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3 Big Things Today, August 15, 2022

Soybeans, Grains Plunge Overnight; Speculators Raised Bullish Bets on Corn, Beans

1. Soybeans and Grains Plunge in Overnight Trading

Soybeans and grains plunged in overnight trading in the first session since Friday's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report was released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Soybean production is now forecast at 4.531 billion bushels in the 2022-0223 marketing year that starts on Sept. 1, up from a prior outlook for 4.505 billion bushels, the USDA said in its report.

Ending stockpiles are now pegged at 245 million bushels, up from the 230 million previously forecast, the USDA said.

The agency's corn-production outlook was lowered to 14.359 billion bushels, down from 14.505 billion a month earlier. Ending stocks are now seen at 1.388 billion bushels, down from 1.47 billion projected last month.

The USDA also raised its outlook for global soybean production to 392.8 million metric tons from 391.4 million a month earlier. Ending stocks are now seen at 101.4 million metric tons, up from 99.6 million.

The world corn production outlook, however, was lowered to 1.18 bullion metric tons, down from 1.186 billion in July. The government's ending stocks forecast is now at 306.7 million metric tons from 312.9 million a month earlier.

Soybean futures for November delivery dropped 43 1/2¢ to $14.10 ¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal was down $9.50 to $408.40 a short ton, while soybean oil futures lost 2.28¢ to 65.69¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery plunged 17 1/4¢ to $6.25 a bushel.

Wheat for September delivery lost 18 1/4¢ to $7.87 ¾ a bushel while Kansas City futures dropped 22¢ to $8.67 ¼ a bushel.

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2. Speculative Investors Raise Bullish Bets in Corn and Beans

Money managers raised their net-long positions, or bets on higher prices, in corn and beans last week, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Investors held a net-134,763 futures contracts in corn in the seven days that ended on Aug. 9, the CFTC said in a report.

That's up from 118,034 contracts a week earlier and the largest such position since July 5.

Speculators held 102,354 soybean-futures contracts last week, up from 100,043 contracts the previous week and the largest bullish position since the week that ended on June 28, government data show.

Investors were less enamored with wheat last week.

Hedge funds and other large investors held a net-7,651 futures contracts in hard-red winter wheat, down from 9,841 contracts a week earlier and smallest bullish position in the grain since Sept. 1, 2020, the agency said.

In soft-red winter wheat, speculators increased their net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, to 24,081 futures contracts last week, up from 18,890 contracts a week earlier. That' the largest bullish position since Feb. 15, the CFTC said in its report.

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. Extreme Heat Expected in Parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas

Hot weather is again expected in parts of eastern Oklahoma and almost the entirety of the state of Arkansas, according to the National Weather Service. 

Temperatures will reach into the triple digits this afternoon in Oklahoma, the NWS said in a report early this morning. 

Heat index values are forecast to hit as high as 108 degrees Fahrenheit. 

"Hot temperatures and high humidity may cause heat illnesses to occur," the agency said. Those working outside are advised to take extra caution in the heat. 

Further north in parts of northern Iowa and southern Wisconsin, a few thunderstorms are forecast today, though no severe weather is expected. 

Storms will again fire up in the area later this week and likely last Wednesday through Sunday, the NWS said. 

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