U.S. grains: Soy, corn up with export demand

September wheat slips off recent high

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures rose on Thursday for a third straight session as top global soy buyer China booked more U.S. supplies of the oilseed, traders said.

Corn also firmed while wheat futures fell on profit-taking following a three-week rally.

Chicago Board of Trade November soybean futures settled up 8-1/4 cents at $8.91 per bushel (all figures US$). December corn ended up 3-1/2 cents at $3.37-1/2 a bushel while September wheat finished down 15-1/2 cents at $5.35-1/4 a bushel.

Soybeans advanced after the U.S. Department of Agriculture through its daily reporting system confirmed sales of 522,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China and another 351,000 tonnes to unknown destinations.

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China has also booked more than three million tonnes of U.S. corn since July 10.

“The sales have been great. We sold a bunch of corn earlier, and now we are getting the beans going. Demand is starting to pick up a little bit, and the farmer is not a particularly big seller,” said Jack Scoville, analyst with the Price Futures Group in Chicago.

The latest grain sales came despite concerns about diplomatic tensions over Hong Kong.

Strength in corn in soybean futures was tempered by forecasts for welcome rains over the next 10 days in the Midwest that should boost prospects for big harvests.

However, “some dryness may linger across far southern portions of the Corn Belt, mainly in southern Missouri, southern Illinois, and southern Indiana,” space technology company Maxar said in a daily note.

Wheat futures fell 2.8 per cent as the market paused after a three-week climb in which the CBOT September contract surged more than 80 cents a bushel, from a low of $4.71 on June 26 to Wednesday’s high of $5.51-3/4, on fears of tightening global supplies.

Consultancy Strategie Grains on Thursday further reduced its forecast for this year’s soft wheat harvest in the European Union.

— Julie Ingwersen is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Sydney.

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