U.S. grains: Soy up for fifth day on weather concerns

Exports support CBOT corn

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures rose for the fifth day in a row on Friday, closing near a 7-1/2-month high on persistent concerns that the U.S. crop will fall short of expectations, traders said.

Corn futures closed firm, shrugging off early weakness due to strong export demand while wheat futures were lower on a round of end-of-week profit-taking.

Adverse weather during the critical development month of August underpinned the soybean market, which rose 5.2 per cent this week, its biggest weekly rally since May 2019.

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“The lack of rain in August — plus extended heat — clipped the top end of soybean production for many areas,” Bob Linneman, broker at Kluis Commodity Advisors, said in a research note. “There are many operations that watched a potentially record crop turn to a hopeful average crop.”

CBOT November soybeans settled up 8-1/2 cents at $9.50-1/2 per bushel (all figures US$).

“As long as the weather stays dry, and it looks like it will, fortune favors the bold, and the bulls,” ED+F Man Capital said in a note to clients.

CBOT December corn futures were 1-1/4 cents higher at $3.59-1/4 a bushel. Corn futures rose 5.7 per cent this week, their third straight weekly gain after falling for five weeks in a row.

The U.S. Agriculture Department on Friday said that private exporters reported the sale of 324,032 tonnes of corn to unknown destinations.

CBOT December soft red winter wheat was down two cents at $5.48-3/4 a bushel. The contract rose 2.5 per cent this week. On a continuous basis, the most-active soft red winter wheat contract hit its highest since April 20 overnight.

Meanwhile the European Commission cut its 2020-21 forecast for all cereals in the European Union’s 27 countries, with usable common wheat production now expected at 113.5 million tonnes, down from the 116.6 million estimated a month ago.

— Reporting for Reuters by Mark Weinraub in Chicago, Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris.

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