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3 Big Things Today, April 9

Soybeans Higher in Overnight Trading; Speculators Boost Bullish Corn Bets, Cut Beans, Wheat.

1. Soybeans Higher by Double Digits on Signs of Demand; Wheat Gains

Soybeans were higher by double digits in early trading amid signs of demand and on optimism that the strong words between the U.S. and China were just negotiating tactics and idle threats.

The USDA on Friday said an unknown buyer bought 458,000 metric tons of soybeans from U.S. supplies. Of that, 327,000 were for delivery in the current marketing year that ends on August 31, while the rest was for the 2018-2019 year, the USDA said.

Sellers also sold 130,632 tons of soybeans for delivery to Mexico, 100,000 tons of corn to Egypt, and 20,000 tons of soybean oil to an unknown buyer.

Wheat futures were higher on concerns that unusually cold weather in the Southern Plains and eastern Midwest has hurt or will harm hard red and soft red winter wheat. Temperatures last week fell into the mid-20s in some areas during overnight hours and likely will get into the upper 20s tonight, the National Weather Service said in a report.

Soybean futures for May delivery rose 12¼¢ to $10.46 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal gained $2.30 to $392.40 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.04¢ to 31.49¢ a pound.

Corn futures gained 1¼¢ to $3.89¾ a bushel overnight.

Wheat rose 6¢ to $4.78¼ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures gained 5¾¢ to $5.12½ a bushel overnight.


2. Speculative Investors Boost Net Longs in Corn Futures, Curb on Soybeans, Wheat

Money managers extended their net-long positions, or bets on higher prices, in corn last week while curbing bullish bets on soybeans and wheat.

Speculative investors were net long by 138,245 corn contracts in the week that ended on April 3, up from 108,839 contracts seven days earlier, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in a report.

Soybean net-long positions, meanwhile, declined to 172,429 contracts, down modestly from the prior week’s 173,011 contracts, according to the CFTC.

Investors have been watching the geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China simmer for a while, and this report shows fund activity before the trade spat between the two countries ramped up last week.

Net longs in hard red winter wheat were reported at 19,976 contracts, down from 25,512 contracts the prior week, the agency said. Speculators were still net short on soft red winter wheat by 71,963 contracts, down from 78,107 a week earlier, according to the CFTC.

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.


3. Freeze Watch in Effect For Much of East-Central Oklahoma; Midwest Winter Weather Persists

A freeze watch is in effect for much of central and eastern Oklahoma this morning, further threatening winter wheat in the state.

Temperatures are expected to fall into the upper-20s tonight into Tuesday morning, according to the National Weather Service. Frost and freeze conditions that are harmful to plants are expected, the NWS said in a report early Monday morning.

Farther north, a winter weather advisory is in effect for east-central Iowa where mixed precipitation and additional snow and ice accumulations are expected. Another 1 inch of snow and .10 inch of ice are forecast, the agency said.

Flooding is still a problem in several states after excessive rainfall in many areas the past few weeks. Rivers and tributaries are flooded along the Mississippi River Basin from southern Indiana and Illinois south through the bootheel of Missouri into Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, according to the NWS.

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