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3 Big Things Today, September 19

Soybeans Higher in Overnight Trading; Speculators Lower Bets on Futures.

1. Soybean Futures Higher Overnight as Rainfall Threatens Yield

Soybeans rose overnight and corn was modestly higher as persistent rain over the weekend threatens yield prospects in the U.S. Midwest.

As much as six times normal amounts of rain have fallen in much of the region in the past 60 days, flooding fields and causing fungal diseases including sudden death syndrome in beans. More rain is expected today, the National Weather Service said, though small amounts may fall in parts of Ohio that have been mostly dry recently.

Dry weather in Brazil also may be underpinning prices, as a recent dry spell has farmers worried about their second corn crop of the season.

Soybeans for November delivery rose 9¾¢to $9.75¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal futures for December delivery added $2.10 to $314.90 a short ton, and soy oil rose 0.54¢ to 32.77¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery gained ¾¢ to $3.37¾ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures for December delivery rose 2¢ to $4.05¼ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures added a penny to $4.18¼ a bushel.

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2. Money Managers Lower Bets on Soybeans Amid Calls For Record Output

Money managers last week were less optimistic about soybean futures than they have been in five months after the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast record output, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Speculators were net long 72,886 soybean futures contracts in the seven days that ended on September 13, the smallest number of bets on higher prices since the week that ended on April 8, the CFTC said in a report late on Friday.  

Investors were surprisingly less bearish on corn than they have been in weeks as the number of bets against the grain totaled 151,547 futures contracts, down from 186,127 the prior week, the CFTC said.

The USDA last Monday pegged corn yield at 174.4 bushels an acre, down from 175.1 bushels the prior month but still above expectations. Output was forecast at a record 15.1 billion bushels. Soybean output was projected at 4.2 billion bushels, also the highest ever, on yields of 50.6 bushels an acre, the government said.

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3. Rain in Illinois Should Stop Tomorrow, Dry Out Until the Weekend  

More rainfall is expected this afternoon in much of Illinois, according to the National Weather Service.

Isolated thunderstorms are expected in parts of north and west-central Illinois today and tomorrow, though they’re not expected to be severe.

Still, they could cause minor flooding along the Illinois River near the town of Havana, the NWS said. The weather should be dry between tomorrow and Saturday, however, giving growers a much-needed break from the rain.

A hazardous weather outlook has been issued in parts of central Kansas as excessive heat moves into the state. Temperatures will hover around 100˚F. in southern counties near the Oklahoma border, the NWS said.

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