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3 Big Things Today, June 5

Wheat Futures Lower Overnight; Money Managers More Bearish on Soybeans, Corn.

1. Wheat Futures Lower After Informa Says Output to Top USDA Estimates

Wheat futures were lower in overnight trading after Informa said U.S. winter wheat production likely will top government estimates.

Informa pegged the winter wheat crop at 1.269 billion bushels, topping the Department of Agriculture’s forecast by 23 million bushels. Still, that’s well below last year’s 1.67 billion bushels.

Winter wheat growers planted the fewest acres since 1909, according to the USDA, which has pegged output at the lowest since 2002.

Corn and beans were little changed, as continued dry weather in much of the Midwest likely allowed many growers to get back into fields over the weekend after incessant rain the past few weeks. Some areas, however, are still wet or simply too muddy to get into.

Wheat futures for July delivery fell 1¢ to $4.28½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City wheat declined 2¢ to $4.31¼ a bushel in Chicago.

Corn futures for July delivery were unchanged at $3.72¾ a bushel overnight.

Soybeans were also unchanged at $9.21¼ a bushel in Chicago. Soy meal fell 50¢ to $301.40 a short ton, and soy oil rose 0.09¢ to 31.10¢ a pound.

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2. Speculators Extend Bets Against Soybeans, Remain Slightly Bullish on HRW Wheat

Money managers extended bets on low soybean prices to multiyear lows while staying bullish on hard red winter wheat for the fifth straight week.

Speculators and fund managers pushed net-short positions, or bets that prices will fall, to 93,790 contracts, up from 69,775 contracts last week, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Investors have been net short on soybeans every week since the start of April.

Money managers also increased their net-short positions in corn to 198,114 contracts last week, up from 173,188 the prior week, the government said.

Hard red winter wheat is the only grain on which investors are bullish. Speculators raised their net-long positions to 1,981 contracts last week, up from 1,686 contracts seven days earlier.

Speculative investors were net short 121,605 soft red winter wheat contracts, up from 120,701 contracts a week earlier, according to the USDA.

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. Wet Weather Expected on Eastern, Western Fringes of Midwest Though Region Mostly Dry

Wet weather will make a return to parts of the Midwest today, though the bulk of the Corn Belt is forecast to be dry, according to the National Weather Service.

Rainfall is expected in parts of central and southwest Ohio as storms roll into the area, the NWS said in an early report on Monday.

“Scattered thunderstorms will affect the area today,” the NWS said. “A few of those storms could become strong to severe with damaging winds and hail the primary threats. In addition, locally heavy rainfall is possible.”

Storms also are possible in central Nebraska, though no severe weather is expected. A severe storm, however, may pop up in the state’s panhandle, the NWS said.  

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