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3 Big Things Today, November 1, 2021

Wheat Futures Rise Overnight; Investors Raise Net-Longs in Corn, Beans

1. Wheat Futures Jump in Overnight Trading

Wheat futures surged in overnight trading as global prices for the grain increase.

Exports from Russia, the world’s largest shipper of the grain, have become more expensive recently amid concerns about domestic supply.

The country’s government has imposed export taxes on wheat in recent months. Russian wheat was selling for $317 a metric ton, up from $312 a ton a week earlier, consultancy IKAR said in a report.

Global inventories are forecast to fall to 277.2 million metric tons in the 2021-2022 marketing year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report last month.

If realized, that would be down from 288.4 million a year earlier, the USDA said.

U.S. stockpiles at the end of the marketing year are pegged at 15.8 million metric tons, down from 23 million tons the previous year.

Soybeans, meanwhile, fell overnight as the harvest rolls on.

About 73% of the U.S. crop was collected at the start of last week, up from 60% a week earlier and the prior five-year average of 70%, USDA data show.

Up from 52% the previous week, 66% of the corn crop was in the bin. The average for this time of year is 53%.

Capping losses, however, is concern about a slowing in the pace of harvest. The USDA will release its weekly crop progress report today.

Wheat futures for December delivery rose 9¾¢ to $7.82½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City futures dropped 8½¢ to $7.81½ a bushel.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 5½¢ to $12.44 a bushel. Soymeal lost $2.30 to $330.30 a short ton, while soy oil rose 0.04¢ to 61.31¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery were up 1¼¢ at $5.69½ a bushel.

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2. Investors Increase Bullish Bets on Corn, Beans

Money managers raised their net-long positions, or bets on higher prices, in corn and beans in the week that ended on Oct. 26, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Investors held a net-235,207 corn-futures contracts last week, up from 211,654 contracts a week earlier, the CFTC said in a report.

That’s the largest bullish position for the grain since Oct. 5.

Speculators also raised their net-longs in soybeans to 24,760 futures contracts, up from 15,274 a week earlier, also the biggest such position since the seven days that ended on Oct. 5, the government said.

Investors likely raised their bullish bets on corn and beans amid signs of demand for U.S. supplies in the past couple of weeks.

In wheat, fund managers raised their net-long positions in hard-red winter futures to 51,843 contracts, up from 46,506 seven days earlier, the agency said.

That’s the largest such position since Feb. 23.

Money managers were bearish on soft-red winter wheat, though less so than the previous week. Investors held a net-short position, or bets on lower prices, of 11,571 soft-red futures contracts last week, down from 19,498 contracts a week earlier, the CFTC said in its report.

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. Winter Weather Advisory Issued in Parts of Nebraska

A winter wheat advisory has been issued for much of central and western Nebraska as cold weather moves into the region, according to the National Weather Service.

About 2 inches of wet snow will fall in the region today and winds will be variable, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Roads may be slippery and drivers are advised to slow down and use caution.

Farther east in parts of eastern Iowa and northern Illinois, a freeze warning has been issued as temperatures drop into the upper 20s and low 30s, the agency said.

The warning will be in effect until 9 a.m. local time, the NWS said.

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