U.S. grains: Soybeans, corn, wheat end firmer on bargain buying

Markets up off fall from Ida damage

CBOT November 2021 soybeans (candlesticks) with 20-, 50- and 100-day moving averages (yellow, green and black lines). (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures firmed on Thursday on bargain buying after a six-session slide and better-than-expected weekly export sales data, analysts said.

Corn and wheat futures also edged higher, consolidating after recent declines.

Chicago Board of Trade November soybeans settled up 5-1/2 cents at $12.83-1/4 per bushel, bouncing a day after hitting a two-month low (all figures US$). CBOT December corn ended up 2-3/4 cents at $5.25-1/2 a bushel and December wheat finished up 2-3/4 cents at $7.17 a bushel.

All three markets stabilized after falling this week on fears that damage at the U.S. Gulf from Hurricane Ida would stall grain exports as the U.S. harvest draws near.

Grain shippers reported more damage from Ida to their terminals on Wednesday as Cargill confirmed damage to a second facility, while power outages across southern Louisiana kept all others shuttered.

“The market continues to explore how to work around stunted U.S. export capacity caused by Hurricane Ida,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

But reminders of export demand lent support. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported export sales of U.S. soybeans in the week to Aug. 26 at more than two million tonnes, topping a range of trade expectations.

Through its daily reporting system, USDA confirmed private sales of 126,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China.

A softer dollar underpinned values, making U.S. grains more competitive globally. The dollar index declined following data on the U.S. labour market.

Attention is turning to USDA’s Sept. 10 monthly supply and demand estimates. The report is drawing added interest after USDA said it would review corn and soybean acreage figures for the publication, a month earlier than usual.

After the CBOT close, commodity brokerage StoneX raised its estimate of the average U.S. 2021 corn yield to 177.5 bushels per acre, from 176.9 in its previous monthly report. The firm raised its forecast of the U.S. 2021 soybean yield to 50.8 bu./ac., from its Aug. 3 figure of 50.

— Reporting for Reuters by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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