U.S. grains: Corn, soybeans surge on export prospects

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn and soybean futures rallied on Wednesday, peaking late in the session as export hopes for U.S. supplies brightened amid heightened concerns about South American crops, traders said.

The most actively traded Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures contract hit its highest since July 2014 while CBOT corn futures topped out at a 10-1/2-month high.

“We are heating up, and it is all coming from South America,” Charlie Sernatinger, global head of grain futures at ED+F Man Capital said in a note to clients.

Wheat futures also firmed, supported by weakness in the dollar that spurred a round of short-covering and bargain buying after pries hit a one-week low during the overnight trading session.

The strength in corn, which rose 2.2 per cent, lent further support to wheat.

Brazil’s cereals exporters association Anec cut its estimate for 2016 corn exports to 23 million tonnes, down seven million tonnes from its April outlook. It also said soybean exports in May fell to 8.69 million tonnes from a record 10.3 million in April.

Chicago Board of Trade soybeans for July delivery settled up 21-1/4 cents at $10.99-3/4 a bushel (all figures US$). CBOT July corn was nine cents higher at $4.13-3/4 a bushel.

Traders were closely monitoring the corn and soybean crops in the U.S. as planting wrapped up.

“People still looking at our near-term weather,” said Steve Erdman, president of broker EFG Group in Chicago. “There is still a little buzz out there about areas not getting the kind of emergence they want. There is still uncertainty about whether we are getting off to a good start.”

CBOT July soft red winter wheat rose 9-1/4 cents, to $4.73-3/4 a bushel.

Traders noted bargain buying after prices fell 3.5 per cent, the biggest daily loss for the most-active wheat contract since April 22, on Tuesday.

Concerns about crop quality in key winter wheat growing areas due to excessive moisture as harvest approaches added support.

“Heavy rains over the next seven days continue to pose a threat to hard red winter wheat on the southeast Plains,” said Bryce Knorr, senior grain market analyst at Farm Futures.

In Europe, traders were monitoring heavy rain, including downpours in France that have caused localized flooding, although it was seen as too early to predict damage to wheat crop yields or quality ahead of the summer harvest.

Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago, Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris.

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