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Trump administration expected to issue waivers to oil refineries for 2019 compliance

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 7:41 AM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Outgoing U.S. Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer wants his successor, Katherine Tai and the Biden Administration to continue a tough stance when it comes to trade deals with China. Lighthizer said in an interview in the Wall Street Journal that the new Administration should keep the tariffs on the $370 billion worth of Chinese goods exported to the United States. He added that the U.S. should continue to deal unilaterally with China since bringing other countries into the mix only slows down progress. He also said he thinks his successor will do a good job since she brought a lot of Democrats to the table to get the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade deal done last year.

The ethanol industry isn’t happy that the U.S. Supreme Court is getting involved in the small refinery waiver squabble. Last Friday the Court said it would review the ability of small refineries to win those waivers from the Environmental Protection Agency under the Renewable Fuels Act. Earlier the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that 3 of those refineries weren’t eligible for the exemptions. Late word from the EPA also indicates that before giving up power, the Trump Administration will grant some waivers to oil refiners for the 2019 compliance year. There are currently 32 pending waiver requests before the EPA for 2019. When questioned by the Washington media, EPA officials wouldn’t acknowledge that they are considering any waivers but an announcement is expected by the end of this week.

Yesterday’s YSDA Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Report lowered everything but commodity prices. The 2020 corn crop is now put at 14.18 billion bushels on yields of 172 bushels an acre—both figures below what grain traders were expecting. Figuring total usage, the report puts ending corn stocks at 1.55 billion bushels—down from 1.7 billion in December. The average corn price was increased in the report by 20 cents a bushel—looking for $4.20 a bushel. The size of the soybean crop was also down—by 35 million bushels to 4.13 billion bushels on yields of just over 50 bushels an acre—about 5 bushels an acre less than in the December report. USDA economists also lowered soybean ending stocks by 35 million bushels—down to 140 million. The average soybean price this year is now pegged at $11.15—up 20 cents from the December estimate.

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