U.S. grains: Soybeans bounce from six-year low

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures rebounded from near six-year lows on Thursday in a short-covering bounce and as weekly government data showed solid soybean and soymeal export sales last week.

Corn edged higher, hovering close to last session’s one-week peak after field reports from an annual crop tour suggested the country’s output may be lower than was forecast by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Wheat also advanced, drawing support from corn, a weaker dollar and chart support around the $5 level (all figures US$). But wheat was still being hemmed in by ample global supply, including bumper harvests in Europe that pushed Paris futures to a new three-month low.

Chicago Board of Trade November soybeans rose 13-3/4 cents, or 1.6 per cent, to $9.07-1/4 a bushel after earlier hitting a contract low of $8.88 a bushel, the lowest level for the most active contract since October 2009.

Soybeans had been pressured by beneficial rains across the U.S. Midwest and concerns about the economy in China that have pushed commodity markets to multiyear lows. China is the world’s largest soybean importer.

CBOT December corn was up four cents, or 1.1 per cent, at $3.82-1/2 a bushel. September soft red winter wheat gained 10 cents, or 1.6 per cent, to $5.06-1/4 a bushel, and September hard red winter wheat rose seven cents, or 1.1 per cent, to $4.81-1/4.

Markets drew support from USDA data early on Thursday that showed corn, soybean and soymeal export sales last week near the high end of trade expectations.

Still, new-crop export sales for corn and soybeans remain well below the pace of last year.

Market focus was on field surveys from this week’s Pro Farmer crop tour, which was moving across the U.S. Midwest.

So far, scouts have found above-average crops in the western Midwest and well below-average crops in the east due to excessive early-season rains, largely confirming trade expectations.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture caught the market by surprise by raising projected 2015 production to 13.686 billion bushels, with average yield projected at 168.8 bushels per acre.

“Corn is all about disbelief over the USDA numbers. I’ve seen a couple other tours, and nobody can substantiate what USDA has said for some of the state-by-state yields, as well as the national yield,” said Tom Fritz, partner at EFG Group in Chicago.

Pro Farmer will release its production forecasts after markets close on Friday.

Karl Plume reports on ag commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Naveen Thukral in Singapore, Gus Trompiz in Paris and Julie Ingwersen in Chicago.

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