3 Big Things Today, September 11
1. Wheat Declines Overnight on Reports of Growing Russian Crop
Wheat futures were lower in overnight trading on speculation that Russia’s crop will be larger than previously expected.
Russian ag consultancy SovEcon on Friday raised its outlook for domestic wheat production by 2.2 million metric tons to 81.1 million tons. That, in turn, may mean more global supplies and less demand for U.S. wheat.
Soybeans and corn were mixed ahead of tomorrow’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) Report from the USDA.
Wheat futures for December delivery fell 4¼¢ to $4.33¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City futures lost a nickel to $4.36½ a bushel.
Corn futures for December delivery declined 1¾¢ to $3.55½ a bushel.
Soybean futures for November delivery added 2¢ to $9.64 a bushel overnight. Soy meal fell 50¢ to $304.70 a short ton, and soy oil futures rose 0.16¢ to 35.10¢ a pound.
2. Money Managers Add to Net-Short Positions in Corn, Less Bearish on Soybeans
Money managers added to their net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, in corn futures last week, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Speculators were net short by 103,898 corn futures contracts in the seven days that ended on September 5, up from 63,532 contracts a week earlier, CFTC data show.
Soybean investors, however, cut their net shorts to 12,529 contracts, less than half the previous week’s 32,677 contracts, according to the government.
Uncertainty over what the U.S. crops will look like when the growing season is over has led to mixed trading in corn and soybeans in the past few weeks. Rain has been variable in much of the Corn Belt throughout the season, but dry weather recently isn’t good for soybeans that are finishing their development.
Money managers were net short soft red winter wheat by 79,685 contracts, up from 70,126 net-short positions a week earlier.
Hard red winter was the only major crop in which investors were bullish, holding 14,607 net-long contracts, or bets on higher prices, vs. 17,516 a week earlier, according to the CFTC.
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.
3. Hurricane Irma Heading Into Georgia, Alabama After Making Landfall Over Weekend
Hurricane Irma slammed into Florida over the weekend leading to flash flood, storm surge, hurricane and tropical storm warnings this morning.
About 6 million people reportedly don’t have power after the storm swept through the area. Irma is now headed north into Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and the Carolinas, spawning warnings of all sorts on Monday.
The storm has weakened to a Category 1 but sustained winds of 75 mph are still being reported. Flash flood warnings abound in most of Florida and parts of the other affected states as another 3 to 5 inches of rain are expected to fall today in addition to the 6 to 12 inches that already fell, according to the National Weather Service.
Rainfall is expected for much of the Delta, which could slow harvest in some areas where corn is grown. Damage to the orange and cotton crops has yet to be determined.