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3 Big Things Today, November 22, 2021

Wheat Futures Jump Overnight; Speculators Raise Net-Longs in Corn, Beans

1. Wheat Futures Near Nine-Year High Overnight

Wheat futures were again close to a nine-year higher in overnight trading amid worries about global supplies of the grain.

Excessive rainfall in Australia is causing flooding in growing areas as farmers attempt to harvest their crops, according to weather data and media reports.

Precipitation through at least the first part of this week is expected to slow wheat collection as wetness is forecast to build in parts of the major producing states of New South Wales and south Queensland, Donald Keeney, an agricultural meteorologist with Maxar, said in a report.

There's a chance for rain every day this week in New South Wales, weather maps show.

In Russia, the world's largest exporter of the grain, prices were up for a fifth straight week amid strong demand.

Algeria purchased about 250,000 metric tons of Russian wheat last week.

Prices in the so-called Black Sea region were at $337 a metric ton, up $5 from the previous week, Russian consultancy Sovecon said.

Canadian wheat also is a point of concern as grain is piled up in the prairies after flooding and landslides cut off access to parts of British Columbia including the Port of Vancouver, Bloomberg News reported.

Twenty vessels are waiting for grain deliveries and about 200,000 metric tons of wheat are unable to reach the port, the news company said, citing a company that monitors Canadian grain movements.

Flooding killed at least one person last week after torrential downpours caused landslides that took out entire sections of major roadways.

The government in British Columbia is restricting the amount of gas people can buy for a week after the floods and blocked unnecessary travel on the province's highways, though vehicles carrying essential products will be allowed.

Wheat futures for December delivery rose 20¢ to $8.54 ¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City futures surged 22 3/4¢ to $8.61 ¼ a bushel.

Corn futures for December delivery were up 3 1/4¢ to $5.80 ¼ a bushel.

Soybean futures for November delivery added 1 1/2¢ to $12.64 ¾ a bushel. Soymeal lost 50¢ to $364.10 a short ton, while soy oil rose 0.5¢ to 58.56¢ a pound.

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2. Speculative Investors Raise Bullish Bets in Corn and Soybeans

Money managers increased their bullish bets in corn to the highest level in six months last week while also bumping their net-long positions, or bets on higher prices, in beans, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Investors in the seven days that ended on Nov. 16 raised their bullish bets in corn to 335,273 futures contracts, the CFTC said in a report.

That's up from 311,637 futures contracts a week earlier and the largest such position since May 4.

Speculators also raised their bullish bets on beans to 29,539 futures contracts last week, up from 9,222 contracts a week earlier, agency said.

In wheat, investors raised their net-longs in hard-red winter futures to 59,472 contracts from 56,062 the previous week. That's the highest level since the week that ended on Jan. 26, government data show.

Hedge funds and other large investors raised their bullish bets in soft-red winter futures to a net-16,247 contracts last week, up from only 1,726 contracts.

That's the largest net-long position in soft-red winter contracts since the week that ended on Aug. 17, the CFTC said in its report.

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.

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3. Fire Danger Expected in Parts of Nebraska, Kansas This Week

Dry weather is forecast for parts of the Nebraska panhandle Monday as low humidity and strong winds are expected in the region, according to the National Weather Service.

Winds are expected to be sustained from 18 to 20 miles an hour with gusts of up to 30 miles an hour possible, the NWS said in a report.

Relative humidity is projected as low as 8%. There's potential for "rapid" expansion of wildfires should they ignite.

In southwestern Kansas, a fire weather watch has been issued for Tuesday with southwest winds from 15 to 25 miles an hour with gusts of up to 40 miles an hour, the agency said. Humidity is forecast as low as 12%.

"Any fires that start will have extreme fire behavior and spread rapidly," the NWS said.

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