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Market Matters Blog           09/13 10:59
DTN Weekly Average DDG Price Stronger
Three 2019 Lock Closures on Illinois River Will Delay Barge Traffic
DTN Weekly Average DDG Price Slightly Higher
Trucking Hours of Service Temporarily Waived Ahead of Hurricane Dorian
DTN Weekly Average DDG Price Strengthens
Options Are Friends, Not Foes
DTN Weekly Average DDG Price Higher
USACE Running Out of Funds to Continue Critical Dredging Operations
DTN Weekly Average DDG Price Lower
DTN National Average Soybean Basis Resembles Sunken Ship 

******************************************************************************
DTN Weekly Average DDG Price Stronger

   OMAHA (DTN) -- The domestic distillers dried grains (DDG) weekly average 
spot price from the 40 locations DTN contacted was up $2 on average, to $136 
per ton, for the week ended Sept. 12. The cash corn price rallied this week, 
giving some support to DDG prices, along with tight supplies in areas where 
plants have slowed or shut down.

   The Energy Information Administration (EIA) noted ethanol supply in the U.S 
dropped more than 1 million barrels in the first week of September despite a 
fourth straight week of decline in net inputs by refiners and blenders, a 
measure of demand. EIA also said plant production rose 1% last week.

   Based on the average of prices collected by DTN, the value of DDG relative 
to corn for the week ended Sept. 12 was at 107.41%. The value of DDG relative 
to soybean meal was at 45.93%. The cost per unit of protein for DDG was $5.04, 
compared to the cost per unit of protein for soybean meal at $6.23. 

   In its weekly export DDGS update, the U.S. Grains Council stated, "FOB Gulf 
DDGS prices are slightly ($2/metric ton) lower this week while U.S. rail rates 
have increased $3/mt on average. Asking prices for 40-foot containers to 
Southeast Asia are up $3/mt to $235/mt following last week's active inquiries."


ALL PRICES SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION       CURRENT     PREVIOUS CHANGE
COMPANY       STATE                     9/12/2019    9/5/2019
Bartlett and Company, Kansas City, MO (816-753-6300)
              Missouri           Dry       $145        $140     $5
                                 Wet       $73         $70      $3
Show Me Ethanol LLC, Carrollton, MO (660-542-6493)
              Missouri Subject   Dry       $140        $140     $0
                                 Wet       $72         $72      $0
CHS, Minneapolis, MN (800-769-1066)
Illinois      Dry                $145      $140         $5
Indiana       Dry                $145      $140         $5
Iowa          Dry                $130      $125         $5
Michigan      Dry                $150      $145         $5
Minnesota     Dry                $130      $125         $5
North Dakota  Dry                $130      $125         $5
New York      Dry                $145      $140         $5
South Dakota  Dry                $125      $120         $5
MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS (800-255-0302 Ext. 5253)
              Kansas             Dry       $135        $135     $0
POET Nutrition, Sioux Falls, SD (888-327-8799)
              Indiana            Dry       $150        $145     $5
              Iowa               Dry       $135        $135     $0
              Michigan           Dry       $135        $125    $10
              Minnesota          Dry       $135        $130     $5
              Missouri           Dry       $150        $150     $0
              Ohio               Dry       $145        $140     $5
              South Dakota       Dry       $140        $135     $5
United BioEnergy, Wichita, KS (316-616-3521)
Kansas        Dry                $145      $135        $10
              Wet                $55       $40         $15
Illinois      Dry                $143      $140         $3
Nebraska      Dry                $140      $135         $5
              Wet                $45       $40          $5
U.S. Commodities, Minneapolis, MN (888-293-1640)
              Illinois           Dry       $135        $135     $0
              Indiana            Dry       $140        $140     $0
              Iowa               Dry       $130        $130     $0
              Michigan           Dry       $135        $135     $0
              Minnesota          Dry       $125        $125     $0
              Nebraska           Dry       $130        $130     $0
              New York           Dry       $150        $150     $0
              North Dakota       Dry       $135        $135     $0
              Ohio               Dry       $145        $145     $0
              South Dakota       Dry       $125        $125     $0
              Wisconsin          Dry       $130        $130     $0
Valero Energy Corp, San Antonio Texas (210-345-3362) (210-345-3362)
Indiana       Dry                $136      $136         $0
Iowa          Dry                $125      $125         $0
Minnesota     Dry                $120      $120         $0
Nebraska      Dry                $135      $135         $0
Ohio          Dry                $140      $140         $0
South Dakota  Dry                $128      $128         $0
California    Dry                $195      $195         $0
Western Milling, Goshen, California (559-302-1074)
SUBJECT       California         Dry       $205        $198     $7
*Prices listed per ton.
              Weekly Average               $136        $134     $2
The weekly average prices above reflect only those companies DTN
collects spot prices from. States include: Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska,
Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan,
Wisconsin and Indiana. Prices for Pennsylvania, New York and
California are not included in the averages.

             VALUE OF DDG VS. CORN & SOYBEAN MEAL
               Settlement Price: Quote Date   Bushel Short Ton
                            Corn   9/12/2019 $3.5450   $126.61
                    Soybean Meal   9/12/2019 $296.10
   DDG Weekly Average Spot Price     $136.00
                      DDG Value Relative to:   9/5      9/5
                                        Corn 107.41%   108.28%
                                Soybean Meal  45.93%    46.42%
                   Cost Per Unit of Protein:
                                         DDG   $5.04     $4.96
                                Soybean Meal   $6.23     $6.08
Notes:
Corn and soybean prices take from DTN Market Quotes. DDG price
represents the average spot price from Midwest companies
collected on Thursday afternoons. Soybean meal cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 47.5. DDG cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 27.

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************
Three 2019 Lock Closures on Illinois River Will Delay Barge Traffic

   The Illinois Waterway provides a navigable connection between Lake Michigan 
and the Mississippi River and includes eight lock and dam sites that are long 
overdue for significant repairs, notes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
(USACE). In order to facilitate repairs, the USACE Rock Island District 
developed a consolidated repair schedule, which includes a short closure to 
locks in 2019 followed by two extended closures in 2020 and 2023. The closures 
are scheduled to take place simultaneously to lessen impact to commercial 
navigation as much as possible.  

   The current 9-foot channel lock and dam system on the Illinois River was 
built in the 1930s with an estimated life span of 50 years. "The structures 
have long outlived their life expectancy but continue to operate 24/7 due to 
the hard work and dedication of the men and women charged with maintaining the 
structures," USACE noted. "Nearly half of the District's employees are involved 
in some part of the maintenance or operation of the lock and dam and navigation 
system."

   Dennis Shannon, Rock Island District manager for the Illinois Waterway, 
spoke at a meeting dealing with the lock closures sponsored by the Illinois 
Farm Bureau in Peoria, Illinois. Shannon said that the locks and dams on the 
Illinois River are "old and in need of repair." 

   Shannon said that, "the Illinois River is basically open year-round, making 
it difficult to do repairs, unlike the Upper Mississippi River Locks that close 
for the winter, allowing repairs to be done during that time." Shannon noted 
that the work done this summer is preparatory work for the major closures 
scheduled in July 2020. 

   "The Sept. 21 closure added the Lockport Lock and Dam after it was 
discovered the lower miter gates there were not functioning properly," added 
Shannon. A link to the entire meeting is available at the end of this story.

   All lock and dam facilities on the Illinois Waterway have a single lock 
chamber for passing vessels. During the scheduled closures, no vessels will be 
able to pass through the affected locks in the 2019 closure, noted the USACE on 
their website. 

   This is the latest 2019 schedule posted by the USACE on their website:

   STARVED ROCK & MARSEILLES LOCK AND DAM --- BULKHEAD RECESS INSTALLATION

   -- Partial Closure scheduled June 1-July 3 (completed) and July 8-Sept. 12 
(Updated 9/6/2019).

   -- Locks operational from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. with a 70-ft width restriction 
and no ability to pull unpowered barges. Unrestricted lockage period from 6 
p.m. Sept. 12 through 6 a.m. Sept. 21 (Updated 8/28/2019).

   -- Full Closure scheduled Sept. 21-Oct. 5 (Updated 8/2/2019).

   LOCKPORT LOCK AND DAM --- MITER GATE AND VERTICAL LIFT GATE REPAIRS

   -- Full Closure scheduled Sept. 21-Oct.5 (Updated 8/2/2019).

   When the partial closure started in June, barge lines were not allowed to 
pass during daylight hours, slowing them from getting to St. Louis. American 
Commercial Barge Line (ACBL) noted earlier this summer when the partial 
closures started that, "A typical round trip from St. Louis to Chicago and back 
normally takes 10 days and it is now taking upwards of 27-30 days." 

   However, USACE is working with the barge companies by allowing barges to 
move unrestricted more than once this summer with the most recent occurring 
from 18:00 Aug 30 through 06:00 Sept. 3, with no daylight closures imposed. 
Then, as noted above, an eight-day unrestricted opening will begin on Sept. 12 
and last through 06:00 on Sept. 21 when the full closure occurs. ACBL also 
noted that tows will still be restricted to 70-feet wide during that time.

   Even more locks and dams are scheduled to close on the Illinois River 
beginning in July 2020, with some of the work not expected to be done until 
Oct. 29, 2020. It is that major closure in 2020 that could have some impact on 
grain and fertilizer shipments, but until the timing and length of the closure 
is decided for certain, there is no way to predict the cost to shippers and 
farmers. There is a schedule posted on the USACE Rock Island District website, 
but that schedule is subject to change. 

   You can see it here: https://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/

   Questions concerning the scheduled 2020 lock closures may be directed to 
309-794-5729 or CEMVR-CC@usace.army.mil 

   On June 3, 2019, an amendment to CBOT Delivery Rules and Procedures, rule 
703.C.G.(9) (Load Out), became effective to address the extended closure of the 
Illinois River in summer 2020. The new amendment deals with barge load-out 
procedures at affected regular shipping stations where the river is closed for 
15 days or longer. 

   Here is link to the announcement and amendment: 
https://www.cmegroup.com/notices/market-regulation/2019/05/MKR05-17-19.html#page
Number=1

   Here is a link to the recording from the Aug. 6 meeting in Peoria, Illinois, 
provided by the Illinois Farm Bureau. It discusses the possible impact on 
fertilizer and grain shipments, to note a few of the topics: 
https://vimeo.com/348447025/f35d765f8f

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************
DTN Weekly Average DDG Price Slightly Higher

   OMAHA (DTN) -- The domestic distillers dried grains (DDG) weekly average 
spot price from the 40 locations DTN contacted was up $1 on average, at $134 
per ton, for the week ended Sept. 5. Prices remain steady overall, and some 
traders have noted that offers for the next few months are higher given the 
slowing production at ethanol plants which could cut back DDG supplies.

   Based on the average of prices collected by DTN, the value of DDG relative 
to corn for the week ended Sept. 5 was at 108.28%. The value of DDG relative to 
soybean meal was at 46.42%. The cost per unit of protein for DDG was $4.96, 
compared to the cost per unit of protein for soybean meal at $6.08. 

   In its weekly export DDGS update, the U.S. Grains Council stated, 
"Merchandisers and exporters note that prices for DDGS FOB NOLA are lower (down 
$2 per metric ton) this week following the pressure in corn and soymeal 
futures. Prices for 40-foot containers to Southeast Asia are steady this week 
at $232 with spot prices firmer than those for deferred positions. Exporters 
are saying international markets have been somewhat quiet this week but that 
Vietnam buyers are actively inquiring on offerings and that Indonesian buyers 
have secured product for October shipment."

   U.S. Census Bureau trade data showed U.S. exports for July totaled 835,000 
metric tons (mt), down 127,000 mt compared with June and is the lowest monthly 
total volume since February. Exports for July were down 24% versus the same 
time month last year. 


ALL PRICES SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION       CURRENT     PREVIOUS CHANGE
                                                      8/29/
COMPANY       STATE                      9/5/2019      2019
Bartlett and Company, Kansas City, MO (816-753-6300)
              Missouri           Dry       $140        $140     $0
                                 Wet       $70         $70      $0
Show Me Ethanol LLC, Carrollton, MO (660-542-6493)
              Missouri Subject   Dry       $140        $140     $0
                                 Wet       $72         $72      $0
CHS, Minneapolis, MN (800-769-1066)
Illinois      Dry                $140      $135         $5
Indiana       Dry                $140      $135         $5
Iowa          Dry                $125      $120         $5
Michigan      Dry                $145      $140         $5
Minnesota     Dry                $125      $120         $5
North Dakota  Dry                $125      $120         $5
New York      Dry                $140      $135         $5
South Dakota  Dry                $120      $115         $5
MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS (800-255-0302 Ext. 5253)
              Kansas             Dry       $135        $135     $0
POET Nutrition, Sioux Falls, SD (888-327-8799)
              Indiana            Dry       $145        $140     $5
              Iowa               Dry       $135        $135     $0
              Michigan           Dry       $125        $125     $0
              Minnesota          Dry       $130        $135    -$5
              Missouri           Dry       $150        $150     $0
              Ohio               Dry       $140        $140     $0
              South Dakota       Dry       $135        $135     $0
United BioEnergy, Wichita, KS (316-616-3521)
Kansas        Dry                $135      $135         $0
              Wet                $40       $40          $0
Illinois      Dry                $140      $140         $0
Nebraska      Dry                $135      $135         $0
              Wet                $40       $40          $0
U.S. Commodities, Minneapolis, MN (888-293-1640)
              Illinois           Dry       $135        $135     $0
              Indiana            Dry       $140        $140     $0
              Iowa               Dry       $130        $125     $5
              Michigan           Dry       $135        $135     $0
              Minnesota          Dry       $125        $125     $0
              Nebraska           Dry       $130        $130     $0
              New York           Dry       $150        $150     $0
              North Dakota       Dry       $135        $135     $0
              Ohio               Dry       $145        $150    -$5
              South Dakota       Dry       $125        $125     $0
              Wisconsin          Dry       $130        $130     $0
Valero Energy Corp, San Antonio Texas (210-345-3362) (210-345-3362)
Indiana       Dry                $136      $136         $0
Iowa          Dry                $125      $125         $0
Minnesota     Dry                $120      $120         $0
Nebraska      Dry                $135      $135         $0
Ohio          Dry                $140      $140         $0
South Dakota  Dry                $128      $128         $0
California    Dry                $195      $195         $0
Western Milling, Goshen, California (559-302-1074)
SUBJECT       California         Dry       $198        $195     $3
*Prices listed per ton.
              Weekly Average               $134        $133     $1
The weekly average prices above reflect only those companies DTN
collects spot prices from. States include: Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska,
Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan,
Wisconsin and Indiana. Prices for Pennsylvania, New York and
California are not included in the averages.

             VALUE OF DDG VS. CORN & SOYBEAN MEAL
               Settlement Price: Quote Date   Bushel Short Ton
                            Corn    9/5/2019 $3.4650   $123.75
                    Soybean Meal    9/5/2019 $288.70
   DDG Weekly Average Spot Price     $134.00
                      DDG Value Relative to:   9/5     8/29
                                        Corn 108.28%   103.52%
                                Soybean Meal  46.42%    45.55%
                   Cost Per Unit of Protein:
                                         DDG   $4.96     $4.93
                                Soybean Meal   $6.08     $6.15
Notes:
Corn and soybean prices take from DTN Market Quotes. DDG price
represents the average spot price from Midwest companies
collected on Thursday afternoons. Soybean meal cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 47.5. DDG cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 27.

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************
Trucking Hours of Service Temporarily Waived Ahead of Hurricane Dorian

   On Aug. 29, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued 
an emergency declaration for a temporary exemption of the hours of service 
(HOS) for motor carriers and drivers engaged in specific aspects of the 
emergency relief effort before and after the landfall of Hurricane Dorian.

   DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist Mike Palmerino noted on Sept. 2 that Hurricane 
Dorian would move dangerously close to the Florida east coast late Monday night 
through Wednesday evening and then move dangerously close to the Georgia and 
South Carolina coasts on Wednesday night and Thursday. "Dorian is an extremely 
dangerous category 4 hurricane. Although gradual weakening is forecast, Dorian 
is expected to remain a powerful hurricane during the next couple of days," 
added Palmerino.

   The emergency declaration applies to Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, 
Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, 
and U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

   The notice posted on the FMCSA website on Aug. 29:

   -- Acknowledges the current and anticipated damage from heavy rains, high 
surf, flooding and high winds in the affected states and jurisdictions, as set 
forth in Regional Declaration of Emergency 2019-005, as a result of Tropical 
Storm Dorian.

   -- Considers the interests of public safety and the immediate need to 
alleviate the effects of the storm.

   -- Creates no individual rights of action and establishes no precedent for 
future determinations.

   -- Is inapplicable to motor carriers whose operating authority registration 
is suspended or revoked.

   The FMCSA said the emergency declaration applies to truckers who are 
providing direct assistance for the immediate restoration of essential services 
(such as electrical, sewer, water and telecommunications) or essential supplies 
(such as food, water, medical supplies and fuel) and other hurricane relief 
items. 

   "These exemptions do not exempt drivers/carriers from the requirements 
relating to CDL, drug/alcohol, hazardous materials, size and weight, or 
state/federal registration and tax requirements," said the FMCSA. State 
regulations regarding size and weight, permits, taxes, etc. may not have been 
waived unless stated in a governor's declaration should one exist, and drivers 
and carriers should coordinate with state emergency officials before providing 
assistance, noted the FMCSA. 

   FMCSA made it clear that only truckers hauling relief items into the areas 
affected by Hurricane Dorian can be exempt. "Even if an emergency declaration 
is still in effect, the emergency must be on-going and you must be providing 
direct emergency assistance in order to be exempt from safety regulations," 
said the FMCSA. 

   In addition, the FMCSA noted, "even though safety regulations may be 
suspended, drivers and carriers are expected to use good judgment and not 
operate vehicles with fatigued or ill drivers or under any conditions 
presenting a clear hazard to other motorists using the highways."

   The declaration is effective through Oct. 28 unless it is extended or 
canceled.

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************
DTN Weekly Average DDG Price Strengthens

   OMAHA (DTN) -- The domestic distillers dried grains (DDG) weekly average 
spot price from the 40 locations DTN contacted was up $2 on average, at $133 
per ton, for the week ended Aug. 29. Prices continue to move higher as 
slowdowns and another plant closure are making supplies tight in some states. 
Feed buyers are inquiring about deferred prices, but some traders remain 
cautious due to the possibility of even more shutdowns and slowing production 
that could cut back DDG output further.

   Based on the average of prices collected by DTN, the value of DDG relative 
to corn for the week ended Aug. 29 was at 103.52% versus the three-year average 
of 106%. The value of DDG relative to soybean meal was at 45.55%. The cost per 
unit of protein for DDG was $4.93, compared to the cost per unit of protein for 
soybean meal at $6.15. 

   In its weekly export DDGS update, the U.S. Grains Council stated, 
"Merchandisers report that trade has been light this week with international 
buyers having largely filled near-term needs. FOB NOLA offers for September 
shipments are higher at $203/mt amid expectations that U.S. supplies will 
tighten this fall. Prices for 40-foot containers CIF Southeast Asia are $1/mt 
higher this week at $232/mt."


ALL PRICES SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION       CURRENT     PREVIOUS CHANGE
                                                      8/22/
COMPANY       STATE                     8/29/2019      2019
Bartlett and Company, Kansas City, MO (816-753-6300)
              Missouri           Dry       $140        $145    -$5
                                 Wet       $70         $73     -$3
Show Me Ethanol LLC, Carrollton, MO (660-542-6493)
              Missouri Subject   Dry       $140        $135     $5
                                 Wet       $72         $70      $2
CHS, Minneapolis, MN (800-769-1066)
Subject       Illinois           Dry       $135        $135     $0
Subject       Indiana            Dry       $135        $135     $0
Subject       Iowa               Dry       $120        $120     $0
Subject       Michigan           Dry       $140        $140     $0
Subject       Minnesota          Dry       $120        $120     $0
Subject       North Dakota       Dry       $120        $120     $0
Subject       New York           Dry       $135        $135     $0
Subject       South Dakota       Dry       $115        $115     $0
MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS (800-255-0302 Ext. 5253)
              Kansas             Dry       $135        $130     $5
POET Nutrition, Sioux Falls, SD (888-327-8799)
              Indiana            Dry       $140        $135     $5
              Iowa               Dry       $135        $130     $5
              Michigan           Dry       $125        $120     $5
              Minnesota          Dry       $130        $130     $0
              Missouri           Dry       $150        $145     $5
              Ohio               Dry       $140        $135     $5
              South Dakota       Dry       $135        $125    $10
United BioEnergy, Wichita, KS (316-616-3521)
Kansas        Dry                $135      $135         $0
              Wet                $40       $40          $0
Illinois      Dry                $140      $140         $0
Nebraska      Dry                $135      $135         $0
              Wet                $40       $40          $0
U.S. Commodities, Minneapolis, MN (888-293-1640)
              Illinois           Dry       $135        $135     $0
              Indiana            Dry       $140        $135     $5
              Iowa               Dry       $125        $125     $0
              Michigan           Dry       $135        $130     $5
              Minnesota          Dry       $125        $120     $5
              Nebraska           Dry       $130        $130     $0
              New York           Dry       $150        $150     $0
              North Dakota       Dry       $135        $135     $0
              Ohio               Dry       $150        $150     $0
              South Dakota       Dry       $125        $125     $0
              Wisconsin          Dry       $130        $130     $0
Valero Energy Corp, San Antonio Texas (210-345-3362) (210-345-3362)
Indiana       Dry                $136      $130         $6
Iowa          Dry                $125      $125         $0
Minnesota     Dry                $120      $120         $0
Nebraska      Dry                $135      $135         $0
Ohio          Dry                $140      $135         $5
South Dakota  Dry                $128      $128         $0
California    Dry                $195      $183        $12
Western Milling, Goshen, California (559-302-1074)
SUBJECT       California         Dry       $195        $188     $7
*Prices listed per ton.
              Weekly Average               $133        $131     $2
The weekly average prices above reflect only those companies DTN
collects spot prices from. States include: Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska,
Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan,
Wisconsin and Indiana. Prices for Pennsylvania, New York and
California are not included in the averages.

             VALUE OF DDG VS. CORN & SOYBEAN MEAL
               Settlement Price: Quote Date   Bushel Short Ton
                            Corn   8/29/2019 $3.5975   $128.48
                    Soybean Meal   8/29/2019 $292.00
   DDG Weekly Average Spot Price     $133.00
                      DDG Value Relative to:  8/29     8/22
                                        Corn 103.52%   100.97%
                                Soybean Meal  45.55%    44.60%
                   Cost Per Unit of Protein:
                                         DDG   $4.93     $4.85
                                Soybean Meal   $6.15     $6.18
Notes:
Corn and soybean prices take from DTN Market Quotes. DDG price
represents the average spot price from Midwest companies
collected on Thursday afternoons. Soybean meal cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 47.5. DDG cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 27.

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************
Options Are Friends, Not Foes

   Surveys show that many grain producers aren't comfortable with using 
options; however, options can be a helpful tool for managing risk and trying to 
enhance profit.

   An option is defined as the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell an 
underlying futures contract at a predefined and market-determined price by a 
certain date. When utilized properly, an option can protect cash or even allow 
more profits, with limited risk. Options can offset adverse price movements in 
the cash market or lock in floor prices. Options are a risk-reduction and 
profit-maximization tool that can augment any farm's risk management strategy. 

   In the simplest form, there are two options to talk about: calls and puts.

   Call options give the option buyer the right, but not the obligation, to 
assume a long position in a particular futures contract at a specified price 
for a specified period of time.

   Put options gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to assume a 
short position in a particular futures contract at a specified price for a 
specified time. 

   For the most part, as a farmer, it is probably wise to primarily be a buyer 
of options since buying options has limited and known risk, and unlimited 
profit potential until expiration. 

   Selling options, on the other hand, involves unlimited risk and a maximum 
profit equal to the premium received for selling the option. There are times, 
however, when selling a call can have its advantages. One of those times is 
with the Bonus Target contract, where long cash is the offset to the short 
call, as described in my Market Matters column on June 6 describing such a 
contract.

   Read that blog here: 
https://www.dtnpf.com/agriculture/web/ag/blogs/market-matters-blog/blog-post/201
9/06/06/bonus-target-contract-marketing-fit   

   In the corn market, it would seem that much of the bad supply news is in the 
market already, while demand -- which has been dismal -- is still up in the 
air. Yield, production and harvested corn acres all have a chance of going 
lower in September and October once the objective results come in. 

   Once you have corn contracted -- and that can be an unpriced contract, a 
basis contract or a priced contract -- your cash grain firm will often allow 
you to attach options to those contracts. 

   For instance, as of Friday's close, you can buy a December corn $3.60 put 
for a 10-cent premium or a $3.50 put for a 6-cent premium. While that sounds 
costly, you can also sell a December $4.00 call for a 6-cent premium in 
combination with either put.  

   If you bought the $3.60 put, that allows the right, but not the obligation, 
to get short December corn futures anytime between now and 89 days (Nov. 22 
expiration for December options) from now at $3.60. 

   If you simultaneously sold the $4.00 call, your cash corn would be the hedge 
against the sale of the call. If December corn goes above $4.00 by Nov. 22, you 
would be priced on your futures at $4.00. Basis is determined separately. If 
December corn went below $3.60, you would be priced at $3.60 futures less 4 
cents or $3.56. You paid 10 cents for the $3.60 put, but sold the $4.00 call 
and collected 6 cents, for a net cost of 4 cents per bushel. So, in effect, you 
are protected below $3.56 futures and are willing to sell your cash at $4.00 
all for a cost of 4 cents, leaving the upside open for 31 cents (figuring 
Friday's $3.69 close). 

   If you're willing to risk $3.50 on the downside, and still be satisfied with 
selling at $4.00 futures, then buying the $3.50 put and selling the $4.00 call 
could be done for zero cost. Your futures price will be no lower than $3.50, 
but your upside is capped at $4.00 (the strike price of the sold call). A cheap 
way to get some downside protection, while leaving some upside potential.

   A more costly alternative is that you can buy the put alone and be protected 
to the downside, while leaving the upside completely open until November in the 
event of a bullish surprise. 

   Perhaps one of the best reasons to buy options is that few people are 
bullish at the moment and option premiums are cheap. Much of the bad news is 
already in the corn market. Options, in their simplest form, are not something 
to fear, but a tool to utilize. And, more often than not, your cash grain 
company will accommodate your desire to protect your investment with the 
potential to add to your profits. 

   If you don't feel comfortable directly buying and selling options, you may 
want to reach out to your local grain company for similar cash contacts for 
consideration.

   Dana Mantini can be reached at dana.mantini@dtn.com 

   Follow him on Twitter @mantini_r 

******************************************************************************
DTN Weekly Average DDG Price Higher

   OMAHA (DTN) -- The domestic distillers dried grains (DDG) weekly average 
spot price from the 40 locations DTN contacted was up $1 at $131 per ton, for 
the week ended Aug. 22. The market is firming as prices are turning higher on 
reduced ethanol plant runtimes causing tight supplies in some regions.

   The Energy Information Administration reported at midweek that ethanol plant 
production dropped to the lowest level in 18 weeks for the week ended Aug. 15. 
Ethanol stocks decreased 516,000 barrels, 0.4% above than the same week in 
2018. 

   Based on the average of prices collected by DTN, the value of DDG relative 
to corn for the week ended Aug. 22 was at 100.97% versus the three-year average 
of 106%. The value of DDG relative to soybean meal was at 44.60%. The cost per 
unit of protein for DDG was $4.85, compared to the cost per unit of protein for 
soybean meal at $6.18. 

   In its weekly export DDGS update, the U.S. Grains Council stated, 
"International inquiries are active, especially from Vietnam, but exporters 
report slow sales. Barge CIF NOLA values are steady this week while FOB Gulf 
offers have fallen $6/metric ton (mt) for September shipment. Rail rates are 
$2-3/mt higher while prices for 40-foot containers are steady this week."


ALL PRICES SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION       CURRENT     PREVIOUS CHANGE
                                                      8/15/
COMPANY       STATE                     8/22/2019      2019
Bartlett and Company, Kansas City, MO (816-753-6300)
              Missouri           Dry       $145        $150    -$5
                                 Wet       $73         $75     -$2
Show Me Ethanol LLC, Carrollton, MO (660-542-6493)
              Missouri Subject   Dry       $135        $135     $0
                                 Wet       $70         $70      $0
CHS, Minneapolis, MN (800-769-1066)
              Illinois           Dry       $135        $135     $0
              Indiana            Dry       $135        $130     $5
              Iowa               Dry       $120        $115     $5
              Michigan           Dry       $140        $140     $0
              Minnesota          Dry       $120        $115     $5
              North Dakota       Dry       $120        $120     $0
              New York           Dry       $135        $135     $0
              South Dakota       Dry       $115        $115     $0
MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS (800-255-0302 Ext. 5253)
              Kansas             Dry       $130        $130     $0
POET Nutrition, Sioux Falls, SD (888-327-8799)
              Indiana            Dry       $135        $135     $0
              Iowa               Dry       $130        $130     $0
              Michigan           Dry       $120        $120     $0
              Minnesota          Dry       $130        $125     $5
              Missouri           Dry       $145        $140     $5
              Ohio               Dry       $135        $135     $0
              South Dakota       Dry       $125        $135    -$10
United BioEnergy, Wichita, KS (316-616-3521)
Kansas        Dry                $135      $135         $0
              Wet                $40       $40          $0
Illinois      Dry                $140      $135         $5
Nebraska      Dry                $135      $135         $0
              Wet                $40       $40          $0
U.S. Commodities, Minneapolis, MN (888-293-1640)
              Illinois           Dry       $135        $130     $5
              Indiana            Dry       $135        $135     $0
              Iowa               Dry       $125        $125     $0
              Michigan           Dry       $130        $130     $0
              Minnesota          Dry       $120        $120     $0
              Nebraska           Dry       $130        $122     $8
              New York           Dry       $150        $150     $0
              North Dakota       Dry       $135        $130     $5
              Ohio               Dry       $150        $150     $0
              South Dakota       Dry       $125        $125     $0
              Wisconsin          Dry       $130        $130     $0
Valero Energy Corp, San Antonio Texas (210-345-3362) (210-345-3362)
Indiana       Dry                $130      $130         $0
Iowa          Dry                $125      $125         $0
Minnesota     Dry                $120      $120         $0
Nebraska      Dry                $135      $135         $0
Ohio          Dry                $135      $135         $0
South Dakota  Dry                $128      $128         $0
California    Dry                $183      $178         $5
Western Milling, Goshen, California (559-302-1074)
SUBJECT       California         Dry       $188        $188     $0
*Prices listed per ton.
              Weekly Average               $131        $130     $1
The weekly average prices above reflect only those companies DTN
collects spot prices from. States include: Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska,
Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan,
Wisconsin and Indiana. Prices for Pennsylvania, New York and
California are not included in the averages.

             VALUE OF DDG VS. CORN & SOYBEAN MEAL
               Settlement Price: Quote Date   Bushel Short Ton
                            Corn   8/22/2019 $3.6325   $129.73
                    Soybean Meal   8/22/2019 $293.70
   DDG Weekly Average Spot Price     $131.00
                      DDG Value Relative to:  8/22     8/15
                                        Corn 100.97%   100.90%
                                Soybean Meal  44.60%    44.51%
                   Cost Per Unit of Protein:
                                         DDG   $4.85     $4.81
                                Soybean Meal   $6.18     $6.14
Notes:
Corn and soybean prices take from DTN Market Quotes. DDG price
represents the average spot price from Midwest companies
collected on Thursday afternoons. Soybean meal cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 47.5. DDG cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 27.

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************
USACE Running Out of Funds to Continue Critical Dredging Operations

   In my July 29 column, "Flooding Turns Mississippi River Into a Sandbox," I 
discussed the shoaling left behind on nearly the entire Mississippi River 
System by the 2019 flooding. I noted that the Army Corp of Engineers Rock 
Island District said that, normally, dredging costs them $2 million, but this 
year, they are paying $10 million, or five times more than normal.

   
(https://www.dtnpf.com/agriculture/web/ag/blogs/market-matters-blog/blog-post/20
19/07/29/flooding-turns-mississippi-river)

   On Aug. 12, the Army Corp of Engineers put out an SOS to the River Industry 
Executive Task Force (RIETF) that the Rock Island Engineer District would have 
to start removing dredges from the rivers on Aug. 17 due to a lack of funding. 

   According to an article in the Waterways Journal Aug. 19 newsletter, the 
district said it had not yet received emergency dredging funds allocated by 
Congress. They were referring to the June 6 Additional Supplemental 
Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019, in which Congress provided an 
additional $100 million for "emergency operations, repairs, and other 
activities in response to such disasters" above and beyond the Corps' usual 
appropriations.

   (https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/2157/text)

   Darin Adrian, RIETF co-chair, sent a letter to eight U.S. senators on Aug. 
13 warning about the funding for emergency dredging in the Rock Island District 
running out and urging Congress to direct the Corps to allocate the funds 
appropriated in the disaster relief act to avert additional disruptions to the 
nation's inland waterway transportation system.

   "The nation's waterway transportation system has been gravely harmed with 
river closures and severe tow restrictions throughout the system since late 
2018 due to unprecedented flooding," Adrian stated in the letter, the full text 
of which was published by American Commercial Barge Line in its daily online 
newsletter "American Currents." 

   "After 85 days of closure on the Upper Mississippi River and lengthy 
closures on most major rivers, barge traffic is finally moving," Adrian stated. 
"Despite the re-opening, barge traffic is still moving with restricted tows and 
random river closures. 

   "In fact, funding for emergency dredging in the Rock Island District will be 
exhausted in the coming days and the Corps anticipates that the Dredge Goetz 
will cease operations by Saturday, Aug. 17, due to lack of funding. We are 
requesting your help to ensure that the funds appropriated with the passage of 
H.R. 2157 -- Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act, 
2019 ($100 million) -- be made available immediately. The industry members of 
RIETF urges Congress to direct the Corps to allocate the funds to avert 
additional disruptions to the nation's inland waterway transportation system." 

   Adrian told senators that, without immediate action, over 20 reaches of the 
Mississippi River in the Rock Island District alone were in danger of closure 
by Aug. 17. He said RIETF also expected similar dredging issues to affect the 
St. Paul District, the St. Louis District, the Lower Mississippi, and other 
waterways in the near future if emergency funding wasn't distributed to the 
appropriate districts. 

   "If this vital segment of the Upper Mississippi River is not maintained to 
its fully authorized width and depth, the nation's heartland will face severe 
economic consequences," Adrian said.

   SHOALING MORE PROBLEMATIC THAN NORMAL IN 2019

   Dredging is not an unusual event on the river. The USACE St. Paul District 
notes on their website that sedimentation (shoaling) in navigational channels 
can be caused by the normal cycle of silt movement, erosion from high water or 
heavy rains and changes in river currents. To maintain the 9-foot navigation 
channel every shipping season, material that settles in the channel area is 
removed by mechanical or hydraulic dredging.

   However, the relentless flooding of 2019 left behind a big mess throughout 
the Mississippi River System and its navigable tributaries. Areas on the Upper 
Mississippi River have been shut down recently because of barge groundings or 
have seen slowdowns in traffic because of shoaling, even with the Corps 
dredging constantly over the entire summer so far. Dredging has also been 
started in the Lower Mississippi River after the floodwaters finally receded 
there.

   American Commercial Barge Line noted there are many problem spots on the 
Lower Mississippi, with the major one at Victoria Bend (LM 595). This area is 
restricted to daylight only for tows with 30 or more barges and there is 
currently not a dredge scheduled in this area to assist with this problem. 
Delays and slow transit in this area are expected to last until the end of the 
August.

   Another location causing problems for transit is LM 807 just below 
Blytheville, Arkansas, where the Mississippi River is very swift and boats are 
having issues making it through the area heading northbound without an assist 
boat. 

   On the Arkansas River, a major tributary of the Mississippi River, there is 
significant shoaling located at miles 222 and 350 with both areas being 
dredged, while dredges continue to work on problem areas above Van Buren (AK 
298), according to ACBL. 

   "There were barges stuck on ground holding the lock gate open at Lock 16 (AK 
366)," ACBL said. "In order to get the barges off ground and out of the way of 
the lock gate, the Corps had to drain the pool above the lock and in doing this 
they will lose the pool. It is then expected to take several weeks to close the 
locks and several more weeks for them to restore the pool. Given this 
information there is currently no estimation on when we will be able to reach 
Catoosa."

   I contacted the USACE Rock Island District late on Friday, Aug. 16, and 
asked if they had any update on the funding needed to keep dredging. They 
responded: "Our Operations Division Chief Tom Heinold confirmed earlier today 
that the Dredge Goetz has funding to operate through the weekend due to limited 
funding received from USACE St. Louis District. Beyond that, we do not have any 
further updates on supplemental funding."

   ACBL also noted late Friday afternoon in their newsletter, "The U.S. 
government has provided funding for dredging operations on the Upper 
Mississippi through the week of Aug. 18."

   Given that dredging will likely need to continue for many months along the 
entire river system, it is imperative that the funds allocated by H.R. 2157 are 
dispersed to all the districts in need so they can continue to keep the river 
safe for barges moving north and south.

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************
DTN Weekly Average DDG Price Lower

   OMAHA (DTN) -- The domestic distillers dried grains (DDG) weekly average 
spot price from the 40 locations DTN contacted was down $4, at $130 per ton, 
for the week ended Aug. 15. Prices moved lower after the limit-down close in 
corn Monday and the additional losses on Tuesday and Wednesday, as well as 
losses in the soymeal market pressuring feed prices.

   The Energy Information Administration reported midweek that ethanol 
inventory in the U.S. was higher for the week ended Aug. 9, rising for the 
sixth time in seven weeks, while domestic plant production continued higher.

   Based on the average of prices collected by DTN, the value of DDG relative 
to corn for the week ended Aug. 15 was at 100.90% versus the two-year average 
of 107.00%. The value of DDG relative to soybean meal was at 44.51%. The cost 
per unit of protein for DDG was $4.81, compared to the cost per unit of protein 
for soybean meal at $6.14. 

   In its weekly export DDGS update, the U.S. Grains Council stated, 
"Merchandisers note there is still some elevation for September shipments out 
of the Gulf, but expectations are that elevations will tighten like they have 
so far in August. Prices for DDGS CIF NOLA barge are near $169 per metric ton 
(MT) for September while FOB Gulf values are slightly lower at $187/MT for the 
same month. Prices for 40-foot containers to southeast Asia are slightly lower 
this week at $230/MT."


ALL PRICES SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION            CURRENT        PREVIOUS   CHANGE
COMPANY    STATE                             8/15/2019       8/8/2019
Bartlett and Company, Kansas City, MO (816-753-6300)
           Missouri                 Dry         $150           $155      -$5
                                    Wet         $75            $78       -$3
Show Me Ethanol LLC, Carrollton, MO (660-542-6493)
           Missouri Subject         Dry         $135           $135       $0
                                    Wet         $70            $70        $0
CHS, Minneapolis, MN (800-769-1066)
           Illinois                 Dry         $135           $140      -$5
           Indiana                  Dry         $130           $135      -$5
           Iowa                     Dry         $115           $120      -$5
           Michigan                 Dry         $140           $145      -$5
           Minnesota                Dry         $115           $120      -$5
           North Dakota             Dry         $120           $125      -$5
           New York                 Dry         $135           $140      -$5
           South Dakota             Dry         $115           $120      -$5
MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS (800-255-0302 Ext. 5253)
           Kansas                   Dry         $130           $135      -$5
POET Nutrition, Sioux Falls, SD (888-327-8799)
           Indiana                  Dry         $135           $145      -$10
           Iowa                     Dry         $130           $125       $5
           Michigan                 Dry         $120           $125      -$5
           Minnesota                Dry         $125           $125       $0
           Missouri                 Dry         $140           $150      -$10
           Ohio                     Dry         $135           $150      -$15
           South Dakota             Dry         $135           $140      -$5
United BioEnergy, Wichita, KS (316-616-3521)
           Kansas                   Dry         $135           $135       $0
                                    Wet         $40            $40        $0
           Illinois                 Dry         $135           $140      -$5
           Nebraska                 Dry         $135           $135       $0
                                    Wet         $40            $40        $0
U.S. Commodities, Minneapolis, MN (888-293-1640)
           Illinois                 Dry         $130           $135      -$5
           Indiana                  Dry         $135           $137      -$2
           Iowa                     Dry         $125           $130      -$5
           Michigan                 Dry         $130           $135      -$5
           Minnesota                Dry         $120           $125      -$5
           Nebraska                 Dry         $122           $130      -$8
           New York                 Dry         $150           $150       $0
           North Dakota             Dry         $130           $130       $0
           Ohio                     Dry         $150           $150       $0
           South Dakota             Dry         $125           $125       $0
           Wisconsin                Dry         $130           $130       $0
Valero Energy Corp, San Antonio Texas    (210-345-3362)     (210-345-3362)
           Indiana                  Dry         $130           $130       $0
           Iowa                     Dry         $125           $125       $0
           Minnesota                Dry         $120           $125      -$5
           Nebraska                 Dry         $135           $135       $0
           Ohio                     Dry         $135           $145      -$10
           South Dakota             Dry         $128           $128       $0
           California               Dry         $178           $185      -$7
Western Milling, Goshen, California (559-302-1074)
           California               Dry         $188           $195      -$7
*Prices listed per ton.
           Weekly Average                       $130           $134      -$4
The weekly average prices above reflect only those companies DTN
collects spot prices from. States include: Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska,
Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan,
Wisconsin and Indiana. Prices for Pennsylvania, New York and
California are not included in the averages.

   **


                     VALUE OF DDG VS. CORN & SOYBEAN MEAL
                        Settlement Price:   Quote Date      Bushel  Short Ton
                                     Corn      8/15/2019   $3.6075      $128.84
                             Soybean Meal      8/15/2019   $291.80
            DDG Weekly Average Spot Price        $130.00
                                  DDG Value Relative to:   8/15        8/8
                                                    Corn   100.90%       91.29%
                                            Soybean Meal    44.51%       45.45%
                               Cost Per Unit of Protein:
                                                     DDG     $4.81        $4.96
                                            Soybean Meal     $6.14        $6.21
Notes:
Corn and soybean prices take from DTN Market Quotes. DDG price
represents the average spot price from Midwest companies
collected on Thursday afternoons. Soybean meal cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 47.5. DDG cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 27.

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************
DTN National Average Soybean Basis Resembles Sunken Ship 

   Every weekday, DTN collects about 2,940 soybean bids from around the country 
and from those bids the national average basis is produced. If you look at DTN 
national average basis chart that coincides with this article, you will see 
that for the entire 2018-19 crop year, it has laid on the very bottom of the 
chart like a sunken ship in the deepest part of the ocean. 

   For the current 2018-19 crop year, which is soon to expire on Aug. 30, 
soybean basis has been pathetic. Much of that can be attributed to the trade 
war that has been going on between China and the U.S. for more than one year 
now. When the trade war started in mid-June 2018, shuttle basis for soybeans 
delivered to the Pacific Northwest (PNW) immediately disappeared. With the 
majority of soybean exports going to China off the PNW, the trade war shut 
those exports off and in turn left farmers in North Dakota, South Dakota and 
western Minnesota with no export market for their soybeans except to the Gulf.

   However, that Gulf soybean market became overwhelmed and basis weakened to 
that market as well. On top of that, logistics turned into a complete nightmare 
as flooding overwhelmed the Mississippi River system starting at the Gulf in 
January 2019 and overtaking the entire system through June. The flooding caused 
major closures of locks and dams and shut down the St. Louis Harbor numerous 
times, stopping all barge traffic. When the river finally reopened, the backup 
of barges caused traffic jams up and down the river.

   SALES SLOWLY PICKED UP ONLY TO BE STOPPED AGAIN

   There was a glimmer of hope in December 2018 with China buying U.S. 
soybeans, their first major purchases in six months. In early 2019, China 
state-owned firms purchased U.S. soybeans a day after talks between the U.S. 
and China showed progress towards a trade deal, with a commitment from China to 
buy more U.S. soybeans as a measure of "good will."

   In late June 2019, the USDA reported export sales of 544,000 metric tons of 
soybeans for delivery to China during the 2018-19 marketing year. On Aug. 1, 
the USDA announced U.S. soybeans sold to China, the first since late June and 
the first since the Chinese government offered to exempt five private crushers 
in the country from the 25% import tariffs on U.S. beans arriving by the end of 
2019. However, that same announcement included an even larger cancellation of 
soybeans previously purchased by China.

   Then, all hell broke loose shortly after noon CDT on Aug. 1 when President 
Trump announced on Twitter that he would impose a new 10% tariff on $300 
billion of Chinese goods, set for Sept. 1, with China's failed promises to buy 
U.S. goods as one of the reasons. That news sent the soybean basis on the PNW 
to drop as much as 30 cents, once again causing the basis in the areas that 
ship to the PNW to weaken basis for their farmers.

   To add salt to that open wound, various news organizations reported that 
China's Ministry of Commerce said in a posting online that Chinese companies 
suspended purchases of U.S. agricultural products, saying suspension would 
continue until the U.S. created the necessary conditions for cooperation 
between the two nations.

   BASIS BIDS BETTER IN PARTS OF THE MIDWEST 

   Angie Setzer, vice president of Grain Citizens LLC, Charlotte, Michigan, 
told me on Aug. 9 that, "in our area we've actually seen basis strengthen as a 
lot of what was intended to get planted to beans was either not able to get 
into the ground or went in way later than normal. The later-than-normal 
planting has obviously increased concerns over what an early frost would mean." 

   Setzer added that the supply uncertainty, coupled with a new 
40-million-bushel-per-year crushing plant going online, has created strength in 
basis not seen the last couple of years. "There are still a decent number of 
beans on the farm, but those are currently being held in relatively tight hands 
as well. Many farmers are waiting to see what they are going to produce or what 
the market is going to do before making sales. Many commercials are making sure 
we will have a decent crop before liquidating their remaining supplies as well."

   As for basis in the areas that rely on a strong soybean export program on 
the PNW, basis has weakened further after China said they would stop U.S. 
soybean purchases.

   A manager of a shuttle basis facility in central North Dakota told me that 
when the China talks failed and the new tariff was announced, the PNW tanked 
and moved to the equivalent of a St Louis bid. He said that while there was a 
rail rate for St. Louis put in place when the tariff war began, that rate to 
St. Louis only runs through August. 

   He noted that many shuttle loaders there have weakened local basis and when 
I checked websites of the shuttle loaders in eastern North Dakota, the nearby 
basis bids were $1.30 to $1.35 under the November futures, with new-crop basis 
posted at $1.40 under November futures.

   "Maybe we lose the eastern bean crop and they pull beans over the river," he 
added. Should that happen, and if the railroad extends the rates out of his 
area to St. Louis, that could give some hope to the farmers in the U.S. 
Northern Plains. 

   However, soybeans shipped out of St. Louis to the Gulf rely on a strong 
export market and for this crop year, that hasn't been the case. In the Aug. 8 
weekly export sales and shipment report, USDA noted that 2018-19 soybean export 
commitments are down 17% from one year ago for that same timeframe. 

   The Wall Street Journal noted in an Aug. 2 article that recent U.S. Census 
Bureau data showed that U.S. exports to China fell 19% for the first half of 
the year, as "tit-for-tat tariffs and other barriers imposed by Washington and 
Beijing took their toll." After holding the top spot among U.S. trading 
partners from 2015 to 2018, China now sits at No. 3 and is smaller than Mexico 
for the first time since 2005, noted the article.

   In the meantime, it appears the DTN national average soybean basis will end 
the current crop year at its lowest level in five years. 

   The way things are looking now, it will likely start the new crop year on 
the bottom, right where it left off, with little hope of it being salvaged 
anytime soon.

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com 

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************

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