Column: Funds See Record Soybean Meal Sale, But Corn Views Stand Still

Soybeans are seen in a field waiting to be harvested in Minooka, Illinois September 24, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Young/File Photo

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NAPERVILLE, Illinois, May 22 (Reuters) – Speculators continued to sell Chicago-traded soybean meal at a blistering pace last week as prices fell near four-month lows, but they continue to hold a significant long position in corn.

According to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, fund managers reduced their net long position in CBOT soybean meal futures and options to 35,923 contracts through May 17, from 52,314 a week. earlier.

This put the three- and four-week sales totals at record highs. In the four-week period ending May 17, the most active meal futures prices were down 10.4%, but down as much as 14%. The contract was actually up 2.6% in the most recent week.

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Fund managers sold 63,619 soybean meal futures and options in the four weeks ending May 17, equivalent to about 12% of forecast U.S. meal production in 2021-22.

CBOT oilshare, measuring the value share of soybean oil in soybean products, had reached record highs on May 12, and that has been declining over the past week. Soybean meal futures are up 4.4% over the past three sessions, but soybean oil is down 3%.

Fund managers had reduced their CBOT soybean oil net in the week ended May 17 by just over 2,000 contracts, resulting in 86,237 futures and options contracts.

The most active CBOT soybean oil mostly traded at an all-time low of 80 cents for a month now, settling at 80.93 cents a pound on Friday. The high prices were supported by the ban on palm oil exports imposed on April 28 by Indonesia’s main palm oil exporter.

Indonesia said on Thursday the ban would end on Monday despite domestic cooking oil prices remaining well above suggested target levels. Read more However, Jakarta said on Friday it would reimpose a domestic sales requirement, curbing some exports. Read more

On Friday, benchmark Malaysian palm oil futures rose 3% on the news, although prices are down more than 12% since the day before the ban took effect. prohibition. But prices are still about 50% higher than a year ago, which had reached record highs for the date.

Managed Net Money Position in CBOT Soybean Meal Futures and Options

CORN, SOYBEAN, WHEAT

CBOT corn futures jumped more than 3% in the week ended May 17, but fund managers added just over 1,000 contracts to their corn long net, which reached 339,711 futures and options contracts. The long has exceeded 300,000 contracts since October.

Fund managers ended a three-week selling streak in CBOT soybeans through May 17, taking their net long position to 147,335 futures and options contracts from 130,661 a week earlier. This was entirely based on new buying and was accompanied by a 5.4% rise in the most active futures.

Corn lost nearly 3% in the past three sessions as U.S. farmers continued to make progress in their historically slow planting efforts, but soybeans jumped 1.6%. Argentina, the top maize exporter, said on Thursday it could raise its maize export cap for 2021-22 to 35 million tonnes from the current 30 million.

Chicago wheat futures jumped nearly 17% in the week ended May 17 as India banned exports due to high domestic prices and a lower harvest. The contract was trading as high as $12.84 a bushel, a level reached only five other trading days in history.

India was expected to ship a record volume of wheat in 2022-23, at least 8.5 million tonnes, or about 4% of global exports. On Thursday, the government was considering allowing the shipment of some of the wheat trapped in ports, up to 1.8 million tonnes. Read more

In the week ended May 17, fund managers increased their net long position in CBOT wheat futures and options to 26,586 contracts, their most bullish since March 2021. That figure was up from compared to 15,547 the previous week and was only a fraction of the purchases that had been anticipated.

Open interest in Chicago wheat jumped 14% in the week ending May 17, the highest for any week since 2006, but remains the lightest for the date since 2009.

The most active CBOT wheat futures fell 8.5% over the past three sessions as investors took profits. Trade sources suggest that commodity funds may have sold 37,000 futures contracts during this period, resulting in a real-time net sell-off.

Karen Braun is a market analyst for Reuters. The opinions expressed above are his own.

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Editing by Matthew Lewis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The opinions expressed are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of Reuters News, which is committed to integrity, independence and freedom from bias by principles of trust.

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