U.S. grains: Corn eases as harvest progresses

Soybeans climb after reaching three-month low

CBOT December 2021 corn (candlesticks) with Bollinger bands (20,2). (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago corn eased for a fourth session on Tuesday as harvest progressed in the U.S., pressuring supplies, while a rallying dollar and lingering storm disruption cooled export sentiment.

Wheat tracked corn lower on outside market pressure, while soybeans firmed after a near three-month low on Monday.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) ended 4-3/4 cents lower at $5.17 a bushel (all figures US$).

CBOT wheat lost 10-1/2 cents, at $6.90-1/4 a bushel.

Soybeans ended down 11-1/2 cents at $12.74 after falling to $12.57-1/2, their lowest since June 18.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said after Monday’s market close that the U.S. corn harvest was 10 per cent complete, ahead of the five-year average of nine per cent for this time of year.

USDA rated 59 per cent of the U.S. corn crop in good-to-excellent condition, up one percentage point from the previous week, while also raising its soybean good-to-excellent score by one point to 58 per cent. Analysts on average had expected no change to either rating.

“We’re just getting some harvest pressure in here,” said Dan Smith, senior risk manager at Top Third Ag Marketing.

The crop update tempered supply worries that had helped push corn to a two-week high last week.

The dollar index hit a one-month peak on Monday in a rush to safety as investors fretted over the risk of a default by property developer China Evergrande. The U.S. currency edged lower on Tuesday.

A stronger dollar makes U.S. grains less attractive to overseas buyers.

U.S. grain shipments have waned following damage to U.S. Gulf Coast terminals caused by last month’s Hurricane Ida.

USDA data on Monday showed corn export inspections were down 48 per cent from the same week a year ago, while soybean inspections were down 80 per cent.

However, in a sign activity was resuming, U.S. corn and soy exports increased from the previous week, the data showed.

Traders are watching to see if a run of U.S. soybean sales to China gathers pace as the U.S. harvest advances.

“After the rain goes through in the east, it’s going to be a wide open stretch of harvest for a week to 10 days across the country,” said Chuck Shelby, president of Risk Management Commodities. “Market’s hanging in pretty good at these price levels, considering we’re at harvest.”

— Reporting for Reuters by Christopher Walljasper; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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