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3 Big Things Today, September 10

Soybeans, Corn Lower Overnight; Investors Increased Bearish Bets Last Week.

1. Grains, Beans Little Changed in Overnight Trading

Grain and soybean futures were mixed in overnight trading Monday as investors weigh heavy rain that may slow the start of the harvest vs. ongoing trade concerns.

As much as 8 inches of rain have fallen in parts of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and several other states in the past week, according to the National Weather Service. Now fields will need time to dry down after the drenching rains.

Flooding is a problem in several parts of eastern Iowa, western Illinois, and along the Mississippi River along the Missouri-Illinois border. The remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon wreaked havoc on some parts of the southern and eastern Corn Belts in the past week.

Still, trade worries abound as the ongoing dispute between the U.S. and China continues. The U.S. is reportedly set to impose tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. China said, while it can’t match that as it doesn’t import that much from the U.S, it would retaliate if the Trump administration chooses to impose the levies.

The countries currently have duties on $50 billion worth of the others’ goods.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 4¼¢ to $8.48¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal rose 10¢ to $317.10 a short ton, and soy oil was unchanged at 28.27¢ a pound.

Corn futures were unchanged at $3.67 a bushel overnight.

Wheat for December delivery rose 3¢ to $5.14¼ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures added 1½¢ to $5.16¼ a bushel.

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2. Investors Increase Bearish Bets on Corn, Soybeans, Reduce Net Longs in Wheat

Money managers increased their net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, in corn and soybeans to the highest levels in more than a month, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Speculators were net short by 80,539 corn futures contracts in the week that ended on September 4, the CFTC said in a report. That’s up from 79,305 futures contracts seven days earlier, and the biggest such position since July 31.

Investors were net short 69,799 soybean futures contracts as of last week, up from 61,249 contracts a week earlier and the highest level since July 24, government data show.

Hedge funds and other large investors likely increased their bets on lower prices on loft crop conditions for this time of year.

Some 67% of the U.S. corn crop was in good or excellent condition as of last week and 66% of soybeans earned top ratings, according to the Department of Agriculture. The USDA will release its Weekly Crop Progress Report this morning.

The government also will release its Monthly Supply and Demand Report on Wednesday.

Speculative investors were still bullish on wheat, though they weren’t as positive as they have been. Funds reduced their net-long positions, or bets on higher prices, in soft red winter wheat to 35,997 futures contracts, down from 46,098 a week earlier, according to the CFTC.

Money managers cut net longs in hard red winter wheat to 52,578 contracts, down from 60,148 contracts seven days earlier.

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. Flood Warnings Abound From Iowa East to Southern Ohio, Northern Kentucky

Several rivers and tributaries in central to eastern Iowa are overrunning their banks this morning as is the Mississippi River south of Davenport, according to the National Weather Service.

Flood warnings are in effect along the Mississippi “until further notice” as the river is at 18.5 feet in New Boston, topping its 15-foot flood level, and at 15.4 feet in Rock Island, also above flood stage, the NWS said in a report early Monday morning.

The good news is that no severe weather is expected today, which may allow water levels in rivers and streams to recede.

Flood warnings have also been issued for parts of eastern Indiana and a few counties in southern Ohio and northern Kentucky as the last of the remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon break up, according to the NWS.

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