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3 Big Things Today, February 20

Trading Closed For Presidents’ Day; Money Managers Boost Corn Bets to Highest Since June.

1. Markets Closed to Observe Presidents’ Day Holiday

The Chicago Board of Trade is closed for the Presidents’ Day holiday on Monday. Overnight trading will resume at its normal hour this evening.  

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2. Money Managers Extend Net Longs in Corn to Highest Level Since June

Money managers held their largest net-long positions in corn since late June last week amid a general uptick in commodities buying.

Speculative investors were net long 174,704 futures contracts in corn, the biggest such positions since the week that ended on June 28, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Investors are bullish on corn amid strong demand for the grain and interest in commodities.

Net longs in soybeans, wheat, and oil all increased, CFTC data show.

Investors were net long 174,704 soybean contracts in the week that ended last Tuesday, up from 156,308 the prior week, according to the government.

Bets on higher prices rose to 27,479 futures contracts in hard red winter wheat, the biggest such position in more than two years. Net shorts, or bets on lower prices, in soft red winter wheat were cut by almost half last week to 48,122 contracts, the CFTC said.

Overseas buyers have purchased 42 million metric tons of corn since the start of its marketing year on September 1, up 63% from the same time frame a year earlier, data from the Department of Agriculture show. Soybean importers have increased purchases year over year by 24% to 51.7 million tons.

Wheat sales since the start of the marketing year on June 1 are up 39% to 24.2 million tons, according to the USDA.

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3. Eastern Iowa May See Unseasonably Warm, Rainy Weather to Start Week

Unseasonably warm temperatures and wet weather are expected in parts of eastern Iowa today, bringing up to 1 inch of rain to the area that could potentially cause flooding.

“These rains will be falling on wet and thawing grounds, with many soils still frozen a few inches below the surface,” the National Weather Service said. “These soil conditions are going to be favorable for more runoff than normal, especially from higher rainfall rates in any thunderstorm.”

Most waterways are already higher than normal due to recent rounds of melting snow, so the rain could create ponding in some low-lying areas, according to the agency. Minor flooding is likely in some areas through the middle of the week.

In eastern Nebraska, isolated thunderstorms are possible today. Starting tomorrow, however, the weather is expected to turn dry, creating a risk of fire danger for the rest of the week. A snow storm is expected late in the week, though the amount of snow expected isn’t yet known, the NWS said.

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