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3 Big Things Today, September 3

Money Managers Extend Bearish Bets on Corn, Beans; Flooding Likely in Several States

1. Chicago Board of Trade Shut for Labor Day Holiday

The Chicago Board of Trade is closed in observance of Labor Day. Overnight trading will begin at 7 p.m. central. 

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2. Money Managers Extend Bearish Bets on Corn, Soybeans, Bullish on Wheat

Speculative investors increased their net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, in corn and soybean futures but were still positive on wheat, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Large funds and other money managers were net-short by 79,305 corn futures contracts as of Aug. 28, the CFTC said in a report. That’s up from 49,896 futures contracts a week earlier and the biggest net-short position since July 31.

Investors were net-short by 61,249 soybean futures contracts as of last week, up from 42,027 contracts seven days earlier, according to the government.

Speculators had reduced their bearish bets on corn for three straight weeks prior to this report, but better-than-expected results from the annual crop tour and favorable weather heading into September has many investors selling contracts.

In wheat, money managers held 46,098 net-long positions, or bets on higher prices, in soft-red winter wheat as of last week, down from 57,447 contracts a week earlier, but still solidly bullish.

Investors were net long by 61,249 hard-red winter wheat futures contracts as of Aug. 28, down slightly from 63,364 contracts seven days earlier, according to the CFTC.

Wheat production is being threatened by adverse weather in several areas including the European Union, the so-called Black Sea region and Australia.

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. Flash Flooding Likely From Southern Kansas to Northern Illinois as Storms Batter Midwest

Flash flood warnings and watches are in effect this morning for a wide band from south-central Kansas northeast into northern Illinois, according to the National Weather Service.

Near Manhattan, Kan., 2 to 4 inches of rain have already fallen and flash flooding is likely, the NWS said in a report early Monday morning. About 20 miles of Interstate 70 is affected.

Flood warnings are also in effect for several areas along the Missouri River on the Nebraska-Iowa and Kansas-Missouri borders. The river was at 15 feet at St. Joseph, Mo., last night and was expected to rise 18.4 feet by early Tuesday afternoon before receding.

Slow-moving thunderstorms are moving northward through central Iowa this morning and are capable of producing “very heavy” rainfall before diminishing later this afternoon, the NWS said. This is in addition to precipitation that’s already fallen.

A flash flood watch is in effect for most of the state until 1 p.m. today.

“Additional heavy rain is possible, with the potential for 1 to 3 inches or more falling in a short time and over areas that have received heavy rainfall the past several nights,” the agency said on Monday morning. “The greatest potential for heavy rainfall will be through this morning. Significant ponding and run off is likely along with flash flooding along small streams. Be alert to the potential for water on roadways, especially during nighttime hours.”

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