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3 Big Things Today, September 27

Wheat Futures Lower Overnight; Ethanol Production, Stockpiles Decline Week to Week.

1. Wheat Futures Decline Overnight on Planting Progress

Wheat futures declined overnight on signs that planting of the winter crop is continuing at a faster-than-normal pace.

Much of southwestern Kansas and the Oklahoma panhandle has received little or no rain in the past week, according to the National Weather Service.

That’s allowed producers to get their hard red winter wheat fields seeded. About 28% of the US winter wheat crop was planted as of Sunday, ahead of the prior five-year average of 26% for this time of year and 15 percentage points ahead of the previous week, according to the USDA.

A storm that brought moderate to heavy rainfall moved through the Southern Plains yesterday, but stayed south of Amarillo and held a line south of where the bulk of the crop is planted in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles and southwestern Kansas, NWS maps show.

Wheat for December delivery fell 3¼¢ to $5.14¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City futures lost 3¾¢ to $5.17¼ a bushel.

Corn futures lost 1¼¢ to $3.61¾ a bushel overnight.

Soybean futures for November delivery declined 1½¢ to $8.48½ a bushel. Soy meal futures fell a dime to $310.80 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.07¢ to 28.72¢ a pound.

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2. Ethanol Production, Stocks Decline; Refining Industry Sends Letter on E15 to President

Ethanol production and stockpiles both dropped in the week that ended on September 21, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Output of the corn-based biofuel declined to an average of 1.036 million barrels a day last week, the EIA said in a report. That’s down from 1.051 million barrels seven days earlier but up slightly from 1.033 million barrels during the same week in 2017.

Inventories, meanwhile, declined to 22.629 million barrels, down from 22.746 million the prior week, according to the government. Still, that’s up from 21.138 million barrels that were in storage in the U.S. during the same period last year.

Ethanol has taken a back seat to other political dustups recently, but it’s still a hot-button issue for those in the refining industry.

Mike Sommers, president of the American Petroleum Institute, and Chet Thompson, president of the American Fuel & Petrochemicals Manufacturers, said in a joint statement yesterday that they’re opposed to a new rule being considered by the EPA to extend a so-called Reid Vapor Pressure waiver to E15 fuel.

The EPA is reportedly preparing to text the waiver to E15 with minor changes to RIN trading. That would be “insufficient” for refiners and “inconsistent with your long-standing commitment” to find a solution that fits the needs of both the biofuels and refining industries, they said in their letter to President Trump.

The refining industry has taken a “constructive and proactive” approach to find reforms to the Renewable Fuels Standard, Sommers and Thompson said, and they want to work with consumers, farmers, and biofuel producers to find common ground.

“Meaningful reforms to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) are integral in any discussion about E15,” the letter said. “Without corresponding reductions of mandated biofuel volumes, more E15 could be forced into the market, increasing the risk of consumer misfuelling. In fact, nearly three out of every four cars on the road today are not designed for E15, and several automakers have said that E15 could void car warranties. E15 is also incompatible in classic cars, motorcycles, boats, lawnmowers, and power equipment engines.”

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3. Rain Headed to Parts of Iowa Already Flooded by Excessive Precipitation

More rain is on the way for parts of eastern Iowa where flooding is already a problem.

Several rivers and streams in the state are already over their banks, and another round of thunderstorms may kick off starting this weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

“A few thunderstorms will be possible from Saturday afternoon into Saturday night,” the NWS said in a report early Thursday morning. “Current indications suggest there’s little chance for severe weather on Saturday.”

Patchy frost also will hit the area late Friday night and early Saturday morning, the agency said.

More storms are on the way from Sunday through Tuesday, as well, though it’s too early to determine whether they’ll be severe.

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