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3 Big Things Today, September 16

Beans, Grains Lower in Overnight Trading; Bearish Bets on Corn Hit Four-Month High.

1. Soybeans, Grains Lower in Overnight Trading

Soybean futures were lower amid mostly benign weather and a low threat of an early freeze.

Flooding is expected in northern Nebraska and southeastern South Dakota this week, but otherwise weather maps look mostly quiet.

Temperatures in Iowa are forecast remain in the 80s through Friday, with rain falling toward the end of the week, according to Accuweather. That’s good news for late-planted crops that need another drink of water as they continue to mature.

In northern Illinois, temperatures also are expected to stay warm this week, which will boost the pace of maturity.

Prices had been propped up after last week’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) Report in which the USDA lowered its expectations for this year’s crops.

Bean production was pegged at 3.633 billion bushels, down from the 3.68 billion forecast in August. The agency’s yield projection was lowered to 47.9 bushels an acre from 48.5 bushels.

Corn output was seen at 13.799 billion bushels, down from the previous month’s outlook for 13.901 billion, the USDA said. Its yield outlook was lowered to 168.2 bushels an acre from 169.5 bushels.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 3¾¢ to $8.95 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal declined $1.60¢ to $299.90 a short ton, while soybean oil gained 0.25¢ to 29.68¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery lost ¾¢ to $3.68 a bushel.

Wheat for September delivery dropped ½¢ to $4.83 a bushel, while Kansas City futures were unchanged at $3.99¾ a bushel.

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2. Money Managers Boost Net-Short Position in Corn to Highest Level Since May

Money managers extended their net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, on corn to the largest since May and pushed their bearish bets on soybeans to the highest level since June.

Speculative investors were net short by 143,467 corn futures contracts as of September 10, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

That’s up from a new-short position of 123,800 corn futures contracts the previous week and the largest bearish position since the seven days that ended on May 13, the CFTC said in a report.

Investors were net short by 90,013 soybean futures contracts as of last week, up from 71,558 contracts the previous week and the largest such position since the week that ended on June 4.

In wheat, money managers reduced their bearish bets on hard red and soft red winter futures contracts.

Speculators were net short by 41,709 hard red winter futures contracts as of September 10, down from 45,044 contracts the prior week, the agency said.

For soft red winter wheat, investors held a net-short position of 8,905 futures contracts, down from 19,370 contracts seven days earlier, according to the CFTC.

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. Flooding Continues in Northern Nebraska, Southeastern South Dakota This Week

Flooding continues to be a problem in northern Nebraska, southern South Dakota, and southwestern Minnesota, according to the National Weather Service.

Flood warnings have been issued for the region after excessive amounts of rain fell last week.

More than a dozen rivers have or are at risk of overrunning their banks in the area, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

“Flooding resulting from heavy rainfall last week will continue to be an ongoing concern,” the agency said in its report. “Moderate to heavy rainfall is expected to continue in the Janes, Vermillion, and Big Sioux rivers for several days.”

Storms aren’t expected today but may spark up tomorrow into early Wednesday. The risk of severe weather is low, though some hail may fall.

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