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3 Big Things Today, April 24

Soybeans, Corn Rise Overnight; Money Managers Increase Bets on Lower Prices.

1. Soybeans, Grains Higher Overnight as Dollar Drops Almost 1%

Soybeans jumped and grains were higher overnight as the dollar plunged, making U.S. supplies more attractive to overseas buyers.

The dollar fell almost 1% in trading as investors focus on geopolitical issues. Emmanuel Macron won the first round of the French presidential election over Marine Le Pen, the controversial far-right candidate, and several other contenders. Macron and Le Pen will face off in the general election in two weeks and thoughts are that he’ll pick up votes from the candidates who failed to advance.

That, in turn, curbed the value of the dollar as the euro increased. A weaker greenback gives overseas buyers more purchasing power and generally means improved demand for U.S. supplies.

Soybean futures for July delivery rose 7¢ to $9.67¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal added $1.90 to $315.50 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.29¢ to 32.45¢ a pound.

Corn futures for July delivery gained 1¾¢ to $3.65½ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures for July delivery rose 3½¢ to $4.24½ a bushel in Chicago, and Kansas City wheat added 2¾¢ to $4.20 a bushel in Chicago.


2. Money Managers Raise Bets on Lower Corn, Bean Prices to Highest in a Year

Money managers pushed bets on lower corn and soybean prices to the highest level in more than a year, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Speculative investors were net-short 160,377 corn futures contracts in the week that ended on April 18, the CFTC said in a report. That’s up from 147,243 a week earlier and the biggest such position in just over a year.

Investors were net-short 49,190 soybean contracts last week, up from 33,963 a week earlier, according to the government. That’s the biggest net-short position since March of last year.

Money managers have been increasing their bets on lower prices for corn and soybeans in recent weeks amid rising global production and inventories.

Corn production globally is pegged at 1.05 billion metric tons, the most ever, while inventories are expected to jump to 223 million tons, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Soybean output is seen at 346 million metric tons, while inventories worldwide are projected at 87.4 million tons.

Investors also raised net-shorts in soft red winter wheat to 154,345 contracts, up from 140,835 a week ago. Bets against hard red winter wheat rose to 15,072 contracts from 12,009 a week earlier, 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. Wind Advisories in Effect for Kansas, Missouri; Wisconsin May See Thunderstorms This Week

Wind advisories are in effect this morning for the eastern half of Kansas and the western half of Missouri.

The strongest wind gusts of up to 45 mph are expected this morning, carrying into the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. Sustained gusts are seen from 25 to 30 mph.

Elsewhere, the weather in Wisconsin looks interesting. There’s calls for “near-critical fire weather conditions … this afternoon,” while a flood watch is in effect starting tomorrow morning, according to the NWS.

“Recent and future rains may cause some rivers to rise to minor flood stage,” the NWS said. “Thunderstorms are possible across southeast Wisconsin on Wednesday, and there is a marginal risk that some storms may be severe.”

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