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Wheat Closes Higher as Investors Reduce Net-Short Positions

Wheat closed higher as investors who were net-short, or had bet on lower prices, buy back contracts amid demand news. 

U.S. exporters sold 362, 000 metric tons in the week that ended on Jan. 14, a 32% increase from the prior seven days, the Department of Agriculture said on Friday. 

Egypt, the world’s biggest importer of the grain, also was in the market for wheat last week. While the North African country didn’t buy from the U.S., any purchases will cut into burdensome global inventories. 

Money managers last week reduced their net-short positions in soft-red and hard-red winter wheat varieties by 4.4% in the week that ended on Jan. 19, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. 

Weather in several countries has been fairly benign, and it looks like that may not change. Overnight rains reduced concerns about dry weather in Argentina, and in China, warmer weather will reduce the risk of winterkill, according to Commodity Weather Group.

Chicago wheat futures for March delivery rose 6 cents to $4.81 1/2 a bushel on the Board of Trade. Kansas City futures gained 3 1/4 cents to $4.74 a bushel. 

Corn and beans closed mixed as investors weigh demand news against declining crude oil futures. 

Corn sales last week rose 73% from the prior seven-day period. 

West Texas Intermediate crude oil plunged 6.1% while Brent futures were down 5.5%. 

Corn futures for March delivery fell 3/4 cents to $3.69 1/2 a bushel on the CBOT. 

Soybeans for March delivery gained 3 1/2 cents to $8.80 a bushel. Soymeal added $4.20 to $272.70 per short ton, and soyoil futures fell 0.10 cent to 30.40 cents a pound. 

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