U.S. grains: Soybeans climb on persistent export demand

(Scott Bauer photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures rose on Monday, with the benchmark November contract reaching its highest in a month on strong export demand for U.S. supplies, traders said.

Wheat futures fell nearly three per cent, led by the spot September contract, while corn drifted lower in rangebound trade.

At the Chicago Board of Trade, the November soybean contract settled up 11-1/4 cents at $10.15-3/4 per bushel (all figures US$). September wheat ended down 11-3/4 cents at $4.15-1/4 a bushel and December corn fell 1-1/4 cents at $3.42-1/2 a bushel.

Soybeans climbed after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said private exporters sold 120,000 tonnes of soybeans to unknown destinations for 2016-17 delivery.

USDA also reported export inspections of U.S. soybeans in the latest week at 961,414 tonnes, above a range of trade expectations of 650,000 to 850,000 tonnes.

“Export shipments of soybeans remained unseasonably strong over the past week and are expected to tax our export capacity this fall, necessitating a big crop,” INTL FCStone chief commodities economist Arlan Suderman wrote in a note to clients.

The market is awaiting insights on crop size from this week’s annual Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. The tour, which continues through Thursday, is expected to release findings from South Dakota and Ohio later on Monday.

USDA earlier this month projected record-large yields for the U.S. corn and soybean crops.

After the CBOT close, USDA rated 75 per cent of the U.S. corn crop in good to excellent condition, up from 74 per cent the previous week, while soybean ratings held steady with 72 per cent rated good to excellent.

In wheat, the spot CBOT September contract fell nearly three per cent on technical selling against a backdrop of record-large global wheat supplies, especially from the Black Sea region.

“The record-high grain supply from Russia will more than offset the weather-related crop shortfalls in France and Germany,” Commerzbank said in a note.

Prospects for deliveries against the CBOT September contract added pressure, with first notice day for deliveries looming next week.

The number of contracts registered for delivery against CBOT wheat futures fell by 46 lots on Friday, a possible sign of fresh demand in the cash market. However, traders also noted volumes of hard red winter wheat moving into CBOT delivery points including Chicago and St. Louis.

“There is plenty of talk … of big deliveries of HRW upcoming on the Chicago contract,” ED+F Man analyst Charlie Sernatinger wrote in a note to clients.

— Julie Ingwersen is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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