U.S. grains: Soybeans touch seven-month high on export optimism

Wheat stays firm on demand

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago soybean futures climbed to a seven-month high on Wednesday on U.S. export optimism and concerns over continued dryness across parts of the U.S. Midwest, traders said.

Chicago corn edged lower, as a Midwest crop tour estimated higher yields, offsetting storm damage concerns in Iowa.

The most active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade added 1/4 cent to $9.14 a bushel, after hitting $9.19-1/2, its highest since Jan. 22 (all figures US$).

CBOT corn fell two cents to $3.39-3/4 a bushel, while CBOT wheat added 4-1/2 cents to $5.22 a bushel.

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Exporters reported selling 192,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans for delivery to China during the 2020-21 marketing year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Wednesday, after the White House chief of staff said there were no new trade talks scheduled with China.

“We’ve had a huge surge of Chinese purchases of U.S. grain,” said David Hightower, president of Hightower Report. “China doesn’t buy unless the price is right.”

Scouts on the widely followed Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour said soybean crops in parts of Nebraska and Indiana may need more precipitation to hit peak yields.

“We’re going to keep prices supported until we find out if these dry spots are going to get some rain,” said Hightower.

Crop tour scouts observed strong corn yield prospects in Ohio and South Dakota and above-average crop potential in Nebraska and Indiana, shifting attention back to the potential for a bumper crop. Storm damage in top corn-growing state Iowa last week threatened harvest prospects.

“We’re going to have great crops, but the market already knows it. It’s old news,” said Mike Seery, president of Seery Futures. “I think you can see a surprise to the upside, if the yield isn’t as good.”

— Reporting for Reuters by Christopher Walljasper in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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