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3 Big Things Today, July 16

Soybeans, Grains Lower Overnight; Money Managers Increase Bearish Bets on Corn.

1. Soybeans Slightly Lower Overnight on Ample Supply, Declining Exports

Soybeans fell overnight on signs of ample supplies amid the ongoing trade spat with China.

The USDA last week said exports would fall to 2.04 billion bushels in the marketing year that starts on September 1, down from a June outlook for 2.29 billion bushels. Stockpiles, meanwhile, were pegged at a record 580 million bushels, up from the prior forecast for 385 million bushels, the USDA said.  

Production was also bumped higher to 4.31 billion bushels from the previous outlook for 4.28 billion amid positive growing weather in much of the Midwest.

Grains were also lower overnight, following soybeans, on a lack of any bullish news.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 3¼¢ to $8.31 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal lost 20¢ to $322.80 a short ton, and soy oil fell 0.26¢ to 28.13¢ a pound.

Corn future for December delivery dropped 1½¢ to $3.53¼ a bushel overnight.

Wheat for September delivery lost 4¼¢ to $4.92¾ a bushel, while Kansas City futures declined 6½¢ to $4.85¼ a bushel.


2. Speculators Push Bearish Bets on Corn to Largest Level in Almost Six Months

Money managers pushed their net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, in corn futures to the highest level in almost six months, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in a report.

Speculators were net short by 140,944 corn futures contracts as of last Tuesday, the biggest such position since January 23, CFTC data show. That’s up from 107,396 contracts a week earlier.

Investors, however, reduced their net-short positions in soybeans to 63,543 futures contracts last week. That’s down from 64,162 contracts seven days prior, the government said.

Large funds and other speculators have been bearish on corn and soybeans amid favorable growing weather in the Midwest so far this year and the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China, which shows no signs of slowing.

Money managers are still bullish on hard red winter wheat, as they have a net-long position, or bets on higher prices, of 18,405 futures contracts on the grain. That’s up from 16,702 contracts a week earlier.

For soft red winter wheat, investors were net short by 1,266 contracts, little changed from the prior week, the CFTC said.

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. Heat Index to Reach 109˚F. in Oklahoma Today, Rains May Bring Relief

The heat wave that enveloped the Midwest last week has moved on, though hot weather remains in parts of eastern Oklahoma.

Temperatures will be around 100˚F. in parts of the Sooner State today with heat indexes of around 109˚F., according to the National Weather Service. The heat advisory will last until 8 p.m. this evening.  

The area is also facing thunderstorms that are forecast to spread through eastern Oklahoma into western Arkansas today, the agency said.

“Additional thunderstorms are expected to develop this afternoon, and these storms will have a very limited threat of damaging wind gusts,” the NWS said. “The chance of storms will continue through tonight, with highest chances remaining across northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. Any overnight storms are not expected to be severe. Isolated locations may see heavy rainfall, as well.”

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