U.S. grains: Corn pauses after fund buying spree, watches weather

Soybeans touch new three-month top, wheat eases after rally

CBOT September 2020 corn with 20-, 50- and 100-day moving averages. (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago corn futures trimmed from a near 3-1/2 month high on Thursday, following strong gains after the U.S. government reported farmers had planted fewer than expect corn acres.

The corn market remained on pace for the strongest gain in a year, as investors watched weather reports. Corn across much of the U.S. Midwest is heading into its pollination stage, particularly sensitive to hot dry weather.

Some weather models are calling for slight rain, said Brian Hoops, senior market analyst at Midwest Marketing Solutions, which pressured corn futures.

Soybeans touched a three-month high before pulling back on profit-taking, tempered by exports to China. Rainfall in the Northern Great plains improved wheat crop outlooks, pressuring the market as harvest continues.

The Chicago Board of Trade’s September corn contract fell seven cents to $3.43-1/2 a bushel by 11:36 a.m. (all figures US$). For the week, September corn gained nearly 7.6 per cent, the biggest percent gain for a most active contract since the week ending June 14, 2019.

CBOT August soybeans fell 1/4 cents to $8.91-1/4 a bushel. For the week, August soybeans gained 3.6 per cent, the contract’s biggest percent gain since the week ending Sept. 13, 2019.

September wheat fell 6-3/4 cents to $4.92 a bushel.

Corn futures climbed this week after the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported 92 million acres of corn planted this spring, down from the agency’s March forecast of 97 million acres.

Funds bought an estimated 108,000 corn contracts since Tuesday, traders said, but pulled back ahead of a three-day holiday weekend.

Export sales limited losses in corn and soybeans, as USDA reported flash sales to China of 126,000 tonnes of new-crop soybeans and 202,000 tonnes of new-crop corn.

For the week ending June 25, the agency reported export sales to China totalling 593,981 tonnes of new-crop soybeans and 19,149 tonnes of corn.

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

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