Inflation worries and forecasts for a dry U.S. summer sent shivers through CBOT markets this week, with corn reaching a 10-year high and soybeans at 2-1/2 year top.
Traders expect volatility to keep climbing as we move into the spring planting and summer growing seasons — traditionally the most volatile times of the year.
That volatility is attracting a steady flow of speculative capital into the markets. Funds are especially crazy about corn. Trade data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Friday showed that they expanded their net long position in corn futures/options by nearly 9,000 lots, after the previous week’s big jump. Traders also noted that funds have the most room to build a long position in wheat than any other ag-related commodity.
Fundamental factors traders will be watching next week include — Brazilian weather as rain is delaying the soy harvest in the No. 1 soy state of Mato Grosso, any long-range forecast calling for a La Nina weather pattern to develop this season, and export business.
USDA’s outlook conference supply-and-demand projections released on Friday will also be closely watched and undoubtedly provide price direction.