower overnight on speculation that the USDA will raise its forecast for ending stocks in a report this week.

The agency is expected to boost its forecast for stockpiles to 898 million bushels, up from 845 million a month earlier, in its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates Report Thursday, Allendale’s Paul Georgy said in a note to clients early Tuesday morning.

The USDA likely will raise its inventories estimate for corn to 1.919 billion bushels, up from 1.774 billion in September, Allendale said. Wheat stocks are pegged at 950 million bushels, up from 935 million a month earlier.

Still, wet weather continues to slow the U.S. harvest as at least six times the normal amount of precipitation has fallen in many parts of the Corn Belt in the past two weeks, according to the National Weather Service. The USDA will release its Weekly Crop Progress Report this afternoon, a day later than usual due to Columbus Day.

Soybeans for November delivery lost 3¼¢ to $8.66½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal futures fell $1.40 to $317.10 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.07¢ to 29.57¢ a pound.

Corn for December delivery fell ¼¢ to $3.66¼ a bushel overnight.

Wheat for December delivery dropped 1½¢ to $5.12½ a bushel overnight, while Kansas City futures declined 1¢ to $5.16½ a bushel.

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2. Trump Set to End Ban on Year-Round Sales of E15 Blends

President Trump is expected to end a federal ban on year-round sales of E15 in a speech in Council Bluffs, Iowa, today, according to media reports.

The end of the ban likely will give ethanol companies including Poet, ADM, and Green Plains a boost while drawing the ire of oil refiners who’ve long opposed such a move.  

The ban was put in place as an environmental protection measure, but its benefits have been questionable. As such, the ethanol industry – and by proxy the corn industry – has been in favor of ending it, while the oil industry wants it left in place.

Former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who resigned in early July, had issued several waivers for small refineries exempting them from their blending obligations under the renewable fuels standard. That didn’t sit well with ethanol producers and corn growers.

Scott Wheeler replaced Pruitt and seems to be a bit more ethanol friendly than his predecessor.

Today’s announcement likely will please agriculture and ethanol industry groups and give a boost to Corn Belt lawmakers who are facing reelection in November.

Refiner groups, several of whom have sent letters to the president urging him not to allow year-round sales of E15, will obviously not welcome the ban’s end.

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3. Rains Sticking Around Southern Plains, Central-Northern Midwest Through Tomorrow

Rain, rain, and more rain is hitting the Southern Plains and central Midwest today, according to the National Weather Service.  

Flood warnings have spread throughout Iowa and Missouri as storms, which are bringing rainfall to a wide swath of land from Texas to Wisconsin, continue, the NWS said in a report early Tuesday morning.

In eastern Kansas, northwestern Missouri, and southern Iowa, severe thunderstorms are expected today that will keep the threat level high.

“Thunderstorms are possible for the entire area today and through much of the night,” the NWS said. “A few of the storms this afternoon and early evening could be severe. Damaging wind gusts and a few tornadoes will be possible. The potential for severe weather is higher in northeast and east-central Kansas.”

Severe weather is also expected in eastern Iowa with the main threats being damaging winds, flash flooding, and tornadoes as more thunderstorms roll through the area, the agency said.

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