FORT COLLINS, (Colo.): Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds have been on a seasonally unusual rally amid tight global supplies and inflation fears, and although speculators’ corn views have hit an all-time high for the date, the wheat optimism is more muted.
In the week ended Nov. 23, money managers increased their net long position in CBOT corn futures and options to 366,691 contracts from 341,135 a week prior. That marked their most optimistic view since early May and resulted mostly from new longs being added.
That is according to data published Monday afternoon by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which was delayed from its usual Friday release due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
CBOT March corn futures had risen 1.9% through Nov. 23, though they have shed 1% in the three sessions since. However, the contract on Nov. 24 reached $5.96-3/4 per bushel, its highest since Aug. 12.
Wheat was the star of the week, as CBOT March futures jumped nearly 6% through Nov. 23 while Kansas City added more than 7%.
But money managers were relatively light buyers of Chicago wheat, adding less than 3,000 contracts through Nov. 23 to their net long, which reached 17,963 futures and options contracts. That is their most bullish since August, but it is not the strong vote of confidence as is evident in corn or the other wheat contracts.
Index traders were the CBOT wheat buyers through Nov. 23, boosting their total number of outright contracts by 10% in the week to the highest levels since May 2019. That was their biggest weekly add in two years, and it supports the theory of inflation trade.
Money managers’ net long in K.C. wheat through Nov. 23 jumped to 65,609 futures and options contracts, record high for the time of year and their most optimistic stance since July 2017. That compared with 60,560 a week earlier.
Funds’ Minneapolis wheat net long also remains very elevated and reached 15,135 futures and options contracts as of Nov. 23, up 172 on the week. Minneapolis futures rose nearly 3% during that period but are unchanged since then.
However, the winter wheat contracts have taken a larger hit, with CBOT wheat down more than 5% over the last three sessions and K.C. down 3%. Both hit multiyear highs on Nov. 24, but coronavirus jitters returned to commodity markets late last week with a new variant in focus.