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3 Big Things Today, July 25

Corn, Beans Little Changed Overnight; Money Managers See Lower Prices.

1. Corn, Beans Little Changed as Investors Watch Weather; Wheat Rises

Corn and beans were little changed in overnight trading as investors sit back and watch the weather in the U.S.

A so-called heat dome that settled over much of the Midwest and Plains and is bringing triple-digit temperatures looks to be moving on, though hot weather is expected to persist in some areas with the heat index well into the triple digits, according to the National Weather Service.

Cooler temperatures would help plants that have been inundated with hot, humid weather for the past several days. Rainfall in many parts of the Corn Belt have kept plants from drying, though the heat has left fields dusty in some parts of Michigan, northern Indiana, and Ohio.

Corn futures for December delivery rose 1¢ to $3.42¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybean futures for November delivery gained ¼¢ to $9.88½ a bushel. Soy meal futures for December delivery rose $1.70 to $343.40 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.27¢ to 30.43¢ a pound.

Wheat futures for September delivery rose 6¾¢ to $4.32 a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City wheat added 6¼¢ to $4.25¼ a bushel.

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2. Money Managers Betting Against Corn, Bean Prices as Wet Weather Offsets Heat

Speculative investors added to their net-short positions in corn and lowered their net-long positions in soybeans to the lowest level in more than three months, betting wet weather offset the effects of hot, dry weather the past several days.

Speculative investors in the week that ended on July 19 were net-short 29,758 corn contracts, up from 5,886 contracts last week and the largest such position since April 15, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in a report today. A net-short position means investors hold more short contracts, or bets on lower prices, than they do long contracts, or bets on higher prices.

Speculators lowered their net-long positions in soybeans to 113,276 contracts, down from 128,813 a week earlier, the lowest such position since the week that ended on April 15, CFTC data show.

Rainfall has kept plants from drying out in many areas even as heat indexes topped 110˚F. in some areas. Parts of the eastern Midwest remain dry as they received only small amounts of rainfall in the past two weeks, but crop conditions have remained steady. Growing areas in Iowa and Illinois, the biggest producers, have received as much as six times normal amounts of rainfall in the past 14 days, according to the National Weather Service.

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3. Heat Dome Moves East as Cooler, Rainy Weather Expected This Week

The heat dome that had been causing heat indexes topping 110˚F. in some parts of the U.S. is moving to the east and exiting the Corn Belt, according to the National Weather Service.

While temperatures will remain seasonably warm, the extreme heat looks to have moved to the East Coast, where it will cause the same sort of temperatures experienced in the Midwest for the past week to 10 days.

Cooler weather is on the way for much of the Central and Southern Plains, Ohio Valley into the northeast today, the National Weather Service said.

Showers are expected this week in parts of Iowa and Illinois. Temperatures in central Illinois are forecast to decline with highs in the low 80s later this week, while chances or rainfall rise steadily. Dry parts of southern Michigan and northern Indiana also may see rain later this week, the NWS said.

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