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3 Big Things Today, November 7

Soybean Futures Higher in Overnight Trading; Speculators More Optimistic About Corn, Beans.

1. Soybeans Higher Overnight on Strong Demand, Rising Palm Oil

Soybean futures were higher in overnight trading amid continued demand for U.S. supplies and higher palm oil prices.

Export sales of soybeans topped 2.5 million metric tons in the week that ended on October 27, the USDA said last week. Since the start of the marketing year on September 1, total commitments to purchase U.S. beans are up almost 30% year over year. Corn sales have almost doubled, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Palm oil prices were up overnight amid strong demand for cooking oils. Soybean oil is a competing cooking oil, so when palm oil futures are strong, they tend to buoy soy oil.

Soybeans for January delivery rose 9¼¢ to $10 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal futures for December delivery rose $3.80 to $312.80 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.24¢ to 34.95¢ a pound.  

Corn futures for December delivery were unchanged at $3.48¼ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures for December delivery rose ¾¢ to $4.15 a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures added 1¼¢ to $4.12¾ a bushel. 

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2. Speculative Investors Generally More Positive About Bean, Corn Prices

Speculative investors were generally more optimistic about the price of soybeans and corn last week than they were the prior week.

Investors increased their net-long position, or bets on higher prices, in soybean to 111,808 futures contracts as of last Tuesday, the highest level since late August, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. That’s up from 96,933 contracts the prior week, CFTC data show.

Corn investors and hedgers lowered their bets against higher prices by 13% week over week.  

Strong demand has kept investors bullish on soybeans and, recently, less bearish on corn. Export sales of corn last week reached almost 1.5 million metric tons, and soybean sales topped 2.5 million tons, according to the USDA.

There’s still a lot of uncertainty in the market. The Department of Agriculture has pegged this year’s corn and soybean crops at records. The department will release its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report this week. Growers have said they’re skeptical, though many have been reporting solid harvest numbers.

Wheat investors last week were a bit less optimistic about prices for the grain. The number of net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, in soft red winter wheat traded in Chicago jumped to 108,568 futures contracts, while the number of bets for higher hard red winter wheat prices, traditionally known as Kansas City wheat, fell to 4,018 contracts.

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3. Oklahoma, Texas Panhandles in Freeze Watch Tomorrow Night

The Oklahoma and Texas panhandles are under a freeze watch starting tomorrow, the National Weather Service said in a report on Monday.

The watch is set for tomorrow night, as temperatures are expected to drop below freezing for several hours overnight. The NWS said any “sensitive vegetation” could be harmed by the low temperatures and that the freeze-watch indicates crops face hardships.

The service also said that a slow-moving weather system will bring more rain and thundershowers to much of central Texas today. The storms could cause some localized flooding.

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