U.S. grains: Strong exports fuel corn, soy rally

(Lisa Guenther photo)

Chicago | Reuters — Soybean and corn futures rose on Thursday on an export report that showed recent price declines have sparked strong overseas demand for U.S. commodities, traders said.

“The exports have been pretty good for the last two or three weeks,” said Bill Gentry, broker at Risk Management Commodities. “Most of the guys I have talked to think that the exports are supposed to taper off. They really have not to any great degree.”

Wheat futures were mixed, with bargain buying and spillover strength from corn and soy offset by poor exports and a huge Canadian crop.

CBOT soybeans for January delivery ended up 12-1/4 cents at $10.10-1/2 a bushel (all figures US$). Traders noted some technical buying hit the market after prices dipped below $10 a bushel.

“We have had a dollar break from recent highs,” said Jason Britt, president of Central States Commodities. “I think the time for pushing the short side is a little bit past.”

CBOT March corn was 7-3/4 cents higher at $3.89-3/4 a bushel.

Traders also noted slow country movement of both corn and soybeans as bullish inputs for the futures market, cutting the amount of supplies available for exporters.

CBOT March wheat was 1/4 cent higher at $5.89-3/4 a bushel while K.C. hard red winter wheat and MGEX spring wheat sank on waning export demand and easing concerns about global production.

“Some of the crop dangers are receding too,” Tobin Gorey, agricultural commodities strategist, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, wrote in a research note. “Weather forecasters continue to expect (former Soviet Union) temperatures to rise from critical levels into the weekend, so for now there’s unlikely to be further crop damage.”

Recent deep frosts across most Ukrainian regions have not affected winter grain crops, weather forecasters said on Thursday.

USDA on Thursday morning reported soybean export sales at a robust 1.18 million tonnes in the latest week, topping analysts’ outlook. Corn export sales of 1.17 million tonnes, also beat market expectations.

“It was down in the dumps all night and then we saw export sales for corn, soybeans and soymeal that exceeded expectations by a sizeable amount,” said Jim Gerlach, president of A/C Trading. “That triggered the rally late in the overnight session that carried over into the day session.”

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering crop commodity markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Colin Packham in Sydney and Nigel Hunt in London.

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