3 Big Things Today, November 17
1. Grains, Soybeans Rebound Overnight as Investors Await CFTC Report
Grains and soybeans rebounded overnight, taking back some of yesterday’s losses, as buyers await today’s commitment of traders report from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission.
The question will be whether speculative investors are holding a record short position or merely an extreme short position. Many investors are thinking that fund managers are too short on corn and eventually will buy back, but that hasn’t happened yet so far.
Export sales yesterday for wheat topped expectations, soybeans were within the projected range and corn missed forecasts.
Informa on Thursday reportedly came out with an updated planting forecast and now expect 2018 corn area at 91.415 million acres, up from a previous outlook for 90.460 million, and soybean area is pegged at 89.627 million acres, down from the prior 90.347 million.
Corn futures for December delivery rose 1¼ cents to $3.37 ¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.
Wheat futures gained 2¾ cents to $4.24¼ a bushel in Chicago. Kansas City futures added 2½ cents to $4.37 a bushel.
Soybean futures for January delivery gained 3¢ to $9.75 a bushel overnight. Soymeal rose 80¢ to $311.30 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.20¢ to 34.63¢ a pound.
2. Corn Sales Overseas Miss Forecasts, Wheat, Soybeans Within Expected Ranges
Export sales of corn missed forecasts while wheat and soybean sales were within expectations.
Overseas buyers bought 949,500 metric tons of corn for delivery in the marketing year that started on Sept. 1, down 60% from the previous week and 34% from the prior four-week average, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report.
Analysts had pegged sales from 1.2 million to 1.7 million metric tons.
Japan was the biggest buyer, taking 543,400 metric tons, followed by an unknown buyer that took 148,800 tons. Mexico bought 86,000 tons, Peru took 47,200 tons, and Panama was in for 38,300 tons, according to the USDA.
Wheat sales were reported at 489,300 metric tons, near the top end of the projected range of 350,000 to 550,000 tons. Still, that’s down 37% from the prior week and 7% from the average.
Japan was also the biggest wheat buyer, taking 136,800 tons. Indonesia followed with 105,800 tons, South Korea bought 73,000 tons, the United Arab Emirates took 30,000 tons, and Costa Rica was in for 27,000 tons.
Soybean sales came in just over 1.1 million tons, down 5% from the prior week and 32% from the average, according to the USDA.
Analysts had expected sales from 1.1 million to 1.5 million tons.
China bought 1.11 million metric tons, the Netherlands was in for 163,000 tons, and Turkey bought 132,000 tons, the government said. Spain was in for 130,600 tons, and Egypt bought 60,000 tons.
The total would’ve been higher if not for a cancelation for an order totaling 662,000 tons.
3. Extremely Dry Weather Makes for Red Flag, Fire Risk Warnings in Southern Plains
Extremely dry, windy conditions are creating fire risks in parts of Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle, according to the National Weather Service.
A red flag warning has been issued for much of the Texas Panhandle and several counties in eastern New Mexico. In Oklahoma, low humidity and strong winds are making for tinderbox-like conditions.
“Elevated to near-critical fire weather conditions are expected this afternoon, primarily across the western half of Oklahoma and all of western north Texas, due to dry, very warm, and breezy conditions,” the NWS said in an early Friday report.
Wind gusts of up to 55 mph are expected in western Oklahoma today, the agency said. The winds and fire risks are expected to last throughout the weekend, mostly during the morning hours, according to the agency.
Farther north, a wintry mix is expected this weekend in much of Wisconsin, which could make travel dangerous.