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3 Big Things Today, June 17

Grains, Soybeans Surge in Overnight Trading; Money Managers Most Bullish on Corn This Year.

1. Grains, Soybeans Jump Overnight on Weather Concerns

Corn and soybeans jumped in overnight trading Monday amid forecasts for more wet weather.

As much as six times the normal amount of rain has fallen in parts of the Midwest in the past month, according to the National Weather Service, delaying planting and, in some cases, preventing farmers from getting their crops in the ground.

About 83% of U.S. corn was seeded as of last week, behind the prior five-year average of 99% for this time of year, while 60% of soybeans were in the ground, well behind the normal 88%, the USDA said.

The USDA will update its crop progress numbers in a report Monday.

Growers had a chance to plant for a few days last week, but more rainfall at the end of last week and forecasts for storms all of this week likely will keep them out of fields for the foreseeable future.

Flood warnings and watches are in effect from Illinois to the East Coast as severe thunderstorms are expected, the NWS said.

Corn futures for May delivery rose 9¼¢ to $4.62 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybeans for May delivery jumped 16¢ to $9.13 a bushel overnight. Soy meal added $3.30 to $326.80 a short ton, while soy oil gained 0.45¢ to 28.06¢ a pound.

Wheat for May delivery surged 9¢ to $5.47½ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City wheat gained 9¢ to $4.85¼ a bushel.

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2. Money Managers Most Bullish on Corn Since December Due to Rainfall

Money managers are the most bullish they’ve been on corn since December, as wet weather delayed planting and curbed acres in the U.S.

Speculators held a net-long position, or bets on higher prices, totaling 121,742 futures contracts on June 11, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. That’s up from 95,262 futures contracts the previous week and the largest such position since the seven days that ended on December 18.  

Investors also reduced their net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, in soybeans to 88,889 futures contracts last week, down from 90,820 seven days earlier. That’s the smallest net-short position since April 9, data from the CFTC show.

Extremely wet weather left some farmers unable to plant their corn, while continued rainfall expected this week likely will further delay corn and soybean planting.

In wheat, money managers reduced their net-short positions in hard red winter futures to 24,397 contracts, down from 25,160 contracts the previous week.

Investors turned bullish on soft red winter futures contracts, boosting their positions to a net-long of 5,274 contracts. A week earlier, they held 12,080 net-short positions in soft red winter.

That’s the largest net-long position since September, according to the CFTC.

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. Rainfall From Nebraska East This Week Likely to Further Delay What’s Left of Planting

Rainfall that will delay any planting that’s left is expected in much of the U.S. Midwest this week, according to the National Weather Service.

In parts of central and eastern Nebraska, chances of thunderstorms remain throughout the day into tonight. Strong storms are forecast for locations north of Interstate 80 where quarter-size hail and wind gusts near 60 mph are expected, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

More than an inch of rain is expected in some areas, which could lead to lowland flooding. Rainfall chances remain for the rest of the week in the area, the agency said.

Farther east, flood watches and warnings are in effect for a stretch of land from southern Illinois to the East Coast.

In southern Indiana, a flood warning is in effect for several counties due to heavy rain. Thunderstorms are possible in the region today and tonight. A “stalling” weather system will bring several rounds of storms to the area throughout the week.

“Lightning and locally heavy rain are threats from any storm,” the NWS said. “Repeated rounds of rainfall, heavy at times, could lead to moderate widespread flooding this week.”

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