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Trading Seasonal Weakness in Wheat


Late August to the start of October is a bearish time for wheat according to the seasonal chart. So far that tendency has been playing out, exacerbated by the longer-term downtrend.

As the supply of wheat tapers off there is often a moderate bounce higher in October, followed by a flatter market with a downward bias into November.

Figure 1. Seasonal Wheat

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Source: SignalFinancialGroup

With this information, and assuming the futures stick to prior tendencies (and they may not) the better position in Wheat is short.  Waiting for a retracement higher is the best play, entering short on that retracement and then riding out the rest of the bearishness and looking for an exit in the start of October before Wheat starts ticking higher.

An ideal entry occurs if the price pulls back to test the bottom of range it broke out of in early September, near 540. Although anywhere between 521 and 540 is likely a good entry based on the percentage pullback typically seen at this time of year.  

Figure 2. Wheat Futures (ZW) Daily Chart - December Contract

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The target is between 480 and 475, but the time factor (start of October) must also be considered when exiting.

Seasonal patterns aren't traded in isolation. Traders still need to establish whether the risk/reward on the trade makes sense based on where they can enter, place a stop and the expected profit target.

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