FOB Gulf Grain-Soy basis firm as futures slip before the holiday

CHICAGO, July 3 (Reuters) – U.S. FOB Gulf soybean basis offers were steady to firmer after the close on Thursday, the fifth straight day of lower futures on this week’s bearish USDA data and outlooks for big crops given mild summer weather, traders said.

* FOB corn and wheat basis offers were unchanged in quiet trade ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend. U.S. grain markets will reopen Monday at 8:30 a.m. CDT (1330 GMT).

* Soybean offers were steady with July at 100 over CBOT July futures and September new-crop was up 10 at 190 over CBOT November. CBOT July soy ended 4-3/4 cents down at $13.87-3/4 and November closed 8 lower at $11.33-1/2.

* Buyers remain focused on cheaper South American soy, turning to the United States for fill-in needs for old-crop exports. FOB traders quoted Brazilian soy at around $538 a tonne and Argentine near $515, compared with the Gulf around $547.

* USDA reported Thursday weekly old-crop export sales of 40,700 tonnes, down 87 percent from the week before. New-crop sales of 431,200 went mostly to unknown and China.

* FOB corn offers were unchanged with July at 95 cents over CBOT July futures and August/September at 85 over September futures. OND slots were also steady at 90 over December. CBOT July corn ended 1-1/2 cents down at $4.17 and September closed 2-3/4 lower at $4.09-1/2.

* The week’s drop in futures to six-month lows uncovered steady interest in old- and new-crop corn, traders said. USDA early Thursday confirmed a one-day sale of 176,000 tonnes of new-crop corn to Egypt.

* Export corn commitments for the week ended June 26 were 290,700 tonnes, up 14 percent from the previous week. Nearly half of the new-crop sales of 474,700 tonnes were to unknown.

* China booked small amounts of corn – 2,200 tonnes old-crop and 3,000 tonnes new-crop. Traders were waiting for USDA’s weekly export sales to report the 57,749 tonnes of corn inspected for China last week. It would be the first cargo to China since April amid the GMO corn certification issues.

* Wheat basis values held steady in quiet markets after the bounce in futures. Disease concerns, including vomitoxin due to rains during the southern SRW harvest, remain supportive. Harvest in the top wheat state of Kansas is expected to pick up this weekend after rains stalled progress.

* SRW wheat July/Aug/Sept were all unchanged at 95 over September futures. HRW July quotes at the Texas Gulf were nominal at 155 over KCBT September.

* CBOT Sept wheat ended 4 cents up at $5.79-1/2 and KCBT Sept closed 5-1/2 cents higher at $6.87-1/4.

* USDA weekly export sales of 567,500 tonnes topped expectations. Brazil booked the most – 140,500 tonnes, which included 90,500 of HRW and 45,000 of SRW. (Reporting by Christine Stebbins; editing by Matthew Lewis)

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