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NAPERVILLE, (Ill.): Speculators backed off Chicago corn and soybean futures last week ahead of the US government’s annual data blitz, which stood to threaten investors’ long-standing bullish views given the historically high prices.

In the week ended Jan. 10, money managers reduced their net long position in CBOT corn futures and options to 149,605 contracts from 196,457 a week earlier. Funds removed longs and added shorts, but the former was more prominent.

Most-active CBOT corn futures had declined more than 2% through Jan. 10, and CBOT soybeans fell fractionally. Still, funds’ soybean selling hit a three-month high during that week.

Money managers through Jan 10 reduced their net long in CBOT soybean futures and options to 131,704 contracts from 142,994 a week earlier, their first selling week since early December.

This was primarily motivated by exiting longs, the first such instance in seven weeks. The managed money soybean meal net long hit another record through Jan. 10 of 142,711 futures and options contracts, up less than 1,000 on the week. Soymeal futures on Friday touched $485.30 per short ton, their highest level since late March and highest ever during January.

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