Chicago | Reuters — Benchmark U.S. soybean futures jumped above US$16 a bushel on Tuesday for the first time since 2012 as traders focused on tightening feed grain supplies and dry weather in Brazil’s corn belt, traders said.
Corn and wheat futures also posted sharp gains, with nearby contracts leading the way up. A weaker dollar lent support, making U.S. grains more competitive globally.
Chicago Board of Trade July soybeans settled up 27-1/4 cents at $16.14-3/4 per bushel after reaching a contract top at $16.25-1/2, the highest on a continuous chart of the most-active soybean contract since September 2012 (all figures US$).
CBOT July corn ended up 10-1/2 cents at $7.22-1/4 a bushel, hovering below a contract high set last week. July wheat rose 11-1/4 cents to settle at $7.41-3/4 a bushel.
Soybeans topped $16 on worries about dwindling supplies of feed grains, including soymeal and corn. The rally reflects dry weather in Brazil that may curb corn production.
“The (corn) exports that Brazil would have been making in June, July and August are not going to be there. So those guys around the world who wanted to import corn from Brazil, they are going to be forced to come to the U.S.,” said Terry Roggensack, analyst with The Hightower Report.
Tightening corn supplies should affect competing feedstuffs as well, including soybean meal. “The more corn goes up, the more valuable the meal becomes,” Roggensack said.
Traders await Wednesday’s world agricultural supply and demand estimates (WASDE) report, in which the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will give its first global outlook for 2021-22 and update its 2020-21 estimates.
Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average expected USDA to lower its estimate of Brazil’s 2020-21 corn production to 103.5 million tonnes, from 109 million in April. Others fear the figure ultimately could fall below 100 million tonnes, curbing exportable supplies.
Brazilian agribusiness consultancy AgRural on Monday estimated the country’s total corn crop at 95.5 million tonnes.
— Julie Ingwersen is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris, Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Mark Weinraub in Chicago.