Funds' bullish views in U.S. grains, oilseeds reach three-month peak
Speculators' optimism across U.S. grain and oilseed futures has returned to late June levels amid increased buying in Chicago-traded corn and soybean products, an uncommon trend leading into U.S. harvest.
This year's short U.S. corn and soybean crops and the ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Russia have only worsened global grain supply uncertainties, which have been prominent for two years now. But a potential slowdown in the global economy poses threats to speculators' bullish grain bets.
In the week ended Sept. 20, money managers lifted their net long position in CBOT corn futures and options to 247,909 contracts from 240,643 a week earlier, according to data published Friday by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
That marked funds' eighth consecutive week of net buying in the yellow grain and produced their most bullish corn stance since June 21.
Most active CBOT corn futures rose 15% in those eight weeks, remaining just under $7 per bushel at their peak.
Corn futures settled at $6.76-3/4 per bushel
Friday, easing with broader commodities and equities, though they remain at the second highest levels for the date behind 2012. Subpar global crops have supported corn futures, but demand concerns loom.
The 2022-23 U.S. corn harvest is in the early stages, though sowing has just begun for Argentina. Extreme dryness there has already prompted industry analysts to cut crop forecasts.