U.S. grains: South American supply issues wane

Soy up, but off early gains; corn boosted by export demand

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago soybeans ended the session slightly up after a three-session losing streak on Thursday, but larger early gains were erased as rains across South America eased supply worries.

Corn prices firmed, supported by fresh demand amid tightening global supplies, while wheat fell on a lack of fresh export news.

The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) most-active soybean contract ended 3/4 cent higher to $13.70-1/4 per bushel after gaining 18 cents in earlier trading (all figures US$).

Corn gained 2-1/4 cents to $5.24-1/4 per bushel, while wheat lost seven cents to $6.60-3/4 per bushel.

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Soybean futures gained early in the day, supported by private sales of 136,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China and 163,290 tonnes to Mexico, both for shipment in the 2020-21 season, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“It’s positive to see world buyers jumping in at these levels and snatch up what they consider some bargain prices, after a big break,” said Chuck Shelby, president of Risk Management Commodities.

Soybeans could be poised for further correction, said Ted Seifried, vice president of Zaner Group.

“If we find more demand on a break, we are really going to have a zero soybean situation later on in the marketing year, which is going to cause a major problem for our domestic end-users,” he said.

Corn also benefited from export sales, as USDA reported private sales of 336,500 tonnes of U.S. corn to unknown destinations for shipment in the 2020-21 season.

Global stocks continue to tighten as Argentine sales surged ahead of the upcoming 2020-21 corn harvest, on concerns of export limits.

Wheat continues to see support from an impending Russian export tax, though U.S. exports have been lacking.

“We haven’t seen that translate into a big amount of exports yet,” said Seifried. “Once we do, we can justify much higher export prices in wheat.”

— Reporting for Reuters by Christopher Walljasper in Chicago; additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris.

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