U.S. grains: Corn, soybeans, wheat rally

'We absolutely need heavy rainfall in a lot of areas'

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures jumped 1.8 per cent on Thursday to their highest in 7-1/2 months, with forecasts for dry weather in the U.S. Midwest threatening to hinder the crop throughout its late stages of development, traders said.

“We absolutely need heavy rainfall in a lot of areas,” said Brian Hoops, president of broker Midwest Market Solutions. “That is not in the forecast. It was in the forecast and now it is not.”

Corn futures were higher on a fresh sale to China and wheat surged 2.2 per cent on technical buying, as well as a stronger-than-expected export sales report from the U.S. Agriculture Department.

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CBOT November soybean futures settled up 17-3/4 cents at $9.42 a bushel (all figures US$). The most-active soybean contract peaked at $9.48-3/4, its highest on a continuous basis since Jan. 13.

CBOT December corn futures gained 4-1/4 cents to $3.58-1/2 a bushel.

Private exporters reported the sale of 747,000 tonnes of corn to China and 140,000 tonnes of corn to unknown destinations, USDA said on Thursday.

“The grain and oilseed markets are on fire,” Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist for broker StoneX, said in a note. “Traders focused on this week’s drought stress lowering production estimates while China’s buying frenzy increases demand expectations.”

CBOT December soft red winter wheat ended up 11 cents at $5.30-3/4 a bushel. The contract broke through its 200-day moving average for the first time since July 24 after hitting resistance as it neared that key technical point during the previous three sessions.

USDA said on Thursday morning that weekly export sales of wheat for shipment in the 2020/21 marketing year totaled 764,100, topping forecasts that ranged from 400,000 tonnes to 700,000 tonnes.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago; additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Nigel Hunt in London.

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