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U.S. grains: Soymeal rally lifts soybean futures

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures rose to a 10-week high on Tuesday, lifted by a surging soymeal market as dry weather in Argentina threatened to reduce crop yields from that key South American supplier, traders said.

Wheat futures dropped as a rally fizzled after prices hit six-month highs. Corn futures, which traded both sides of unchanged during the session, closed slightly lower. The most-active corn contract peaked at its highest since mid-August.

Soymeal futures jumped 1.7 per cent, in a sixth straight day of gains, setting contract highs across the board. The most-active contract peaked at its highest since July 2016.

“Argentina should have some more drought-like conditions this week,” said Brian Hoops, president of Midwest Market Solutions. “That is going to cut into their export forecast.”

Argentina is the largest exporter of soymeal and the third largest soybean exporter.

Chicago Board of Trade March soybean futures settled up 10 cents at $10.11-3/4 a bushel (all figures US$).

CBOT March soymeal futures were $7.40 higher at $365.20 a ton. Soymeal futures have gained 11.3 per cent during the six-session winning streak.

“Stress on Argentina corn/soy builds from nearly half the belt this week to two-thirds next week based on current forecast,” Commodity Weather Group said in a note to clients.

Corn futures weakened, weighed down by the decline in wheat. But declines were limited as the corn market received support from the Argentine weather view.

CBOT March corn ended down 1/4 cent at $3.66-3/4 a bushel.

CBOT March soft red winter wheat futures dropped 3-1/4 cents at $4.60-3/4 a bushel.

Persistent dryness in the U.S. Plains provided underlying support to wheat.

“It is still the dryness that worries hard red winter wheat farmers more than any possible winterkill from December, with rains forecast next week for eastern Oklahoma and eastern Texas, but Kansas missing the moisture,” Charlie Sernatinger, global head of grain futures at ED+F Man Capital, said in a note to clients.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago; additional reporting by Colin Packham in Sydney and Michael Hogan in Hamburg.

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