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3 Big Things Today, August 28

Corn, Bean Futures Little Changed Overnight; Money Managers Turn Bearish on Corn.

1. Corn, Soybean Futures Little Changed Overnight After Innocuous Crop Tour

Corn and soybeans were little changed and wheat was slightly lower overnight after unsurprising results from the crop tour last week and little news ahead.

The Farm Journal Crop Tour pegged corn and soybean production and yields slightly below estimates by the USDA, but many traders, analysts, and growers had already said the government forecasts were too high.

Precipitation in the Midwest was variable all growing season, leaving some areas too dry and others too wet. That’s led to inconsistent yield and production estimates since early in the season.

Hurricane Harvey continues to hammer the Texas Gulf Coast, but the area isn’t known for corn or bean production, though cotton and cattle farmers are being impacted.

Corn futures for December delivery fell ¼¢ $3.53¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybean futures for November delivery added 1¼¢ to $9.45¾ a bushel overnight. Soy meal added $1.50 to $301.50 a short ton, and soy oil futures declined 0.01¢ to 34.94¢ a pound.

Wheat for December delivery lost 4¢ to $4.31¼ a bushel in Chicago. Kansas City futures declined 2¾¢ to $4.29½ a bushel.


2. Money Managers Bearish on Corn First Time Since July 3, Increase Net Shorts in Beans

Money managers turned bearish on corn for the first time in six weeks and increased their net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, in soybeans.

Speculative investors were net short 26,023 corn contracts in the week that ended on August 22, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. That’s the first net-short position in corn since July 3, CFTC data show.

In soybeans, speculators were net short by 35,295 contracts, up from 22,651 a week earlier and the biggest such position since July 3, according to the government.

Soft red winter wheat investors were net short by 68,790 contracts last week, almost double the prior week. Money managers were net long on hard red winter wheat by 23,334 contracts, down from 34,494 a week earlier, according to the CFTC.

In other news, the Farm Journal Crop Tour released the results last week. Corn production is pegged at 13.953 billion bushels on yields of 167.1 bushels an acre. That’s below the USDA estimate of 14.153 billion bushels on yields of 169.5 bushel.

Soybean output was seen at 4.331 billion bushels on yields of 48.5 bushels an acre, which is slightly below the USDA forecast for 4.381 billion bushels and yields of 49.4 bushels an acre.  


3. Harvey Continues to Slam Texas Gulf Coast as 50 Inches of Rain Forecast

The entirety of southeastern Texas is in a flood watch with some areas still under a tropical storm warning on Monday morning after Hurricane Harvey slammed the region.

Harvey made landfall on Friday, but the storm system is sitting over southeastern Texas with incessant rain and strong winds. About 20 to 25 inches of rain have already fallen in parts of the region with more on the way.

Another 25 inches are expected in some areas, bringing the total to 50 inches.

At least five people have been killed by the storm that’s left the city of Houston under water and is causing flooding as far inland as Austin and San Antonio.

Cotton and cattle ranchers in the state are being affected, and the Texas Department of Agriculture has put out a call for donations to its State of Texas Agriculture Relief Fund that will “help farmers and ranchers in rebuilding fences, restoring operations, and paying for other agricultural disaster relief.”

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