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3 Big Things Today, November 14

Crop Futures Little Changed Overnight; Investors Extend Bullish Bean Bets, Still Bearish Corn.

1. Soybeans, Grains Little Changed as Fundamentals Lack Direction

Soybeans and corn were little changed overnight in quiet trading.

The harvest is nearing completion and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in a report that investors were more bullish on beans but more bearish on corn last week.

Fundamentally, not much has changed. The USDA in a report on Thursday raised its outlook for corn production while lowering its forecast for bean output, though by less than expected.

Combine the bearish USDA report with the mixed CFTC report and the completion of harvest, and it seems to be an uncertain market with no real direction at the moment.

Soybean futures for January delivery rose 1¼¢ to $9.75¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal added $1 to $312.30 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.07¢ to 34.26¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery lost ½¢ to $3.41¾ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures declined ¼¢ to $4.24 a bushel overnight in Chicago. Kansas City futures dropped a penny to $4.25½ a bushel.

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2. Money Managers Increase Net Longs in Soybeans, Net-Short Positions in Corn

Money managers increased their bets on higher soybean prices while also becoming more bearish on corn.

Investors were net -long by 45,053 contracts in soybeans in the week that ended on November 7, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in its weekly Commitment of Traders Report, which was released a day later than usual due to Veteran’s Day.

That’s up from 39,016 the prior week, according to the CFTC.

Speculators, however, increased their net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, in corn to 202,456 contracts. That’s an increase from 199,135 contracts a week earlier.

Money managers are nearing the record short position in corn of 229,176 contracts. Some analysts are saying that this big of a short position can’t be maintained and will, at some point, underpin prices as speculators begin buying back positions. That has yet to happen.

Specs were net short soft red winter wheat by 128,121 contracts, well above the prior week’s 115,567 contracts, while being net short hard red winter by 23,547 contracts, up from 21,416 a week earlier, according to the CFTC.  

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3. Dense Fog Again the Theme Tuesday Morning as Weather Maps Mostly Quiet

Dense fog seems to be the overarching theme on the weather maps this morning as large chunks of land including much of northern Minnesota and the eastern Dakotas, most of Nebraska and western Kansas, and areas around the southern tip of Lake Michigan are all under fog advisories.

The fog can be an issue for motorists, as it will reduce visibility considerably.

Still, the advisories are mostly set to end around 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. local time as temperatures increase, according to the National Weather Service.

In extreme western Kansas and eastern Colorado, “near critical fire weather conditions” are expected due to gusty wind and low humidity.

Otherwise it looks like a mostly quiet day in the Corn Belt.

 

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