1. Soybean, Grain Futures Resume Gains Overnight
Soybeans and grains resumed rising in the overnight session on rising palm oil prices and ongoing Russian attacks on Ukraine.
Palm oil futures rose the most allowed by the Bursa Malaysia exchange after Indonesia said it will further restrict exports of the cooking oil, which is a rival of soybean oil, to ensure domestic supplies.
Companies will be required to sell 30% of their exportable palm oil to domestic buyers, up from the previously required 20%.
The policy will remain in effect for six months or until the situation normalizes.
Russian attacks on Ukraine continue for a 15th day with no end in sight as talks between the countries broke down. Ukraine is accusing Russia of war crimes after a children’s hospital was bombed, injuring at least 17.
Officials from Russia said the hospital was a military base and accused Western countries of supplying Ukraine with weapons.
Russia is the world’s largest exporter of wheat and Ukraine is the third-biggest, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Investors also are reacting to yesterday’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The USDA lowered its outlook for Brazilian production to 127 million metric tons from a prior outlook for 134 million tons. Analysts were expecting output of 128.1 million tons.
Corn output in the South American country is pegged at 114 million metric tons, unchanged from the previous month and higher than expectations for 112.7 million tons.
U.S. new-crop soybean stockpiles are now seen at 285 million bushels, down from 325 million forecast last month, but higher than forecasts for 273 million bushels.
Soybean futures for May delivery rose 18¼¢ to $16.90 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal was up $4.80 to $479.50 a short ton, and soybean oil futures gained 1.12¢ to 75.27¢ a pound.
Corn futures for May delivery added 12¾¢ to $7.45¾ a bushel.
Wheat for May delivery surged 10¼¢ to $12.12 a bushel, while Kansas City futures jumped 28¾¢ to $11.43¼ a bushel.
2. Ethanol Production Jumps to Highest Since End of January
Ethanol output rose to the highest level in six weeks and inventories increased in the seven days that ended on March 4, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Production of the biofuel rose to an average of 1.028 million barrels a day, up from 997,000 barrels the previous week, the EIA said in a report.
That’s the highest level since the week that ended on January 28.
In the Midwest, by far the biggest producing region, output averaged 977,000 barrels a day, up from 941,000 barrels the previous week and also the highest in six weeks, the agency said.
Rocky Mountain production also rose, climbing to an average of 14,000 barrels a day from 13,000 barrels a week earlier.
East Coast output was unchanged at 12,000 barrels a day for the fifth straight week.
Production along the Gulf Coast, meanwhile, dropped to an average of 17,000 barrels a day, down from 22,000 barrels the previous week, the government said.
West Coast production fell to 8,000 barrels a day, on average, from 10,000 barrels.
Ethanol stockpiles, meanwhile, rose to 25.271 million barrels in the week through March 4, the agency said. That’s up from 24.933 million a week earlier, the EIA said in its report.
3. Winter Weather Hits Northern Kansas and Missouri
Winter-storm warnings remain in effect across northern Kansas into northwestern Missouri as snow continues to fall, according to the National Weather Service.
In western Kansas, light to moderate snow will fall throughout the morning with accumulations of about 2 inches expected, the NWS said in a report early this morning.
The warnings will be in effect in the area until 11 a.m. local time.
In northern Missouri, heavy snow is expected with accumulations of up to 7 inches, the agency said. The winter-storm warnings in the region will remain in effect until 6 a.m. tomorrow.
“Travel could be very difficult,” the NWS said.