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3 Big Things Today, October 23

Soybeans, Grains Little Changed Overnight; Money Managers Raise Bullish Bean Bets.

1. Soybeans, Grains Little Changed Overnight on Strong Yields Vs. Weekend Rains

Soybeans and corn were little changed overnight as prices stay in a range on little change in the fundamental picture.

The harvest rolled on last week as some areas of dry weather allowed growers into the fields. That, along with reports of strong yields, have kept a lid on prices.

Over the weekend, however, rain fell in much of the central Corn Belt, further delaying the already-slow harvest this season.

As much as 2 inches of rain – more locally – fell on Saturday and Sunday in a wide swath of land stretching from central Texas all the way to the Canadian border, with the heaviest in Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa, according to the National Weather Service.

Investors are also looking at export sales, and, so far, soybean sales have been strong this season.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose ¼¢ to $9.79 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal fell 70¢ to $316.40 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.16¢ to 34.32¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery added ½¢ to $3.45 a bushel overnight.

Wheat for December delivery were unchanged at $4.26 a bushel in Chicago. Kansas City futures added ¾¢ to $4.23½ a bushel.


2. Money Managers Increase Bullish Soybean Bets, More Bearish on Corn Prices

Money managers increased their bullish bets on soybeans while becoming even more bearish on corn in the past week.

Speculators were net long 67,513 soybean contracts in the week that ended on October 17, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in a report. That’s up from 25,869 contracts a week earlier.

Investors in corn, however, bumped their net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, to 154,699 contracts last week, up from 150,963 contracts a week earlier, according to the CFTC.

There may be some spread trading happening, with traders buying beans while selling corn as the fundamentals haven’t changed for either crop in the past seven days.

Money managers were net short soft red winter wheat by 78,815 contracts last week, up from 67,427 contracts seven days earlier, the CFTC said in its report.

Investors were net short 4,773 hard red winter wheat contracts, shifting to a short position after being long by only 252 contracts a week earlier, according to the government.


3. Overly Dry Conditions Today in Nebraska, Iowa; Flooding in Parts of Michigan Expected

Strong winds are expected for much of the Midwest this afternoon, which along with low humidity means tinderbox-like conditions.

Wildfire risks are high in much of eastern Nebraska into central Iowa where wind gusts around 35 mph are expected along with relative humidity as low as 25%, making for prime fire conditions, the National Weather Service said in a report early Monday.

Farther east, flood warnings have been issued for much of central and southern Michigan that are in effect from 2 p.m. local time today through tomorrow morning.

As much as 5 inches of rain fell in the area that led to runoff that overwhelmed drainage. The affected area includes portions of central Michigan, south-central Michigan, and southwestern Michigan, according to the NWS.

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