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Funds sidelined

Big speculators stayed cautious this week

With big USDA reports due Aug. 12 still nearly a month away, the big money crowd didn’t move its chips around much this week – at least in the grain market.

Here’s what funds were up to through Tuesday, July 16, when the CFTC collected data for its latest Commitment of Traders.

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Light buying

Both hedge funds and index traders bought small amounts of agricultural futures and options last week.  Big speculators trimmed 13,922 contracts off bearish bets in crops and livestock, while those buying commodities through indexes added 14,950 to their net long position.

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Long and wrong

Big speculators bought corn into early this week, adding 10,081 contracts to their bullish bets before the market retreated.

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Weather fears

Big speculators in soybeans covered 4,354 contracts of their net short position in soybeans just head of the heat wave.

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Still selling

Big speculators started selling soybean oil again this week, adding 2,462 contracts to their modest bearish bets.

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Three in a row

Big speculators sold soybean meal for the third straight week, adding 1,402 contracts to their modest bearish bet against the product.

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Harvest pressure

With corn sputtering, soft red winter wheat attracted selling from big speculators who shorted a net 5,200 contracts trying press the market lower.

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Quiet shift

Big speculators covered some of their once large bearish bets on HRW again this week, buying a net 2,162 for their 11th consecutive week of net buying.

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Good news is bad

Spring wheat benefited from more rain this week on the northern Plains, and large traders were selling again, adding 643 contracts to their net short position.

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Back in billions

Money managers mostly sold holdings in crude oil over the past three months. But they bought this week, adding $2.4 billion in futures and options.

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