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3 Big Things Today, November 28

Corn, Soybeans Lower Overnight; Money Managers Reduce Bearish Bets on Corn Futures.

1. Corn, Soybeans Lower in Overnight Trading on Weak Export Inspections

Corn and soybeans were lower in overnight trading on signs of weak demand for U.S. supplies.

The USDA said in a report that inspections of corn for export to overseas buyers fell to 638,711 metric tons in the week that ended on November 23. That’s down from 659,761 tons a week earlier and 828,927 tons the same week in 2016.

Soybean inspections totaled 1.58 million tons, well below last week’s 2.28 million tons and the year-ago number of 2.24 million tons, according to the USDA.

Wheat inspections were actually favorable at 344,721 tons, up from 260,304 last week and 245,404 a year earlier.

Investors have been watching for signs of demand and have been checking South American weather to determine market direction since the U.S. harvest is coming to a close.

Corn futures for March delivery fell 1¾¢ to $3.50 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybean futures for January delivery lost 4¢ to $9.92 a bushel. Soy meal declined $3.10 to $326.20 a short ton, and soy oil rose 0.19¢ to 33.93¢ a pound.

Chicago wheat for March delivery was unchanged at $4.28¼ a bushel overnight, and Kansas City futures were unchanged at $4.25¼ a bushel.

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2. Speculative Investors Reduce Net-Short Positions in Corn, Raise Net Longs in Soybeans

Money managers reduced their net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, from a record in corn futures last week.

Investors were net short by 212,279 corn contracts in the week that ended on November 21, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in its Commitment of Traders Report that was delayed due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

That’s down from 242,884 contracts, the biggest such position in corn, a week earlier, according to the CFTC.

Analysts had been speculating that investors would eventually begin reducing their short positions in corn as the market was so heavily leaning to the short side.

Speculators increased their bullish bets on soybeans last week, raising their net-long position, or bets on higher prices, to 20,314 contracts from 17,269 contracts seven days earlier.

In wheat, investors were net short by 119,046 soft red winter contracts last week, up from 113,264 a week earlier, according to the agency.

Specs were net short hard red winter wheat by 20,858 contracts, almost double the prior week, the CFTC said.

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. Burn Bans In Effect For Arkansas Amid Dry, Windy Weather; Central Kansas May See Rain

Burn bans are in place in several parts of Arkansas as the chance of wildfire is high, according to the National Weather Service.

“All of Arkansas is experiencing moderate to high wildfire danger,” the NWS said, with 33 of its 75 counties under burn bans this morning. 

Dry weather is expected to continue in the state today with some strong winds from the south and extremely low relative humidity, according to the agency. Humidity will drop to less than 30% in some areas, while some will see values of less than 20%.

Rainfall since September 1 has been 5 to 10 inches below normal, which has led to moderate to severe drought conditions in most of the state, the NWS said.

The rest of the Midwest looks mostly quiet today, though there’s also some fire danger in parts of southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma.

Some thunderstorms may form over central Kansas this evening, though strong to severe storms aren’t expected, according to the NWS.

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