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3 Big Things Today, July 24

Grains, Beans Lower Overnight; Money Managers Extend Long Positions in Beans.

1. Grain, Soybeans Drop Overnight Amid Rainfall, Lower Temperatures

Grains and soybeans were lower in overnight trading after rain fell in parts of the Midwest and temperatures cooled.

Precipitation over the weekend in parts of Kansas and Missouri where it’s been extremely hot recently likely helped crop prospects in both states. More rain, which wasn’t needed, fell in parts of Indiana and Ohio, as well, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures were also cooler on Sunday than they had been during the week. The high in eastern Nebraska, western Iowa and northwestern Missouri, where it’s been in the triple digits the past several days, is expected to top out in the 80s for much of this week, the NWS said.

Corn for December delivery fell 7¢ to $3.86½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybeans for November delivery declined 17½¢ to $10.04¾ a bushel overnight. Soy meal lost $6.50 to $330.30 a short ton, and soy oil futures fell 0.25¢ to 34.02¢ a pound.

Wheat for September delivery declined 6¢ to $4.93¼ a bushel overnight, and Kansas City futures lost 6¾¢ to $4.89¼ a bushel.

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2. Money Managers Extend Bullish Soybean Positions, Curb Bets on Higher Corn Prices

Money managers extended net-long positions in soybeans in the week through July 17 while curbing bets for higher corn prices.

Net-long positions in soybeans rose to 31,285 contracts last week, up from 7,212 contracts seven days earlier and the highest level since March, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Bets for higher corn prices, however, declined in corn to 107,803 contracts, down from 115,066 contracts, the CFTC said. Still, investors had been net short for several months prior to the week that ended on July 10.

Net-long positions in hard red winter wheat were little changed, falling to 70,751 contracts from 72,845 the prior week.

Speculators are more bullish on soft red winter wheat, pushing net-long positions to 46,757 contracts from 34,902 the previous week, 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. Heat Waves in Midwest Gone But Heat Advisories Remain in South Dakota

While most of the heat advisories and excessive heat warnings dissipated over the Midwest during the weekend, a patch of central South Dakota is still hot, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures for much of the state will be in the high 90s today with heat indexes as high as 104˚F., the NWS said in a Monday morning report.

The agency has also issued a fire danger warning due to the high temperatures and low humidity values that are expected to dip into the high teens and low 20s. Winds will range up to 20 mph, also increasing the risk that wildfires could spread.

“The grassland fire danger index will reach the extreme category this afternoon,” the NWS said. “Extreme weather conditions or a very low moisture content of grasses and other dry organic material on the ground indicate that critical burning conditions exist. A fire will start easily and has the potential to increase and spread quickly becoming erratic with extreme behavioral characteristics.”

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