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3 Big Things Today, October 10

Corn, Beans Mixed in Overnight Trading; Bullish Sentiment Reigns Among Investors.

1. Futures Mixed Overnight as Investors Weigh Weather Vs. Demand

Grains and soybeans were mixed in overnight trading in Chicago as investors weigh dry weather that’s allowed farmers to accelerate the harvest against strong demand for U.S. supplies.

Dry weather has persisted in much of Iowa, Wisconsin, southern Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio for much of the past two weeks, according to data from the National Weather Service. Still, other areas have continued to be unusually wet in the past 14 days.

Meanwhile, exporters have been busy as overseas buyers lock in supplies from the U.S. while they’re relatively inexpensive. Sales of corn for exports in the week that ended on September 29 totaled 2.06 million metric tons, and sales of soybeans were reported at 2.18 million tons.

Still, the USDA and private forecasters alike are still expecting record crops. Researcher Informa Economics recently pegged soybean production near 4.3 billion bushels on yields of 51.6 bushels an acre, according to media reports. Corn output was projected at 15.2 million on yields of 174.5 bushels an acre.

Corn futures for December delivery rose ¾¢ to $3.40½ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade.  

Soybeans for November delivery declined 2¼¢ to $9.54½ a bushel in Chicago. Soy meal futures for December delivery added $1.20 to $301.40 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.12¢ to 33.19¢ a pound.

Wheat futures for December delivery rose 4¼¢ to $3.99 a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures added 2½¢ to $4.05½ a bushel.  

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2. Speculative Investors, Hedgers More Bullish on Corn, Soybeans Last Week

Bullish sentiment increased among speculative investors and hedgers last week amid strong demand and incessant rain that threatened yields.

Money managers increased their net-long positions, or bets that prices would rise, in soybeans and decreased their net-short positions, or bets that prices would fall, in corn in the week that ended on October 4, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in a report late Friday.

Investors were net-long 61,991 soybean futures contracts, up from 54,612 contracts a week earlier, according to the CFTC. Speculators were net-short 153,096 corn futures contracts, down from 177,733 the prior week, government data show.

Corn and soybean sales in the week that ended on September 29 totaled more than 2 million metric tons each as end users snapped up cheap supplies. Sales of corn are up 87% since the start of the marketing year on September 1, and bean sales have risen 30% year over year, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Extremely wet weather in much of the Midwest flooded fields and, in many place, have led to fungal diseases including sudden death syndrome in soybeans. Farmers who are expected by the USDA to collect a record amount of both crops have been reporting good – not great – yields in many Midwestern fields.

The USDA will update its production and yield projections in its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Economics (WASDE) report on Wednesday.

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3. Weather Maps Quiet Monday as Mississippi River Flooding Moves South

Weather maps in the Midwest are mostly quiet this morning with only small amounts of isolated rains expected in Missouri and Iowa, according to the National Weather Service.

Flooding along the Mississippi River has moved downstream as high waters are now headed toward St. Louis after victimizing several Iowa towns last week. Burlington, Iowa, south of areas that were hit last week, is now under a flood warning, as the river is at 15.9 feet, topping the flood stage of 15 feet, the NWS said.

The flooding has occurred since “heavy rainfall across upstream portions of the (Mississippi River) basin in late September,” the agency said.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Matthew is moving away from the East Coast, but flooding is expected to continue for several days in parts of the Carolinas.

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