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FORT COLLINS, (Colo.): Chicago corn futures rebounded last week as drier weather forecasts maintained uncertainty over the US harvest. However, speculators continued the selling trend they started three months ago.

Most-active corn futures rose fractionally in the week ended July 13, but they had surged more than 4percent in the final two days of that period. Money managers reduced their net long in corn futures and options to 208,799 contracts from 219,371 a week earlier according to data from the US Commodity Futures

The new stance is their least optimistic since mid-October, about two months after corn began to rally. Money managers' outright long positions had approached all-time highs earlier this year, but now they stand closer to average levels for the dates. Gross corn shorts remain very conservative but slightly elevated versus recent months.

Speculators do not typically buy corn later in July except for when the US corn crop appears to be deteriorating much further, as was the case in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Recent rains have been plentiful in key parts of the Corn Belt, but conditions in the north and west are dicey enough to cause concern.

Forecasts as Friday showed warmer and drier conditions were likely for many states over the next two weeks, particularly in those that are already struggling. Corn futures rose 2percent between Wednesday and Friday, but the large downward gap created on July 6 has yet to be filled. Both soybean and soybean oil futures notched significant gains in the week ended July 13. But speculators increased their bullish views by less than 1,000 futures and options contracts each, placing the managed money soybean and soybean meal net longs at 82,773 and 48,927 contracts, respectively.

Other reportable speculators reduced their soybean net long by more than 5,000 contracts through July 13 to 4,859 contracts, well off the near-record highs of close to 60,000 contracts at the start of 2021.

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