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3 Big Things Today, July 10

Crop Futures Modestly Lower Overnight; Speculators Boost Bearish Bets on Corn, Soybeans.

1. Grains, Beans Moderately Lower Overnight on Lofty Crop Ratings

Corn and soybeans were lower in overnight trading amid favorable growing conditions in the Midwest.

About 75% of the U.S. corn crop was in good or excellent condition as of Sunday, the USDA said in a report. That’s down 1 percentage point week to week, but it’s still at historically lofty levels.

The soybean crop was rated 71% good or excellent, on par with the prior week, the USDA said. A year earlier, about 62% earned top ratings. About 47% of soybean plants were blooming, up from the prior five-year average of 27% for this time of year, the USDA said.

For soybeans, 11% were setting pods, well ahead of the average of 4% for this time of year, according to the government.

Wheat also fell on favorable weather conditions in Canada that may improve yields.

Corn future for December delivery fell 2¾¢ to $3.64¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybean futures for November delivery declined 2¢ to $8.70 a bushel. Soy meal rose 70¢ to $328.50 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.01¢ to 29.25¢ a pound.

Wheat for September delivery fell 8¾¢ to $4.99 a bushel, while Kansas City futures declined 8¼¢ to $4.97¾ a bushel overnight.

**

2. Money Managers Increase Net-Short Positions in Corn, Soybeans

Money managers increased their net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, for corn and soybeans in the week that ended July 3.

Speculators were net short by 107,396 corn futures contracts as of last week, up from 57,451 contracts seven days earlier, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Soybean investors were net short by 64,162 contracts as of July 3, more than double the prior week’s net-short position of 27,073 contracts, the CFTC said in a report that was delayed by a day due to the Fourth of July.

Investors are becoming more bearish on corn and beans due to optimal growing weather in much of the U.S. Corn Belt and amid ongoing trade battles with China and several other countries that threaten export sales.

The U.S. last week imposed a 25% tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods, and China responded by putting duties on an equal amount of U.S. items including soybeans.

Money managers were bearish on soft red winter wheat futures, holding a net-short position of 1,251 contracts. That’s down, however, from the prior week’s 4,861 contracts, according to the CFTC.

Investors are still bullish on hard red winter wheat, holding a net-long position, or bets on higher prices, of 16,702 contracts. That’s still well below the prior week’s 46,870 contracts, government data show.

**

3. Heat Advisory in Effect For Eastern Kansas, Western Missouri on Tuesday

A heat advisory is in effect for much of eastern Kansas and western Missouri this morning, according to the National Weather Service.

 Temperatures in the eastern half of Kansas will be around 100˚F. this afternoon, putting the heat index up around 108˚F., the NWS said in a report early Tuesday morning. Overnight lows will fall to only the middle-70s.

Western Missouri will see heat indexes as high as 105˚F., the agency said in its report.

Farther north, an excessive heat watch is in effect for several counties in south-central Minnesota, according to the NWS.

Temperatures in the area will be in the upper 90s with dew points in the 70s, which will produce heat indexes of around 102˚F., the agency said.

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