U.S. grains: Soybeans firm on more sales to China

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Chicago | Reuters – U.S. soybean futures edged higher on Monday as strong export sales, most notably to China, offset pressure from good crop weather that reinforced expectations for a sizable U.S. harvest this autumn.

Corn futures eased as mild temperatures and timely rains across the Midwest farm belt were seen boosting prospects for the crop, which is currently in its crucial pollination stage.

Wheat futures retreated on an improved crop outlook in top exporter Russia and on technical selling and profit-taking following Friday’s strong rally.

Grains markets remain focused on U.S. weather, which has been largely favorable apart from pockets of dryness.

“The rain is favorable for the crops. Temperatures are favorable. That’s what’s keeping us from rallying in the face of the Chinese demand,” said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities.

Analysts polled by Reuters expect corn and soybean conditions to remain stable in a weekly U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report due later on Monday.

The USDA also confirmed more U.S. soybean export sales to China, along with sales to Mexico. It was the 10th straight day that the USDA announced soybean sales to either China or unknown destinations, which is often thought to be China.

The market also remains on alert for feed grain purchases by China as Dalian corn futures rallied to a record high on Monday on signs of tightening domestic corn supplies.

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) December corn futures fell 1/2 cent to $3.34-1/2 a bushel, while November soybeans gained 1/2 cent to end at $8.99-3/4 a bushel.

CBOT September wheat dropped 11-3/4 cents to $5.27-3/4 a bushel after falling through chart support at its 200-day moving average, conceding all of Friday’s 1.9% gain.

Moscow-based consultancy IKAR raised its Russian wheat crop forecast on Monday due to high yields in some regions

– Additional reporting by Nigel Hunt in London and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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