(Bloomberg) -- Where’s corn going next? It depends on who you ask, as hedge funds and analysts make a strong split on the outlook.

The funds have never been more bearish, increasing their net-short position to the largest ever as of March 12, U.S. government data going back to 2006 showed Friday. Meanwhile, the weekly Bloomberg survey of analysts and traders showed bullish sentiment extending for an 11th week.

Rival views over Chinese demand may be partly to blame for the divergence. In the past several weeks, grain markets devoured any news that signaled whether China would return to the U.S. for more agricultural goods as the nations discuss a trade deal. If the Asian country ramps up buying, it could help diminish stockpiles that have built up across the American Midwest. But so far, there’s not been any evidence of major purchases.

Meanwhile, there’s also a cohort of forecasters that are predicting U.S. farmers will increase corn plantings this year. May futures fell to a record low for the contract on March 12.

To contact the reporter on this story: Millie Munshi in Denver at mmunshi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net, Carlos Caminada, Millie Munshi

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