Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn futures rose on Thursday, with strong export demand highlighting concerns about dwindling crop supplies due to harvest shortfalls in Brazil, traders said.
Soybeans and wheat weakened after firming early in the session.
Private exporters reported the sale of 1.224 million tonnes of corn to China for delivery in the 2021-22 marketing year, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Thursday morning. It was the sixth day in a row the government has announced a corn sale to China, with the deal topping one million tonnes on five of those days.
“Corn has made a relatively impressive rebound from yesterday’s lows despite overall commodity and marketplace turmoil and liquidation,” Matt Zeller, director of market information at StoneX, said in a note to clients. “The bears face a tough road … each morning with Chinese corn buying not slowing.”
USDA also said corn export sales totaled 4.339 million tonnes in the week ended May 13, the most in nearly two months.
“The obvious implication is that the USDA is egregiously too low on Chinese corn imports for both the old crop, and the new crop, and thus too low on U.S. export (estimates),” Charlie Sernatinger, global head of grain futures at ED+F Man Capital, said in a client note.
Chicago Board of Trade July corn futures settled up 6-1/4 cents at $6.64-1/2 a bushel, with new-crop contracts posting bigger gains (all figures US$).
Consultancy Agroconsult slashed its forecast for Brazil’s upcoming second annual corn crop by 15 per cent to 66.2 million tonnes on Wednesday afternoon.
CBOT July soft red winter wheat was four cents lower at $6.75-1/4 a bushel.
Scouts on an annual tour of Kansas wheat fields found record yield potential in the top U.S. winter wheat state’s crop following late-season rains.
CBOT July soybeans were down five cents at $15.33-1/4 a bushel.
— Reporting for Reuters by Mark Weinraub in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.