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3 Big Things Today, September 8

Soybeans, Corn Higher Overnight; Ethanol Production Ends Year on High Note.

1. Soybeans, Corn Higher Overnight on Concerns About Dry Weather

Soybeans and corn were slightly higher this morning as concerns about dry weather in much of the Midwest the past week and worries that Hurricane Irma will delay the Delta harvest.

Most of the Midwest, not including the swath of land stretching from Texas to Kentucky where Hurricane Harvey left a path of precipitation, has received little or no rainfall in the past two weeks, according to the National Weather Service.

Some parts of South Dakota and central Nebraska saw some rainfall, but North Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Kansas received no precipitation, NWS maps show. With crops maturing, a good finishing rain would be welcome in the central Midwest.

Market-watchers are also keeping an eye on Hurricane Irma that’s now expected to make landfall around Miami and shoot north, leaving a path of destruction in its wake as it did in the Caribbean. The storm will then move north and west and may slow the harvest in the Delta.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 2¼¢ to $9.71 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained 80¢ to $308 a short ton, and soy oil futures fell 0.10¢ to 35.33¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery added 1¼¢ to $3.56½ a bushel overnight.

Wheat for December delivery rose 1¾¢ to $4.39 a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures gained 1¼¢ to $4.43 a bushel.


2. Ethanol Production Jumps to Highest Since January in Last Week of Marketing Year

Ethanol production jumped to the highest level in more than seven months while stockpiles declined.

Output for the week that ended on September 1 (the last week in the 2016-2017 marketing year) totaled 1.06 million barrels a day, on average, up from 1.042 a week earlier and the highest since the seven days that ended on January 27, the Energy Information Administration said in a report.

The figure was a strong end to the marketing year in which output totaled more than 6% from the prior 12-month period, according to data from the EIA.

Stockpiles, meanwhile, fell to 21.116 million barrels last week, down from 21.303 million seven days earlier and the lowest level since July 28. Still, inventories are above where they were last year and remain relatively high, analysts note.

In other news, export sales are set to come out today with analyst estimates ranging from 600,000 to 1.2 million metric tons for corn when combining old-crop and new-crop sales, 500,000 to 1 million tons for soybeans, and 300,000 to 500,000 tons for wheat.


3. Hurricane Irma Downgraded, Still Packing 150 mph Winds, Heads to Florida

Hurricane Irma, which was just downgraded to a Category 4 storm, is forecast to make landfall near Miami sometime this weekend, and it looks like it’ll pack quite a wallop.

The storm moved through Cuba as well as the Turks and Caicos this morning and is heading toward the Bahamas. Wind speeds even in a Category 4 hurricane will be sustained at 155 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

So far, at least 10 people have been killed by the storm that tore through the Caribbean, all but wiping out Barbuda and doing extensive damage in St. Martin. Hundreds of thousands are without power in Puerto Rico.

Irma will move north, hitting Miami likely very late Saturday or early Sunday and moving up into Atlanta with 45-50 mph winds on Tuesday and farther inland from there. The remnants will be felt as far north as Kentucky and Tennessee, according to NHC forecasts.

The ensuing rainfall may keep growers out of fields, delaying the harvest, and potentially flooding fields with crops ready for collection in the Delta.

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