U.S. grains: Corn, soy ease as harvest, export prospects weighed

Wheat ends higher after mixed trade

CBOT December 2020 corn with 20-, 50- and 100-day moving averages. (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago soybeans slipped on Thursday after a seven-month peak a day earlier, while corn eased as traders set recent storm damage against generally strong prospects for harvest yields.

Wheat ended higher as traders digested competing signals for global supply.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade closed down 8-3/4 cents at $9.05-1/4 a bushel (all figures US$).

CBOT corn fell 1/2 cents to $3.39-1/4 a bushel, while wheat ended up 6-1/2 cents at $5.28-1/2 a bushel.

Strong soybean yield estimates from a widely followed crop tour in parts of Iowa and Minnesota on Thursday, coupled with possible rain in the seven- to 10-day forecast for parts of the upper Midwest, pressured futures.

“Even though we’re dry,” said Karl Setzer, commodity risk analyst for AgriVisor. “The crops look pretty good, the ratings are relatively high and there’s better chances of rain coming at us.”

U.S. soybean export sales data for the week ending Aug. 13 also weighed on the oilseed, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported a net cancellation of 12,600 tonnes of soybeans slated to be shipped in the 2019-20 marketing year.

Continued buying from top soybean importer China is uncertain as diplomatic tensions between Washington and Beijing persist.

Corn futures were down, but losses were limited as strong crop tour estimates in states like Illinois, Indiana and Nebraska outweigh damage as scouts reviewed storm-ravaged Iowa fields on Wednesday and Thursday.

Some analysts do not think the market has fully absorbed the storm’s impact on the corn carryout.

“Is losing 400 million bushels only worth 25 cents? I don’t think it is,” said John Zanker, market analyst for Risk Mgt Commodities, who recently drove through Iowa.

Wheat traded neutral as rising expectations for Russia’s harvest and potential drought damage in Argentina painted a mixed picture for export competition.

“We’ve got plenty of wheat right now, but there’s going to be demand,” said Setzer.

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

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