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3 Big Things Today, August 12

Crop Futures Fall Overnight; Investors Cut Bullish Positions in Corn, Raise Net Shorts in Beans.

1. Soybeans, Grains Lower Overnight Ahead of WASDE

Soybeans and grains were lower in overnight trading ahead of today’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) Report.

The USDA report is due out at noon in Washington.

Soybean area is pegged at about 81 million acres while yield is seen at around 47.6 bushels an acre, leaving production at about 3.8 billion bushels, according to a Reuters survey. Last month, the USDA said it expected planted acreage at 80 million, yield of 48.5 bushels an acre and total output of 3.845 billion bushels.

Corn acres are pegged at around 88 million with yield of 164.9 bushels an acre, resulting in production of 13.193 billion bushels, the survey showed.

The USDA in July forecast corn planted area of 91.7 million acres, yield of 166 bushels an acre, and output of 13.875 billion bushels.

Soybean inventories in the marketing year that ends on August 31, 2020, are expected to come in around 821 million bushels, while corn stockpiles are forecast at about 1.62 billion bushels, the company reported.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 5¾¢ to $8.86 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal lost $1.30 to $302.40 a short ton, while soybean oil dropped 0.24¢ to 29.71¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery declined 3¢ to $4.14¾ a bushel overnight.

Wheat for September delivery fell 4¢ to $4.95½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures lost 3½¢ to $4.30 a bushel.

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2. Speculative Investors Slash Net Longs in Corn, Increase Bearish Positions in Beans

Speculative investors cut their net-long positions, or bets on higher prices, in corn to the lowest level in more than two months while raising their bearish bets on soybeans.

Money managers held net-long positions of 68,086 corn futures contracts as of August 6, down from 105,907 contracts a week earlier and the smallest amount since the seven days that ended on May 28, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

In soybeans, investors increased their net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, to 76,318 futures contracts last week, the CFTC said in a report.

That’s up from 55,160 contracts the previous week and the largest bearish position in beans since the seven days that ended on June 11.

Investors are less bullish on corn and more bearish on beans amid an ongoing trade war with China that has no end in sight.

Speculators also increased their bearish positions in hard red winter wheat, bumping their net shorts to 22,942 futures contracts from 16,283 contracts a week earlier. That’s the biggest bearish holdings in hard red winter futures since mid-June.

Investors cut their net-long positions in soft red winter wheat to 7,121 futures contracts last week, about half the previous week, the CFTC said.

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. Heat Blasts Much of South-Central U.S., Flood Warnings Issued in Missouri, Illinois

A heat wave is blasting much of the south-central U.S. as excessive heat warnings and advisories are in effect in several states.

In eastern Oklahoma, most of Arkansas, and parts of northern Louisiana, an excessive heat warning is in effect starting at 1 p.m. this afternoon until 8 p.m. Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures will be in the upper 90s today and tomorrow with heat indexes of about 115˚F., the NWS said in a report early this morning. Outdoor activity is not advised.

In several counties in eastern Missouri and western Illinois, meanwhile, a flash flood warning is in effect after thunderstorms dropped several inches of rain in the region.

As much as 3 inches of rain fell in an hour this morning, with another 3 inches possible in the area, the NWS said in its report.

“Thunderstorms north of a warm front will train and create flash flooding across parts of central and east-central Missouri as well as south-central Illinois,” the agency said. “Flash flooding may cause road closures and lead to very rapid rises in smaller creeks and streams.”

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