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3 Big Things Today, January 9

Beans, Corn Slightly Higher Overnight; Money Managers Reduce Bets on Higher Soybean Prices

1. Beans, Corn Modestly Higher Overnight Amid Bargain Hunting

Soybeans futures were slightly higher in overnight trading on Monday as bargain hunters jump in to buy contracts after prices dropped to end last week.

Bean futures closed 17 cents lower on Friday and corn futures dropped more than 3 cents after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said sales of both commodities fell to marketing-year lows in the last week of December.

Sales of corn fell to 429,200 metric tons and soybean sales dropped 91% week-over-week to a paltry 87,500 metric tons. Wheat sales also came in at a marketing year low of 183,700 tons.

Soybeans for March delivery rose ¾ cent to $9.95 ½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal futures were unchanged at $311.30 a short ton and soy oil futures added 0.07 cent to 35.05 cents a pound.

Corn futures for March delivery added 1 ¾ cents to $3.59 ¾ a bushel overnight in Chicago.

Wheat for March delivery in Chicago gained 4 ¼ cents to $4.27 ½ a bushel and Kansas City futures added 4 cents to $4.37 ½ a bushel.

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2. Speculators Reduce Bets on Higher Soybeans Amid Favorable South American Outlook

Speculative investors and fund managers cut their bets on higher soybean prices to the lowest since mid-November, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in a report.

Money managers were net long by 98,254 soybean contracts in the week that ended on Jan. 3, the lowest level since mid-November and down from 109,602 contracts the prior week, according to the CFTC.

Recent rains in parts of Argentina and Brazil have improved the outlook for crops in both countries, weather forecasters have said. Large crops from South America would boost already-large global output and inventories.

US growers recently harvested 15.2 billion bushels of corn and 4.36 billion bushels of soybeans, both records, after favorable weather during the growing season, according to the USDA.

Corn traders were surprisingly bullish, reducing their net-short positions, or bets that prices would fall, to 94,034 contracts from 109,602 the prior week, CFTC data show.

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3. Warmer Weather Returns to Southern Plains; Indiana, Michigan to See Freezing Rain

Warm weather will return to the southern Plains after a long cold snap that may have damaged some winter wheat in the region.

Temperatures are expected to be in the 60s or 70s this week, though winds will be quite strong, up to 30 miles an hour sustained, the National Weather Service said in a report on Monday morning.

In the Midwest, snow and freezing rain are expected today in parts of Indiana and southern Michigan, changing to rain overnight, the NWS w. Snow accumulations are expected to be an inch or less, but ice will build up on the cold ground.

“Significant rainfall” is expected for areas west of Interstate 69 later this week with 1 to 2 inches falling, the agency said. That, in turn, may lead to flooding in parts of northern Indiana late this week.  

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