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3 Big Things Today, February 18

Grain Markets Closed Monday; Speculators More Bullish on Corn in Week Through Jan. 22

1. Grain Markets Closed For Presidents Day

The Chicago Board of Trade is closed in observance of Presidents Day. Overnight trading will resume at 7 p.m. Monday, according to CME Group.

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2. Investors Raise Bullish Bets on Corn, Reduce Bearishness in Beans in Week Through Jan. 22

Money managers increased their net-long positions, or bets on higher prices, in corn futures for the week that ended on Jan. 22, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which is still playing catchup from the government shutdown.

Speculators raised their bullish bets on corn futures to 33,319 contracts during the week, up from 15,694 contracts the previous week, the CFTC said in a report. That’s still less than half their net-long position of 70,160 futures contracts two weeks prior.

Investors held 15,294 net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, in soybeans. That’s down slightly, however, from 16,698 futures contracts the previous week, government data show.

Money managers were less bearish on wheat as well.

Net-shorts in hard red winter wheat dropped to 5,380 futures contracts in the week through Jan. 22, down from 14,409 contracts seven days earlier, the CFTC said.

For soft-red winter wheat, investors reduced their bearish bets to 8,541 futures contracts, down from 15,708 contracts the prior week.

The CFTC will continue to release their weekly commitment of traders reports on Tuesdays and Fridays until they’re caught up from the shutdown, after which they agency will go back to its normal schedule of releasing the report on Fridays.

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. Nebraska, Iowa Facing More Snow After Most-Recent Winter Storm, NWS Says

More snow is expected in parts of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa this week with another 6 inches possible on top of what’s already fallen, according to the National Weather Service.

The eastern half of Nebraska looks like it’s in for another 3 to 5 inches of snow starting tomorrow, the agency said. Iowa, however, will get the worst of the storm.

“Snow looks to develop late Tuesday afternoon over southwest Iowa and quickly move northeast during the evening hours,” the NWS said in a report early this morning. “The moderate to heavy snow is expected to persist into Wednesday morning. Intense snowfall rates are possible and even though the winds remain light, visibility restrictions are likely and road conditions look to rapidly deteriorate.”

Further east, freezing drizzle and light snow are expected this morning in parts of central Indiana, the agency said. More ice will fall along with an inch or two of snow starting tomorrow.

“A system moving northeast out of the Plains will bring chances for snow, freezing rain and then rain to central Indiana Tuesday night and Wednesday,” the NWS said. “After that, chances for rain arrive for the weekend.”

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