U.S. grains: Wheat higher on global supply fears; soybeans climb, corn eases

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Chicago | Reuters – U.S. wheat futures rose more than 2 percent on Tuesday as European wheat markets climbed on concern about tightening global supplies, traders said.

Soybean futures firmed on renewed export demand for U.S. supplies while corn ended modestly lower, pressured by better-than-expected weekly U.S. crop condition ratings.

Chicago Board of Trade September wheat futures settled up 15-3/4 cents at $7.27 per bushel. CBOT November soybeans ended up 7 cents at $13.36-3/4 a bushel while benchmark December corn fell 1/2 cent to end at $5.53-1/4 a bushel.

CBOT wheat advanced as Euronext wheat futures set contract highs on worries about tightening global supplies, after rain affected the milling quality of the French harvest and prices rose in top exporter Russia.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is set to release updated monthly supply/demand reports on Thursday, and analysts surveyed by Reuters on average expect the agency to lower its forecasts of 2021/22 U.S. and global wheat ending stocks.

“The wheat market followed Europe higher today amid expectations that USDA will slash production among major exporters Thursday,” Arlan Suderman, StoneX chief commodities economist, wrote in a client note.

CBOT soybean futures climbed after the USDA confirmed private sales of 132,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China and another 130,000 tonnes to unknown destinations, the latest in a flurry of recent U.S. soy sales.

“Soybeans are being supported by hopes of more U.S. sales to China,” said Matt Ammermann, StoneX commodity risk manager. “China simply has a requirement to purchase a lot and the U.S. is about the cheapest and the sole high-volume soybean seller in the world now.”

Corn futures sagged after the USDA late Monday rated 64 percent of the U.S. corn crop in good to excellent condition, up 2 percentage points from the previous week, while most analysts had expected no change.

Ratings surged in Illinois, the No. 2 U.S. producer, with 79 percent of the state’s corn seen as good-to-excellent, up from 68% the previous week, a possible sign of improving yield prospects.

However, futures were underpinned by reminders of tightening supplies in Brazil, where government crop supply agency Conab slashed its estimate of the South American country’s 2020/21 total corn output to 86.650 million tonnes, from 93.385 million a month ago.

Also supportive, the USDA confirmed sales of 182,880 tonnes of U.S. corn to Mexico.

– Additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Colin Packham in Canberra.

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