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3 Big Things Today, November 11, 2019

Soybeans, Grains Fall Overnight; Money Managers Increase Bearish Bets in Corn.

1. Soybeans, Grains Lower Overnight on WASDE, China Trade

Soybeans and grains were lower in overnight trading Monday as markets still react to last week’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) Report and disappointing news on the U.S.-China trade front.

The USDA on Friday said it now expects soybean output at 3.55 billion bushels, topping the trade estimate of 3.51 billion and on par with the agency’s month-earlier estimate.

Yield was pegged at 46.9 bushels an acre, up from the trade forecast for 46.6 bushels an acre but unchanged from the October outlook, the USDA said. Harvested acres were seen at 75.6 million vs. 75.4 million expected.

Corn production, meanwhile, was pegged at 13.661 billion bushels, the government said, down from the 13.779 billion forecast a month earlier and just ahead of trade projections of 13.643 billion bushels.

Yield was lowered to 167 bushels an acre from 168.4 bushels the previous month and below the trade forecast of 167.5 bushels. Harvested corn acres, were seen by the USDA at 75.6 million, unchanged from the previous month but ahead of the trade forecast for 75.4 million.

Soybean ending stocks are pegged at 475 million bushels vs. the trade forecast for 429 million, and corn inventories are seen at 1.91 billion bushels vs. the average analyst forecast for 1.8 billion bushels.

The U.S. and China trade deal announced a few weeks ago is again in limbo after President Donald Trump said Saturday that the Asian nation wanted a trade deal more than he did.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told the South China Morning Post that he’s still “reasonably optimistic” that a trade deal will be done and that it would “go a long way toward resolving” global economic uncertainty.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 4¾¢ to $9.26½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal lost $2.40 to $302.50 a short ton, while soybean oil rose 0.15¢ to 31.65¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery fell 2¾¢ to $3.74½ a bushel.

Wheat for September delivery lost 4½¢ to $5.05¾ a bushel, while Kansas City futures dropped 3¢ to $4.18½ a bushel.

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2. Speculative Investors Increase Bearish Bets on Corn to Highest Level in Five Weeks

Money managers extended their net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, to the highest level in five weeks while reducing their bullish positions in soybeans.

Investors held 109,720 net-short positions in corn futures in the seven days that ended in on November 5, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

That’s up from 88,118 futures contracts the previous week and the largest bearish position since October 1, the CFTC said in a report.

Speculators also reduced their net-long positions, or bets on higher prices, in soybeans to 53,503 futures contracts as of last week.

That’s down from 65,849 futures contracts seven days earlier and the smallest bullish position in soybeans since October 15, the agency said in its report.

Investors have become more bearish on corn and less bullish on soybeans in recent weeks as the harvest rolls on and another week goes by without a definitive trade deal between the U.S. and China.

Money managers also raised their net-short positions in hard red winter wheat futures last week to 34,917 contracts, up from 30,433 contracts a week earlier and the largest such position since October 8, the CFTC said.

In soft red winter wheat, investors held a net-long position of 2,333 futures contracts as of November 5, the smallest such position in three weeks, according to the government.

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. Winter Weather Expected From Wyoming to Maine Monday Including Snow, Wind

Winter weather advisories are in effect for a wide chunk of the U.S. Midwest this morning as cold and snow descend on the region.

The advisories extend from far eastern Wyoming all the way through Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois into the northeastern U.S., according to the National Weather Service.

In eastern Iowa and pretty much all of Illinois, several inches of snow are expected to fall along with strong winds from 20 mph to 30 mph, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Total accumulations in the region will top out at about 5 inches with the highest amounts east of the Mississippi River.

Farther east, along the Indiana-Michigan border, heavy snow is expected today with more than 6 inches possible, the agency said. Isolated amounts of up to a foot are possible in some areas.

“A mix of rain and snow will quickly change over to all snow near or just after the Monday morning commute,” the NWS said.

In northern Indiana and Ohio, up to 5 inches of snow are expected after the precipitation changes over from rain this morning.

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