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3 Big Things Today, August 7

Corn, Beans Higher Overnight; Money Managers Cut Bullish Bets on Crops.

1. Soybeans, Corn Higher as Parts of Northern Plains, Iowa Face Drought

Soybean and corn futures were higher overnight as crop stress is expected to continue in dry areas, whereas regions with too much rain will continue to be in undated with rainfall.

Much of North Dakota and Montana are still in exceptional or extreme drought, the worst designations from the U.S. Drought Monitor. Parts of South Dakota are facing extreme drought conditions, while counties in south-central Iowa are now in a severe drought.

Some rain may fall in parts of Iowa today, though little is expected in the driest areas, forecasters said. Little rain is expected, though there’s a chance on Wednesday, in much of North Dakota this week, according to the National Weather Service.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 9¼¢ to $9.66 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal added $5 to $314.40 a short ton, and soy oil futures fell 0.28¢ to 33.75¢ a pound.

Corn for December delivery gained 3¾¢ to $3.84¾ a bushel overnight.

Wheat for September delivery rose 3¼¢ to $4.58 a bushel, and Kansas City futures added 3¢ to $4.62½ a bushel.


2. Speculative Investors Reduce Net-Long Positions Across the Board

Money managers reduced their net-long positions in both corn and soybeans last week as cooler weather in the Midwest prevails.

Speculative investors were net long by 81,443 corn futures contracts as of August 1, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. That’s down from 106,678 contracts a week earlier and the least bullish investors have been since July 3.

Money managers are net long 26,516 soybean futures contracts at the start of the month, down from 35,953 contracts a week earlier. It’s also the smallest net-long position since July 10, the CFTC said in a report.

Bullish positions in hard red winter wheat fell to 54,089 contracts from 60,549 a week earlier, the smallest such position since July 3.

Net longs in soft red winter wheat declined to 14,739 contracts, down from 33,051 a week earlier and the least bullish investors have been since June 27, 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.

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3. Little Rainfall Expected in Much of Midwest Until Wednesday, Forecasters Say

Some nonsevere thunderstorms are expected to roll though much of Iowa today with better chances of precipitation starting on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Showers today will be isolated, while those later in the week will be a bit more frequent, though still intermittent, the NWS said in a report early Monday.

Much of the Midwest will remain dry today and tomorrow before some precipitation builds starting Wednesday. That’s good for areas that have been too wet recently, but it's not good for parts of southern Iowa where the recent hot, dry weather has left pockets of drought.

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