U.S. grains: Corn resumes climb ahead of monthly USDA report

Frigid weather in U.S. grain belt lifts wheat

CBOT March 2021 corn with 20-, 50- and 100-day moving averages. (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn futures rallied to a 7-1/2 year peak on Monday on buying ahead of a monthly U.S. government crop report that is expected to show supplies of the grain tightening amid robust demand.

Soybean and wheat futures also advanced in anticipation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report scheduled for release during the trading session on Tuesday.

Adverse weather in key crop production areas offered additional strength, along with a weaker U.S. dollar and spillover support from higher crude oil and equities markets.

Analysts polled by Reuters expect USDA to make further cuts to its end-of-season supply outlooks on Tuesday for corn, soybeans and wheat, while also trimming its harvest views for Brazilian and Argentine corn and soy.

“We’re got a USDA report tomorrow and the trade has some pretty bullish expectations,” said Ted Seifried, chief ag market strategist at Zaner Group.

Wheat futures drew some additional support from potentially crop-damaging cold across the U.S. wheat belt, while rains in parts of Brazil stoked concerns about delays in harvesting the soybean crop and planting corn in its wake.

Demand, meanwhile, remains robust, particularly from China. The world’s top commodity importer has already purchased record volumes of U.S. soybeans and recently made its largest U.S. corn purchases on record.

USDA on Monday reported stronger-than-expected corn export inspections last week, while soybean inspections were near the high end of trade forecasts.

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) March corn futures settled 15-1/4 cents higher at $5.63-3/4 a bushel after peaking at $5.65-3/4, the highest for a most-active contract since June 28, 2013 (all figures US$). March, May and July 2021 futures all posted life-of-contract highs.

March soybeans gained 21 cents to $13.87-3/4 a bushel, while CBOT March wheat rose 14-1/2 cents to $6.55-3/4 a bushel.

— Karl Plume reports on agriculture and ag commodities for Reuters from Chicago; additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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