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3 Big Things Today, May 21

Soybeans Jump in Overnight Trading; Money Managers Reduce Bullish Bets on Corn.

1. Soybeans Surge Overnight as U.S.-China Trade Spat On Hold’

Soybeans jumped in overnight as trade tensions between the U.S. and China ease.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday that the trade spat with China is “on hold” after the countries agreed to drop threats concerning tariffs.

The U.S. had threatened to impose tariffs on up to $150 billion worth of Chinese goods, while China in turn said it would retaliate by putting levies on $50 billion worth of U.S. goods. The Asian country also hasn’t bought many soybeans in recent weeks.

The move comes after a delegation from China was in Washington to work on the tariffs. China last week agreed to back off anti-dumping action against U.S. sorghum, saying it wasn’t beneficial for end users.

Soybean futures for July delivery jumped 17¼¢ to $10.15¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal futures added $4.20 to $380.50 a short ton, and soy oil rose 0.22¢ to 31.20¢ a pound.

Corn futures gained 3¼¢ to $4.05¾ a bushel overnight.

Wheat for July delivery rose 3¢ to $5.21¼ a bushel in Chicago while Kansas City futures added 3½¢ to $5.42¼ a bushel.

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2. Speculators Curb Bullish Bets on Corn, Beans Amid Rapid Planting Pace                                      

Money managers curbed their bullish bets on corn and beans last week, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Speculative investors held 184,773 net long positions, or bets on higher prices, in corn futures in the seven days that ended on May 15, the CFTC said in a report. That’s down from 206,147 contracts a week earlier and the smallest such position in three weeks.

Investors were net long by 101,072 soybean futures contracts last week, down from 122,465 contracts the prior week and the smallest such positions since the seven days that ended on February 20, according to the agency.

Money managers had lowered their bets on corn and soybeans amid rapid planting in the U.S. A trade spat between the U.S. and China, meanwhile, has cooled in recent weeks, which is positive for prices.

Speculators were net long by 43,633 hard-red winter wheat futures contracts as of last week, down from 47,865 contracts a week earlier, the CFTC said. Investors were net-short by 1,569 soft-red winter wheat contracts as of last week, well below the prior week’s negative position of 12,585 contracts.

The weekly Commitments 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. Several Missouri Counties Under Flood Warnings, Advisories After Rainfall

Several counties in south-central Missouri are under flood warnings and flood advisories after rainfall caused rivers and streams to top their banks.

Most of the precipitation that fell in the area has ended, but 2 to 6 inches fell in the past 48 hours, causing residual flooding, the National Weather Service said in a report early Monday morning.

Flooding is expected along several rivers today. Roadways with low river crossings likely will be underwater, and traveling through any floodwaters isn’t advised, the agency said.

Farther north, showers and nonsevere thunderstorms are expected to end this morning in much of northern Illinois. Thunderstorms are possible the rest of the week, according to the NWS.

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