1. Soybean and Corn Futures Higher in Overnight Trading
Soybean futures jumped to the highest since 2014 overnight as Chinese customs data showed November imports from the U.S. surged year-over-year.
China, the world’s largest importer of the oilseeds, imported just north of 6 million metric tons of soybeans from the U.S. last month, the data showed.
That’s more than double the 2.6 million metric tons the Asian country imported in November 2019 and up from 3.4 million metric tons it imported in November.
The news is welcome considering the U.S. Department of Agriculture hasn’t reported a large purchase of agricultural products by China in about seven weeks.
Trading resumed last night after being shortened on Thursday for Christmas Eve and Friday’s Christmas Day holiday.
Normal government report releases will resume starting today ahead of this week’s New Year’s Day holiday.
Soybean futures for January delivery rose 5¼¢ to $12.69¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal added $4.80 to $418.90 a short ton, and soy oil fell 0.22¢ to 40.91¢ a pound.
Corn futures for March delivery were up 2¼¢ to $4.53¼ a bushel overnight.
Wheat futures for March delivery fell 5¼¢ to $6.21¾ a bushel, while Kansas City futures lost 6¢ to $5.83 a bushel.
2. Ethanol Production Jumps While Inventories Hit Seven-Month High
Ethanol production in the seven days that ended on Dec. 18 jumped week-to-week while inventories climbed to the highest level in seven months, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Output of the biofuel rose to an average of 976,000 barrels a day, up from 957,000 barrels the previous week, the EIA said in a report that was bumped up due to the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day holidays last week.
In the Midwest, by far the largest producing region, production was reported at 929,000 barrels a day, on average.
That’s up from an average of 911,000 barrels a day the previous week, the agency said.
Gulf Coast production surged to 17,000 barrels a day from an average of 13,000 barrels a day the previous week, government data show.
East Coast output was unchanged for a third straight week at 12,000 barrels a day, on average.
Rocky Mountain and West Coast production each declined to an average of 9,000 barrels a day from 10,000 barrels a day the previous week, the EIA said.
Ethanol stockpiles, meanwhile, surged to 23.169 million barrels in the week through Dec. 18.
That’s up from 22.95 million barrels a week earlier and the highest amount in storage since the seven days that ended on May 22, the agency said in its report.
In a separate report that was released early last week, the USDA said commercial red meat production in the U.S. totaled 4.68 billion pounds in November, down 1% from the same month a year earlier.
Beef output was reported at 2.26 billion pounds, also down 1% year-over-year. About 2.7 million head of cattle were slaughtered last month, down 3% from November 2019, the agency said. Average slaughter weight was 1,388 pounds, up 13 pounds.
Pork production declined 1% year-over-year to 2.41 billion pounds. About 11 million hogs were slaughtered in November, down 3%. The average weight rose 6 pounds to 294 pounds, the USDA said.
3. Winter Storm Warnings and Advisories Issued For Much of the Midwest
Winter storm warnings and watches have been issued for most of the central and western Midwest Monday as snow, ice, and strong winds are expected, according to the National Weather Service.
Mixed precipitation is expected starting tonight in much of Nebraska with snow accumulations of up to 3 inches and ice accumulations of about .10 inch, the NWS said in a report early this morning. Road conditions will deteriorate as the event progresses.
In much of Iowa, a winter storm warning will go into effect tomorrow morning as the storm system moves east and lasts throughout the day.
As much as 8 inches of snow is expected on top of what’s already on the ground. A “wintry mix” that includes a glaze of ice also is expected.
“Travel could be very difficult,” the NWS said. “The weight of the snow and ice may also result in sagging tree limbs and damage, with power outages possible.”
In the southern Plains, meanwhile, freezing rain is expected starting late tonight and lasting into tomorrow afternoon. Ice accumulations of .10 inch are expected, the agency said.