Grain and soybean futures were little changed in overnight trading on guarded hopes that a cease-fire will be brokered between Russia and Ukraine.
Ukraine has offered a proposal to become neutral as negotiators from both countries met in Turkey this week. Under the proposal, Ukraine would give up seeking to become a part of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Russia announced a cease-fire in the besieged port city of Mariupol to allow Ukraine’s government to send aid and evacuate civilians, according to several media reports.
Attacks by Russia on Ukraine cities are now in their fifth week.
Russia is expected to be the world’s largest exporter of wheat, while Ukraine is forecast to be the fourth-biggest shipper, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
On the weather front, rains fell this week in parts of Brazil including the states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Sao Paulo, said Donald Keeney, an agricultural meteorologist with Maxar, in a note to clients.
Precipitation is expected to continue in some areas through early next week, improving moisture for the safrinha corn crop. Rain, however, will slow harvest of soybeans, he said.
Argentina also saw rain this week and may see more on Tuesday that slows corn and soybean drydown, Keeney said.
Wheat for May delivery rose ½¢ to $10.27¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade while Kansas City futures gained ¼¢ to $10.44½ a bushel.
Corn futures fell ½¢ to $7.37½ a bushel.
Soybean futures for May delivery rose ¼¢ to $16.64¼ a bushel. Soymeal was unchanged at $473.10 a short ton and soybean oil futures dropped 0.73¢ to 71.49¢ a pound.
Ethanol output declined week-to-week while inventories surged to the highest level in 11 months, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Production of the biofuel fell to an average of 1.036 million barrels a day in the week that ended on March 25, the EIA said in a report.
That’s down from 1.042 million barrels, on average, the previous week.
In the Midwest, by far the largest producing area, output fell to an average of 982,000 barrels a day, down from 988 million barrels a week earlier, the EIA said.
Gulf Coast production declined to 19,000 barrels a day, on average, from 21,000 barrels, and West Coast output fell to an average of 8,000 barrels a day from 9,000 barrels the previous week.
Rocky Mountain output, however, rose to 15,000 barrels a day, on average, government data show.
East Coast production also increased, rising to an average of 12,000 barrels a day from 11,000 barrels a week earlier, the agency said.
Stockpiles, meanwhile, jumped to 26.529 million barrels in the week through March 25.
That’s up from 26.148 million barrels the previous week and the highest level since the seven days that ended on April 24, the EIA said in its report.
Winter-weather advisories remain in effect until noon in much of Wisconsin today as more snow is expected, according to the National Weather Service.
Between 1 and 3 inches of accumulation is expected in some areas, the NWS said in a report early this morning.
Road conditions likely will be slippery throughout the morning.
In Arkansas, freeze warnings and frost advisories have been issued. In some northern counties in the state, temperatures will fall as low as 31°F.
Much of the rest of Arkansas likely will see temperatures in the mid-30s with calm winds, which likely will lead to frost formation, the NWS said.
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