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3 Big Things Today, April 15

Soybeans, Corn Higher Overnight; Money Managers Raise Bearish Bets on Corn, Beans.

1. Soybeans, Grains Higher Overnight on Trade Optimsim

Soybeans and corn were higher in overnight trading amid optimism about negotiations between the U.S. and China.

The U.S. reportedly eased its demand that China curb some subsidies in a bid to come to an agreement, according to media reports. CNBC reported that industrial subsidies are part of China’s long-term industrial plan, making it difficult for them to halt subsidies.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said over the weekend he hopes negotiations end soon and that negotiators were near a final round of talks, according to Reuters.

The sides have met several times in the past few months to attempt to hammer out a trade deal between the world’s two largest economies.

Soybeans for May delivery rose 3¼¢ to $8.98½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal added $1.60 to $309.50 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.07¢ to 28.88¢ a pound.

Corn futures rose 2¢ to $3.63 a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures for May delivery fell 2½¢ to $4.62 a bushel overnight, while Kansas City wheat gained lost 3½¢ to $4.37¾ a bushel.

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2. Money Managers Raise Bearish Bets on Corn, Soybeans in Week Through April 9

Money managers increased their bearish bets on corn and soybeans in the week that ended on April 9, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Speculators held 289,859 net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, in corn futures contracts last week, up from 263,768 net-shorts seven days earlier, the CFTC said in a report. That’s the biggest bearish position in at least five years, government data show.

Investors held 70,734 net-short positions in soybean futures contracts last week, the agency said. That’s up from 69,153 contracts the previous week and the largest such position since March 12.

The ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and China have dragged on, leading some market-watchers to worry about when such an agreement will be signed. The USDA on April 9 raised its forecasts for global stockpiles of both corn and soybeans from its March projections.

In wheat, money managers reduced their net-short positions to 48,997 futures contracts in hard red winter varieties last week, down from 50,554 contracts the previous week.

Investors were net-short by 58,958 soft red winter wheat futures contracts as of April 9, down slightly from 57,883 such positions seven days earlier, the CFTC said.

The Weekly Commitment of Traders Report from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission shows trader positions in futures markets.

The report provides positions held by commercial traders, or those using futures to hedge their physical assets; noncommercial traders, or money managers (also called large speculators); and nonreportables, or small speculators.

A net-long position indicates more traders are betting on higher prices, while a net-short position means more are betting futures will decline.

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3. Frost Advisory in Effect For Parts of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana; Flooding Continues

A frost advisory is in effect for parts of eastern Missouri, southern Illinois, and southern Indiana this morning as temperatures remain in the low-30s, according to the National Weather Service.

While some agricultural products could be affected by the frost, the NWS said in a report early this morning, it’s unlikely any wheat in the area will be damaged as temperatures generally have to be at least below freezing for a sustained amount of time to hurt crops.

Flooding continues in the region, meanwhile, as the Mississippi River continues to flood from Iowa south all the way into the Gulf of Mexico.

Adding to the woes in the region, there’s another chance for thunderstorms late Tuesday night through Thursday. Some of the storms may become severe on Wednesday and Thursday, the NWS said.

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