U.S. grains: Soybeans trim back on improved crop conditions

Wheat gains on weaker U.S. currency

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

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago soybean futures fell on Tuesday, despite renewed exports to China, after the U.S. Agriculture Department issued better-than-expected weekly crop ratings.

Corn also eased on better-than-expected crop conditions and favourable U.S. weather as traders eyed record yield potential this fall.

The Chicago Board of Trade’s most active soybean contract fell 6-1/2 cents to close at $8.96-1/2 per bushel (all figures US$).

CBOT corn was down 5-1/2 cents to close at $3.22-3/4 a bushel and wheat added 5-3/4 cents to $5.27-3/4 a bushel.

In its weekly crop report after markets closed on Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture rated 69 per cent of soybeans in good-to-excellent condition, up from 68 per cent last week. Analysts had expected 67 per cent.

China booked 126,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans for delivery in the 2020-21 marketing year, USDA said Tuesday.

“I think we’re really going to need to see some more significant Chinese purchases to push the bean market and stay above $9,” said Chuck Shelby, president of Risk Management Commodities.

China plans to sell rice and wheat from state reserves to animal feed producers struggling with high corn prices, three sources familiar with the matter said. The sales may reduce China’s need to import U.S. corn, said Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist at StoneX.

“It doesn’t mean that they won’t buy U.S. corn, but maybe they’ll buy less of it than they otherwise would,” he said.

USDA said 69 per cent of U.S. corn was in good-to-excellent condition, unchanged on the week. Analysts had expected 68 per cent.

Wheat gained off a softening U.S. dollar, which makes U.S. exports more attractive to international buyers.

“The weaker dollar has been a positive input for wheat,” said Joe Vaclavik, president of Standard Grain. “Our exports, which have historically accounted for a tremendous portion of our demand, are just not what they need to be.”

— Christopher Walljasper reports on agriculture and ag commodities for Reuters from Chicago.

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