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3 Big Things Today, August 8, 2022

Grains, Beans Drop Overnight; Investors Raise Bullish Bets on Corn

1. Grains, Soybeans Lower in Overnight Trading

Grains dropped and soybeans were lower in overnight trading as more ships loaded with agricultural products leave Ukraine.

Four ships reportedly left the Ukrainian port cities of Odesa and Chornomorsk for Turkey as part of a deal reached late last month between Russia and Ukraine, according to several media reports. 

A lone ship left Odesa last week carrying Ukraine grain.

Agricultural products have been stuck in Ukraine since Russia launched attacks on the country in February, exacerbating global food crises and causing grain prices to rise.

Prior to the Russian attacks, Ukraine was forecast by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to export 24 million metric tons of wheat, making it the world's third-biggest shipper of the grain.

The USDA in July forecast wheat shipments from the country at 10 million metric tons.

Export sales of grains and soybeans reported last week were disappointing, dropping across the board.

Corn sales were down 62% in the seven days that ended on July 28, soybean sales declined 81% and wheat sales were down 39%, the USDA said.

Wheat for September delivery lost 12 1/2¢ to $7.63 ¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade while Kansas City futures dropped 13 ¼¢ to $8.35 a bushel.

Corn futures for December delivery were down 7¢ to $6.03 a bushel.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 1 1/4¢ to $14.07 ½ a bushel. Soymeal lost $2.50 to $402.60 a short ton, while soybean oil futures rose 0.82¢ to 64.79¢ a pound.

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2. Investors Raise Bullish Bets in Corn and Beans

Money managers raised their net-long positions, or bets on higher prices, in corn and soybeans last week while curbing bullish bets in hard-red winter wheat, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Investors held a net-118,034 corn-futures contracts in the seven days that ended on Aug. 2, the CFTC said in a report.

That's up from 111,784 contracts a week earlier and marks the largest such position since July 12.

Speculators held 100,043 soybean-futures contracts, up from 85,962 contracts a week earlier, the largest net-long position since July 5, the agency said.

In wheat, meanwhile, money managers cut their bullish bets on hard-red winter futures to a net-9,841 contracts last week, the CFTC said.

That's down from 10,893 contracts a week earlier and the smallest such position since Dec. 29, 2020.

Investors were more bearish on soft-red winter wheat, raising their net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, to 18,890 contracts from 14,527 contracts a week earlier, the government said.

That's the largest bearish positions since Feb. 22.

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.


3. Flash Flood Warnings in Effect For Parts of Wisconsin, Illinois

Flooding is occurring in parts of southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois amid extremely heavy rain in the area, according to data from the National Weather Service.

Flash flood warnings are in effect this morning until 8 a.m. local time.

More than 3 inches of rain have already fallen in the region and thunderstorms are forecast to produce precipitation of more than an inch an hour, the NWS said in a report early this morning. Flash flooding has already started.

"Showers and storms with torrential rainfall across northwest Illinois will drift eastward north of I-88 through mid-morning but may expand as far south as Interstate 80," the agency said. "Rainfall rates over 2 inches per hour are likely with storms and could lead to flash flooding, especially for areas that saw heavy rain on Sunday."

Further south in southern Illinois and eastern Missouri, "dangerous" heat is forecast today as temperatures reach into the triple digits.

Heat indexes are expected to rise as high as 106 degrees Fahrenheit this afternoon in some areas, the NWS said.

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