U.S. grains: Wheat climbs as drought persists

Soybeans ease on pressure from broader commodity markets

CBOT September 2021 wheat (candlesticks) with 20-day moving average (black line) and MGEX and K.C. September 2021 wheats (green and orange lines). (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago wheat futures gained on Monday, climbing to a 2-1/2- month high, supported by dry weather in parts of U.S., Canadian and Russian growing areas that raises global supply worries.

Soybeans eased after last week’s gains, pressured by broader losses in outside markets, though weather uncertainty underpins the oilseed.

Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat gained 5-1/4 cents to $6.97-3/4 per bushel after reaching $7.09-1/2 per bushel, its highest since May 18 (all figures US$).

Corn was up 1/4 cent at $5.52-1/4 per bushel, while soybeans lost 19 cents to $13.72-3/4 per bushel.

Wheat shook off outside pressure, as forecasts continue to call for hot temperatures and dry conditions in the northern U.S. Plains, where farmers may harvest the smallest spring wheat crop in 33 years.

Russia’s 2021 wheat crop expectations dropped following hot and dry weather in southern Russia, while Ukrainian wheat export prices rose last week on harvest uncertainty in the Black Sea region.

Soybeans fell, as recent beneficial rains improved the crop, though long-term dryness remains a threat.

“If there’s any prospect for improved weather, it’s going to have the most benefit for soybeans,” said Bill Lapp, ag economist at Advanced Economic Solutions.

Soybeans also felt pressure as outside markets turned lower on concerns of COVID resurgence, said Joe Davis, director of commodity sales at Futures International.

For the week ended July 18, the U.S. Department of Agriculture pegged the U.S. spring wheat crop as 11 per cent good to excellent, down from 16 per cent a week earlier and slightly below analysts’ expectations.

Corn was rated 65 per cent good to excellent, one point below expectations, while soybeans were in line with analyst predictions.

Additionally, 63 per cent of spring wheat was rated “poor” or “very poor,” up from 55 per cent a week earlier.

“Last week, there was a pretty big move in the poor-to-very poor. We have a good-to-excellent that’s in the teens, so to gauge the moves, you look at the poor-to-very poor,” said Davis.

— Reporting for Reuters by Christopher Walljasper in Chicago; additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg.

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