U.S. grains: Soy up after crop ratings dip

Corn sags despite sale to China

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures edged higher on Tuesday after weekly crop condition ratings declined, but improving weather in the Midwest crop belt kept a lid on rallies by backing expectations for large harvests, traders said.

Corn closed lower, shrugging off news of a massive Chinese purchase of U.S. corn.

Wheat firmed, buoyed by global export business and declining estimates of the size of the harvest in Russia, projected as the world’s top wheat supplier.

Most-active November soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade settled up 2-1/4 cents at $8.77-1/2 per bushel (all figures US$). Strength in soyoil futures and allied Malaysian palm oil futures lent support.

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CBOT September wheat ended up two cents at $5.26-3/4 a bushel while December corn finished down 2-3/4 cents at $3.33-3/4 a bushel.

Corn futures fell late in the session despite news that China booked its biggest single-day purchase on record of U.S. corn, buying 1.762 million tonnes of the grain. The deal followed a 1.365 million-tonne corn sale to China announced on Friday.

Market reaction to the latest China sale, confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was muted by plentiful old-crop supplies and prospects for big harvests this autumn.

“That’s a pretty good number. But when all is said and done, even if USDA took their export forecast up 100 million bushels, we’d still have a large carryout,” said Terry Reilly, senior analyst with Futures International in Chicago.

In a weekly crop progress report late Monday, USDA rated 69 per cent of the U.S. corn crop as good to excellent, down from 71 per cent last week. It rated 68 per cent of the U.S. soybean crop as good to excellent, also down from 71 per cent previously. Analysts on average had expected smaller declines.

CBOT wheat futures firmed on short-covering and worries about global supplies. Sovecon, a Moscow-based consultancy, cut its forecast for Russia’s 2020 wheat crop to 79.7 million tonnes, from 80.8 million previously, due to low yields in Russia’s southern regions.

— Julie Ingwersen is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago; additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Colin Packham in Sydney.

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