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3 Big Things Today, February 13

Soybeans Lower in Overnight Trading; Investors Push Corn Bets to Seven-Month High.

1. Soybeans Lower Overnight Amid Favorable Argentina Weather

Soybeans were lower in overnight trading as the weather in Argentina continues to be favorable.

Rains expanded last week in parts of northern and western Argentina and will remain focused on corn and soybean regions in the next week, according to Commodity Weather Group. Rains elsewhere also will help crops, the forecaster said.

One weather model shows favorable weather in the country in the next 16 to 30 days, “maintaining high corn/soy yield potential in most areas,” CWG said. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange and the U.S. Department of Agriculture both raised their forecasts for production in Argentina last week.

Soybean futures for March delivery fell 6¢ to $10.53 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal declined 70¢ to $341.40 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.27¢ to 34.34¢ a pound.

Corn futures fell ¾¢ to $3.73¾ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures for March delivery declined 2½¢ to $4.46½ a bushel. Kansas City futures dropped 1¼¢ to $4.59¼ a bushel.

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2. Money Managers Push Bets on Higher Corn Prices to Largest Since July

Net-long positions, or bets on higher prices, in corn futures rose to the highest level in seven months last week, as ethanol production ramps up, improving domestic demand for the grain.

Money manager were net long 35,917 contracts as of February 7, the biggest such position since July, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Ethanol companies produced 1.055 million barrels a day, on average, in the week that ended on February 3. That’s slightly below the prior week’s record of 1.061 million barrels but still the second-highest on record, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Speculative investors were net long 156,308 soybean contracts last week, down slightly from the prior week’s 159,467, the CFTC said.

Net-long positions in hard red winter wheat rose modestly to 17,687 contracts, up from 17,370 a week earlier, while net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, in soft red winter futures declined to 91,818 contracts from 107,726, the agency said.

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3. Southern Plains Weather Swings From Red-Flag Warning to Winter Storm Warning

The Southern Plains has seen some extreme weather in the past few days, going from a red-flag warning where conditions were too dry last week to a winter storm warning today.

The warning is in effect for much of eastern New Mexico today, and a winter storm advisory is in effect for most of the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles, according to the National Weather Service.

In New Mexico, up to 10 inches of snow are expected in higher elevations with about half that in lower regions, the NWS said in a report. The snowfall will begin to diminish this evening. Winds will be strong from 15 to 25 mph.

In Oklahoma and Texas, the winter advisory is in effect from 6 a.m. today until 6 p.m. tomorrow. Up to 4 inches of snow are expected to fall, according to the NWS.

“Expect areas of light snow to begin developing this morning, with accumulating snow becoming likely after 6 p.m. this evening,” the agency said in a report early Monday. Snow – at times mixed with sleet, freezing rain, or rain – will remain possible through Tuesday.

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