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3 Big Things Today, October 9

Wheat Futures Lower Overnight; Speculators Less Bullish Beans, More Bearish Corn

1. Wheat Futures Lower Overnight on Australian Rain; Corn, Beans Little Changed

Wheat futures were lower in overnight trading on reports of beneficial rain that may boost the Australian crop.

Showers Monday and later in the week will ease drought stress in parts of New South Wales, one of Australia’s biggest producers, according to Commodity Weather Group.

Australian Bureau of Meteorology maps show as much as 2 inches – 3 inches in some isolated areas – of precipitation fell in New South Wales in the past 24 hours. That may boost crops that were in need of rainfall, according to CWG.

Corn and soybeans, meanwhile, were little changed as investors continue to weigh harvest pressure against delayed harvest and the USDA gets ready to release its latest Crop Progress Report this afternoon.

Wheat for December delivery fell 3½¢ to $4.40 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City futures lost 3¢ to $4.33¾ a bushel.

Corn futures for December delivery declined ½¢ to $3.49  a bushel overnight.

Soybeans for November delivery fell 1½¢ to $9.70¾ a bushel. Soy meal dropped $1.40 to $317.80 a short ton, and soy oil rose 0.13¢ to 33.08¢ a pound.

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2. Money Managers Take More Bearish Tone on Beans, Corn in Latest CFTC Report

Money managers were slightly less bullish on soybeans and more bearish on corn last week, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Speculative investors were net long by 23,135 soybean futures contracts in the week that ended on October 3, the CFTC said in a report. That’s down slightly from the prior week’s net-long position of 25,013 contracts.

Investors extended their net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, in corn to 130,959 contracts last week, up from 121,671 contracts a week earlier, according to the government.

Better-than-expected yields for both corn and beans were reported in several areas, though planting delays still continue to keep a lid on lofty expectations.

Money managers were net short by 49,284 soft red winter wheat contracts, down from 55,714. Hard red winter wheat investors, however, reduced their net-long positions to 8,944 contracts vs. 11,121 the prior 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. Hard Freeze Warning Issued For Much of Western, Central Nebraska Tonight

The weather maps are extremely active this morning with freeze warnings and the possibility of rainfall across the Corn Belt.

A hard freeze warning has been issued for parts of western and central Nebraska and extreme northwestern Kansas, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures are expected to fall into the lower to middle 20s. The warning will be in effect starting at 11 p.m. local time tonight and continue through tomorrow morning.

The freezing weather will last for several house and likely will kill any remaining crops or other sensitive vegetation, the NWS said in a report early Monday.

A freeze warning also has been issued for a large swath of land stretching all the way from New Mexico up through Kansas and Nebraska, encompassing eastern South Dakota, almost all of North Dakota and Minnesota, and even into northwestern Wisconsin.

The freeze warning shows temperatures in the 20s and lower 30s overnight.

Rainfall is possible in parts of Iowa and Illinois Tuesday afternoon and evening, while there’s a limited possibility for precipitation in northern Indiana and southern Michigan, according to the NWS.

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