U.S. grains: Soybeans rise on strong exports, corn firm, wheat weak

Chicago/Reuters – U.S. soybean futures rose on Thursday as signs of growing export demand threatened to cut into an already thin supply base, traders said.

Corn futures also firmed, with bargain hunters and technical buyers stepping into the market after prices fell to a five-week low. Wheat closed mostly lower, pressured by plentiful supplies and weak demand.

Soybeans notched their third straight day of gains.

“Export sales for this crop year continue to point to a tighter ending stocks situation,” brokerage INTL FCStone said in a note to clients.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Thursday morning that old-crop export sales totalled 416,700 tonnes in the latest week, above the range of forecasts for 100,000 to 200,000 tonnes.

Chicago Board of Trade August soybean futures settled up 7-1/4 cents at $9.90-1/4 a bushel.

Uncertainty about weather in the U.S. Midwest during the next month lent additional support to soybeans. Harvest yields for soybeans are typically determined during August.

“We do seem to be getting some ‘sneaky dry’ weather coming at us, with very little moisture for the heart of the Corn Belt over the next ten days, and only a vague indication of more rains past that period,” Charlie Sernatinger, global head of grain futures at ED&F Man Capital said in a note to clients.

CBOT September corn was 5-1/2 cents higher at $3.73-1/4 a bushel.

CBOT September wheat ended 1/4 cent higher at $4.96-1/2 a bushel. Deferred CBOT wheat contracts, as well as K.C. hard red winter wheat and MGEX spring wheat, all closed lower.

Crop scouts on the Wheat Quality Council’s annual three-day tour of North Dakota and adjacent states projected spring wheat yield potential at 49.9 bushels per acre, the biggest forecast ever for the tour.

(Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris)

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