commodity investing 101

commodity investing 101

June 9th, 2017

Grain prices struggled to hold their ground as concerns over 100-degree temperatures in the US clashed with forecasts from a much-watched report showing bigger-than-expected stocks of corn, soybeans and wheat ahead.

The US Department of Agriculture, in its much-watched monthly Wasde briefing on world crop supply and demand, raised its estimate for world and US corn and soybean inventories at the close of 2017-18 by more than had been expected.

And while the estimate for US corn stocks was left unchanged, that defied expectations of a decline, although the forecast for world inventories of the grain did fall below the figure the market had expected.

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soybean futures brokers

soybean futures brokers

May 31st, 2016

Can soybean futures regain $11 a bushel, for the first time since September 2014?

They weren’t quite knocking on the door in early deals in Chicago, but were well up the garden path, hitting $10.96 a bushel, for the July contract, before easing back to $10.89 ¼ a bushel as of 08:35 UK time (03:00 Chicago time), a gain of 0.3% on the day.

It may have helped that risk assets were broadly putting on a firm performance as May headed for a close, with Shanghai shares adding 3.0% and Tokyo stocks closing up 3.0%, while oil futures made some headway too, particularly WTI crude, which gained 0.7% to $49.68 a barrel.

But the key reason cited for strength in soybeans was, as ever, worries over the rain-ravaged crop in Argentina, the third biggest exporter of the oilseed, and the top shipper of the processing products, soymeal and soyoil.

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corn futures quotes

corn futures quotes

June 9th, 2015

Soybeans followed corn in attracting concerns that US farmers might not complete sowings programmes after official data showed seedings falling behind the average rate, with marked shortfalls in some states.

Data overnight from the US Department of Agriculture showed the strong start to the country’s soy sowing season had foundered, with plantings, at 79% complete, 2 points behind the average.

A month before, sowing were, at 31%, 11 points ahead of the typical pace.

The slowdown reflected in particular setbacks in a central Midwest growing belt of Nebraska and, in particular, Kansas and Missouri where heavy rains have slowed fieldwork to a crawl.

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iwheat-1May 11th, 2015

Grain, oilseed and cotton markets have lots of big questions as they stand on the threshold of their respective 2015-16 marketing years.

How much corn will trouble-hit Ukraine export? How much wheat will Europe produce? Will Brazil rise back above the US again in the soybean export league?

And Tuesday will bring answers too all these questions, and more.

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Chicago board of trade

Chicago board of trade

April 30th, 2015

Month-ends, by repute, bring lower grain prices, as funds sell-up withdraw cash to pay bonuses and customers.

But with hedge funds record net short, or so, in grains, as they were in the latest regulatory data, will that mean a nuance on that dynamic?

They might, after all, be tempted to raise money by taking profits on some of their short positions instead – sending prices higher in the process.

Certainly, grain futures traded a touch higher again in early deals on Thursday, despite expectations of ideal US sowings conditions, for now.

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soybean futures brokers

soybean futures brokers

November 4th, 2014

Soybean and corn futures fell for a second day in Chicago as reports showed the U.S. harvest is gathering pace and output this season is expected to be the largest ever.

Farmers harvested 65 percent of corn in the main U.S. growing areas as of Nov. 2, faster than analysts expected and up from 46 percent a week earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday. The soybean harvest was 83 percent complete, from 70 percent in the prior week. Output in the U.S., the top grower, may total 14.783 billion bushels of corn and 4.033 billion bushels of soybeans, less than previously expected while still the most ever, INTL FCStone said yesterday.

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soybean futures quotes

soybean futures quotes

October 22nd, 2014

Soybean futures rose to the highest in more than a month in Chicago as traders weighed concerns about dry weather in Brazil and slow harvesting in the U.S.

U.S. farmers had collected 53 percent of crops in main growing areas as of Oct. 19, behind the average pace of 66 percent, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. While wet weather recently delayed fieldwork, conditions are expected to be drier this week in most areas, according to DTN. Brazil, the biggest exporter, is facing planting delays because of dry weather. Growing areas may see scattered showers late this week, DTN said.

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soybean futures

soybean futures

August 4th, 2014

Soybeans headed for the largest gain in a week on concern that dry Midwest weather is eroding crop quality just as demand increases for supplies from the U.S., the world’s top grower. Corn and wheat also rose.

About 70 percent of the soybean crop was probably in good or excellent condition as of yesterday, down from 71 percent a week earlier, a Bloomberg survey showed. Exporters sold 110,000 metric tons to China and 102,000 tons to Taiwan for delivery in the 12 months starting September 1, the government said today.

“Rains were a little disappointing over the weekend,” Phyllis Nystrom, a risk manager at Country Hedging Inc., said in a telephone interview from Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. “Then the new sales gave it a little extra bump.”

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soybean futures

soybean futures

July 23rd, 2014

Soybean futures rose from a 45-month low on concern that some areas will face adverse weather in the U.S., the world’s largest grower. Corn extended a slump to the cheapest in four years, and wheat climbed.

Rain will be limited in the southwest Midwest in the next two weeks, raising the odds of stress for soybeans, Donald Keeney, a meteorologist at MDA Information Systems Inc. in Gaithersburg, Maryland, said a telephone interview. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said this week that 60 percent of the crop bloomed as of July 20, topping the prior five-year average.

“The most important phase is right in front of us during the pollination period,” Louise Gartner, the owner of Spectrum Commodities in New Richmond, Ohio, said in a telephone interview. “While the weather forecast is good, the market is just playing it cautious.”

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soybean futures

soybean futures

June 26th, 2014

Soybean futures climbed for a second day in Chicago as a jump in U.S. exports added to supply concerns amid declining stockpiles and flooding in parts of the nation’s Midwest region that may curb yields.

U.S. shippers sold 317,200 metric tons of the oilseed for delivery before Aug. 31, the most since the last week of February, the Department of Agriculture said today. Total sales since Sept. 1 are up 24 percent from a year earlier, above the 20 percent increase forecast by USDA this year, agency data show.

“Exports sales were better than expected and that means tighter supplies before the harvest,” Mark Schultz, the chief analyst for Northstar Commodity Investment Co. in Minneapolis, said in a telephone interview. “People are speculating that too much rain may cut planted acreage and take the top end of U.S. soybean yields.”

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 1 percent to $12.4125 a bushel at 11:39 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Prices climbed 0.4 percent yesterday.

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