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Sep 25, 2014

US river freight system near breaking point as huge harvest looms

CHICAGO, Sept 25 (Reuters) – With a record U.S. harvest just
coming in, the river transportation system that is at the heart
of the nation’s farm economy is overstrained by rising demand
for shipping capacity, a low barge inventory, and a dilapidated
lock system.

The pressure is building on an inland waterways network that
is just one flood, drought or mechanical breakdown from calamity
after decades of neglect, industry sources say.

Sep 23, 2014

U.S. soybean cash premiums collapse on record harvest

CHICAGO, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Cash prices for U.S. soybeans
have dropped by as much as $5 per bushel since last week as
processors have slashed historically high bids for the beans
during the early phases of a record harvest, grain merchants and
analysts said on Tuesday.

Soybean prices that reached nearly $15 per bushel at a
closely watched crushing plant in Claypool, Indiana, last week
were about $9.80 on Tuesday for immediate deliveries, with
further declines expected in the so-called “basis,” or the
amount above or below benchmark Chicago Board of Trade soy
futures that buyers are willing to pay.

Sep 22, 2014

Soybeans, corn hit 4-year lows on record supplies; wheat erases gains

CHICAGO, Sept 22 (Reuters) – U.S. corn and soy futures
tumbled to four-year lows on Monday, pressured by favorable
weather for record harvests in the United States and a rising
dollar that made the supplies less competitive in global
markets.

Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures also were lower,
erasing gains in sympathy with declines in corn and soy. Wheat
prices had been higher earlier in the session after the main
buying agency for top global importer Egypt purchased U.S.
supplies for the first time since March.

Sep 4, 2014

Corn, soy fall to 4-year lows ahead of record harvests

CHICAGO, Sept 4 (Reuters) – U.S. corn and soybeans futures
fell more than 1 percent to their lowest levels in four years on
Thursday in a technical selloff sparked by the looming harvest
of record-large crops.

Wheat futures also were mostly lower after notching contract
lows in the previous session. The dollar climbed to its
highest point in more than a year against a basket of other
currencies, further weighing on U.S. grains as importers could
more cheaply source supplies priced in other currencies.

Sep 3, 2014

Corn, soy tumble to contract lows on record U.S. yield prospects

CHICAGO, Sept 3 (Reuters) – U.S. corn and soybean futures
fell as much as 3 percent on Wednesday after the government
unexpectedly lifted condition ratings for the crops and analysts
increased outlooks for what already were expected to be
record-large harvests in the United States.
Wheat futures also fell, with prices extending early losses
after no U.S. supplies were offered in a tender to top global
importer Egypt. A rising U.S. dollar was also bearish as
international buyers can source cheaper grain from other
shippers in the European Union and Black Sea region.
“We’re pricing in bigger crops before the next report,” said
Global Commodities Analytics analyst Mike Zuzolo, referring to
the U.S. Agriculture Department’s monthly supply and demand
report due on Sept. 11.
In a report after the close of trading late on Monday, USDA
increased so-called good-to-excellent ratings for the corn and
soybean crops, surprising analysts, who had expected steady
ratings.
Brokerages INTL FCStone and Allendale Inc also boosted yield
and production forecasts above the most recent USDA outlook.

Mild summer weather was a boon to the crops, Allendale Inc
analyst Rich Nelson told the Thomson Reuters Global Ag Forum.
“Across the board, the numbers were impressive. This year’s
pollination was one of the coolest of the past 30 years,” he
said.
Most-active Chicago Board of Trade December corn was
down 9-3/4 cents, or 2.7 percent, at $3.54 per bushel, just
above its contract low of $3.53-1/2 reached earlier in the
session. Benchmark November soybeans were down 17-1/2
cents, or 1.7 percent, at $10.14-1/2 as of 11:10 a.m. CDT (1610
GMT) after earlier falling to a contract low of $10.12-1/2.
CBOT wheat for December delivery was 17-3/4 cents, or
3.2 percent lower, at $5.37-1/2, near its earlier contract low
of $5.36-1/4.
The main buying agency for top wheat buyer Egypt announced
that it bought two cargos of wheat – one from France and one
from Romania. No U.S. wheat was offered with freight costs
making supplies from the United States uncompetitive to many top
buyers of the grain in Africa and the Middle East.
“Wheat demand is not showing up and the market is seeking
new lows to find demand,” Zuzolo said.

Sep 2, 2014

Wheat falls 1 percent on fund selling, Ukraine shipments

CHICAGO, Sept 2 (Reuters) – U.S. grains fell on Tuesday,
with wheat futures down more than 1 percent on pressure from
plentiful global supplies and selling by investment funds on the
first trading day of the month, analysts said.

Wheat futures, which rose to a three-week high last
Thursday on short-covering tied to escalating Ukraine-Russia
tensions, reversed course and notched their largest two-session
decline since Aug. 13.

Aug 28, 2014

Chicago wholesale gasoline prices rise on BP Whiting refinery fire

, Aug 28 (Reuters) – Wholesale gasoline prices
surged in Chicago on Thursday after a fire hit a piece of
equipment used to produce gasoline at BP Plc’s refinery
in nearby Whiting, Indiana, trade and industry sources said.

BP said the fire was extinguished at its biggest U.S. plant
and it expects little impact on production. The 413,500 barrel
per day (bpd) refinery, which BP spent $4 billion expanding to
handle more heavy Canadian crude, was still operating.

Aug 1, 2014

Valero buying corn to restart Indiana ethanol plant -trade

Aug 1 (Reuters) – Valero Energy Corp is buying corn
ahead of the expected startup within the next month of the
company’s 110-million-gallon a year ethanol plant in Mount
Vernon, Indiana, U.S. cash grains sources said on Friday.

The plant is the largest corn-based ethanol plant not
currently operating in the U.S. and will add capacity to an
industry that produced a record amount of the biofuel earlier
this summer.

Jul 28, 2014

U.S. corn, soybean futures rise as demand strengthens

CHICAGO, July 28 (Reuters) – U.S. corn and soybean futures
rose on Monday with both markets supported by strengthening
demand and isolated dry areas that could hamper development of
the crops in the Midwest.

Wheat futures were lower but trimmed losses in the wake of a
U.S. Agriculture Department announcement showing a wheat sale to
Nigeria and a soybean sale to top importer China.

Jul 16, 2014

Sugar rush at ethanol plant fuels fight with Nebraska corn farmers

CHICAGO (Reuters) – An ethanol plant in Nebraska corn country is pumping out fuel made from sugar beets, and corn farmers are suing to stop it – a small-town dispute that offers an unusual take on the debate over the market-distorting impact of sugar and corn subsidies.

The dispute in Aurora, population about 4,400, brings into conflict two of the largest U.S. farm programs, one promoting sugar production and the other corn-based ethanol. Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings Inc, a privately held Illinois firm, is reaping profits producing ethanol with cheap sugar, thanks to a U.S. Agriculture Department subsidy of beet sugar.