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3 Big Things Today, March 26

Soybeans, Corn Higher in Overnight Trading; Speculators Less Bullish Than in Recent Weeks

1. Soybeans, Corn Higher Overnight as Investors Focused on Argentina

Soybeans and corn were higher in overnight trading as investors feel the price reached low enough levels last week considering the current situation in Argentina.

The price dropped last week on speculation that soybeans would be hit by Chinese tariffs in retaliation for the U.S. imposing its own tariffs the past couple weeks.

The Trump administration had said it would impose levies against steel and aluminum, and last week it announced import taxes on $50 billion to $60 billion worth of Chinese goods. In response, Beijing said it would tax certain items from the U.S. including pork and fruits, but soybeans weren’t on the list. Still, some believe China will eventually go after soybeans.

Fundamentally, nothing has changed, and investors this morning are still concerned about the dry weather in Argentina. Drought stress is still an issue in much of Argentina’s corn and soybean belts, forecasters said.

Soybean futures for May delivery gained 6¼¢ to $10.34½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal rose $4.80 to $382.70 a short ton, and soy oil was up 0.19¢ to 31.61¢ a pound.

Corn futures for May delivery rose 2¢ to $3.79¼ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat for May delivery fell 1½¢ to $4.58¾ a bushel overnight, while Kansas City futures declined 1¼¢ to $4.78 a bushel.

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2. Money Managers Lowered Bullish Bets on Corn, Soybeans Last Week

Speculative investors lowered their bullish bets on corn and soybeans last week, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Money managers were net long corn futures by 207,376 contracts in the week that ended on March 20, the CFTC said in a report. That’s down from 237,643 contracts seven days earlier.

Investors decreased their net-long positions, or bets on higher prices, in soybeans to 184,240 contracts last week, down from 200,774 contracts seven days earlier, according to the government.

Speculators had run net longs in both corn and beans up in recent weeks, and concern that China will impose import tariffs on U.S. soybeans has some investors concerned.

In hard red winter wheat, net-long positions were little changed at 27,969 contracts vs. 27,058 contracts a week earlier. In soft red winter wheat, money managers almost doubled their net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, to 56,292 contracts compared with 27,366 contracts seven days 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.

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3. Storms to Cause Flooding in Central Midwest, Winter Storm Threatens Northern Plains

A severe thunderstorm warning is now in effect for a stretch of land from eastern Oklahoma up through southern Missouri into Illinois.

The storm is expected to drop rain and quarter-size hail, according to the National Weather Service. A flood warning is also in effect for parts of the region due to the amount of rain that’s already fallen and levels expected in the next 24 hours, the NWS said in a report early Monday morning.

Farther north, a winter weather advisory is in effect for parts of southeastern North Dakota and west-central Minnesota.

As much as 4 inches of snow are expected to fall, and ice is expected to accumulate in the region, according to the NWS. Roads will be slippery and visibility will be reduced at times, the agency said.

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