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3 Big Things Today, September 17
1. Soybean Futures Lower Overnight on Trade Worries
Soybeans were lower in overnight trading on fears that the Trump administration will put tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods as early as today.
The president and his administration have been considering adding the duties, which have been in the works for a couple of months, despite ongoing trade talks between the two countries. The U.S. and China already have levies on $50 billion worth of the others’ goods.
Traders worry escalation by the U.S. would result in further retaliation by Beijing.
Soybean futures for November delivery rose fell 5¼¢ to $8.25¼ a bushel. Soy meal lost $1.30 to $307.40 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.03¢ to 27.73¢ a pound.
Corn fell 2¢ to $3.49¾ a bushel overnight.
Wheat for December delivery rose 2½¢ to $5.14 a bushel overnight, while Kansas City futures added 3¢ to $5.19¼ a bushel.
2. Money Managers Increase Bearish Bets in Soybeans to Highest Since January
Money managers increased their bearish bets in soybeans to the highest level in almost eight months and in corn to the largest since July 31, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Speculators held 78,895 net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, in soybeans in the week that ended on September 11, up from 69,799 futures contracts seven days earlier, the CFTC said in a report. That’s the biggest net-short position since the week that ended on January 23.
Investors were net short by 83,892 corn futures contracts, the biggest such position in six weeks, according to government data. That’s up from 80,539 contracts a week earlier.
Hedge funds and other large investors have been more bearish on corn and soybeans in recent weeks as the harvest begins, generally a down time for prices as supplies hit the market.
The USDA last week increased its outlook for corn yield to 181.3 bushels an acre and production to 14.826 billion bushels, up from 178.4 bushels and 14.586 billion, respectively.
The government’s soybean yield outlook was increased to 52.8 bushels an acre and production was upped to 4.693 billion bushels.
Speculators were also less bullish on wheat, reducing their net-long positions, or bets on higher prices, in soft red winter futures contracts to 11,575 contracts, down from 35,997 a week earlier. In hard red winter wheat, investors cut their net longs to 40,185 contracts from 52,578 seven days earlier, according to the CFTC.
3. Hurricane Florence Remnants Continue to Cause Flooding, Tornadoes in North Carolina
Flood warnings and watches are still in effect for much of inland North Carolina as the state deals with the remnants of Hurricane Florence, which hit on Friday.
Flash flood warnings are in effect for most of the state’s counties, according to the National Weather Service. Thunderstorms producing heavy rains across the area will add to the 2 inches that have already fallen.
Flash flooding is expected to begin shortly, the NWS said in a report early Monday morning.
“Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause flossing of small creeks and streams, country roads, farmland, and other low-lying spots,” the agency said.
Tornado warnings are also in effect for at least two counties. A severe storm capable of producing tornadoes was recorded near Durham and moving northeast at 25 mph, the NWS said. Residents are advised to take immediate cover.
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