U.S. grains: Wheat climbs on stressful northern Plains weather

Chicago soybean futures sag

MGEX September 2021 wheat (candlesticks) with 20-, 50- and 100-day moving averages (yellow, orange and green lines) and CBOT September 2021 wheat (black line). (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. wheat futures rose on Thursday, led by Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX) spring wheat futures, which hit an 8-1/2-year high near US$9 a bushel as drought threatened crops in the northern Plains and Canadian Prairies.

Soybean futures fell on disappointing domestic soy crush data and corn eased after a three-session climb.

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) September wheat settled up 17-3/4 cents at $6.72 per bushel (all figures US$).

CBOT August soybeans ended down 5-1/2 cents at $14.47-1/2 a bushel while new-crop November soybeans fell 3-1/4 cents at $13.80. Benchmark December corn finished down 2-1/2 cents at $5.56-1/4 a bushel.

Wheat futures climbed on forecasts for hot, dry conditions in the northern Plains and Canadian Prairies that threaten the production of spring wheat in both countries. MGEX September spring wheat settled up 21-1/4 cents at $8.94 after reaching $8.95-1/2, the highest on a continuous chart of the spot contract since December 2012.

“Look at Minneapolis wheat; that says it all,” said Tom Fritz, a partner with EFG Group in Chicago.

Soybean futures sagged, especially the nearby August contract, as monthly soy crushing data from the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) fell below even the lowest in a range of trade expectations. NOPA said its members crushed 152.4 million bushels of soybeans in June, the smallest monthly crush in two years.

A more modest crushing pace, coupled with slowing export demand, signals that U.S. soybean supplies at the end of the 2020-21 marketing year might be less scarce than anticipated.

“The NOPA crush report suggested we may see USDA increase the old-crop soybean stocks by five (million) to 10 million bushels. But looking at it relative to other years, the carry-out is (still) expected to be tight,” said Terry Reilly, senior analyst with Futures International in Chicago.

NOPA reported soyoil stocks fell for a third straight month to 1.537 billion lbs., below most trade estimates. That figure helped support CBOT soyoil futures, Reilly said.

Corn closed lower after a choppy, technical session as traders awaited fresh direction. Rains this week should benefit corn in portions of the Midwest and Southeast, but traders continue to monitor dry conditions in the Dakotas and Minnesota.

— Reporting for Reuters by Julie Ingwersen; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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