Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures rose 1.7 per cent on Thursday, underpinned by the strong demand highlighted in the U.S. Agriculture Department’s monthly supply and demand report on Tuesday, traders said.
Corn futures also rallied, with the market receiving a boost after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it would not rule on the key issue of exempting some oil refineries from biofuel blending laws.
Gains in wheat stemmed from hopes for a pickup in demand for U.S. supplies on the export market. Russia may continue taxing wheat exports in the new marketing season, Interfax said, as it seeks to keep domestic prices in check.
All three commodities remained below the multi-year highs hit earlier this week.
The gains in soybeans were spurred by stronger-than-expected weekly export sales and analysts’ expectations that a trade group report on Friday would show a massive pace of crushing in the United States.
“There has been no let-up in crush, no let-up in export demand,” Archer Financial Services director of agribusiness Greg Grow said. “All systems are still go.”
Chicago Board of Trade March soybean futures settled up 24-1/4 cents at $14.30-1/2 a bushel (all figures US$).
USDA said weekly soybean export sales totaled 1.234 million tonnes.
Analysts were expecting the National Oilseed Processors Association report on Friday to show a December crush of 185.175 million bushels.
CBOT March corn futures gained 9-3/4 cents to $5.34-1/4 a bushel.
“The USDA’s cut to corn crop yield estimates in Tuesday’s report is still ringing in market ears,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
CBOT March wheat was up 9-1/2 cents at $6.70 a bushel.
“Food inflation worries are not going away anytime soon, and that means wheat is not likely to break in price anytime soon,” ED+F Man Capital’s Charlie Sernatinger said in a note.
— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago; additional reporting for Reuters by Naveen Thukral and Sybille de La Hamaide.