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3 Big Things Today, April 29, 2024

1. Soybean futures rise in overnight trading

Soybean futures were higher in overnight trading on concerns about South American crops.

Rain in Brazil, the world’s largest exporter of the oilseeds, is slowing the soybean harvest, according to weather reports. 

Consultancy Conab earlier this month reduced its outlook for the Brazilian harvest to 146.5 million metric tons. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture left its forecast for production in the South American country unchanged at 155 million metric tons. Analysts had expected the agency to also cut its forecast. 

While it’s wet in some areas, other parts of Brazil remain dry, threatening the country’s second corn crop that’s in the field. Production for the 2023/2024 marketing year is forecast by USDA at 124 million metric tons, down from 137 million tons a year earlier. 

Chicago wheat futures were lower in overnight trading, though Kansas City futures remain underpinned by dry weather in the U.S. southern Plains. 

Soybean futures for July delivery rose 6¢ to $11.83¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal was up $2.20 to $346.90 short ton and soy oil added 0.19¢ to 45.73¢ a pound. 

Corn futures were up ¼¢ to $4.50¼ a bushel. 

Wheat futures for July delivery fell 7¢ to $6.15¼ a bushel, and Kansas City futures gained 2¾¢ to $6.57 a bushel. 

2. Investors cut net short positions in corn, soybeans

Money managers covered short positions, or bets on lower prices, in corn and beans last week but remained solidly bearish, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. 

Investors held a net-short position of 225,943 futures contracts in corn in the week through April 23, CFTC said in a report.

That’s down from 271,600 contracts seven days earlier and the smallest such position since Jan. 2. 

Speculators were short by 138,678 soybean futures contracts last week, down from 155,692 the previous week, the agency said. 

In wheat, hedge funds and other large investment firms reduced their net shorts to 47,814 hard red winter contracts from 49,320 a week earlier. 

Investors also were less bearish on soft red winter wheat, holding a net-short position of 75,542 contracts for the week, well below the 95,557 held a week earlier and the smallest such position since March 5, CFTC data show. 

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. Flood warnings in effect in parts of Missouri

Flash flood warnings remain in effect through mid-morning in parts of southern Missouri, according to the National Weather Service. 

Heavy rains overnight led to flooding in several counties in the region, NWS said in a report early this morning. While no more rain is expected, flooding will continue. 

Flood warnings have been issued for parts of south-central Missouri this morning as several rivers are at capacity or already overflowing, the agency said. 

The James River near Boaz, Missouri, was at 10.7 feet this morning, topping bankfull stage of 10 feet, NWS said. In Galena, Missouri, the river was at 12.7 feet, below capacity of 15 feet, but it’s expected to top flood stage this morning and crest at 16.5 feet overnight. 

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