CBOT weekly outlook: Corn, soy steady as attention turns to South America

CNS Canada — Soybean and corn futures at the Chicago Board of Trade are both keeping rangebound as attention shifts from last week’s U.S. Department of Agriculture supply/demand report to South American growing conditions.

During the week ended Wednesday the December corn contract rose 2.5 cents, to $3.485 per bushel (all figures US$). On the soybean front, however, the dominant November contract rose nearly 20 cents, to US$9.835 per bushel.

“Last week USDA cut the national (soybean) yield by a half a bushel per acre and I think that also helps support things here in the market,” said Jack Scoville, vice-president of Price Futures Group in Chicago.

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Futures have been firming up, according to Scoville, with Chinese buying over the last few weeks being strong to help keep the soybean market higher.

Corn futures have been locked in a narrow range, receiving a modest bump from last week’s USDA report.

As well, U.S. producers have been harvesting soybeans and backing off of the corn harvest. Corn moisture levels have been too high, so producers are waiting for fields to dry.

“The corn harvest has been extremely slow… I think that’s a little bit supportive (in the markets),” Scoville said.

With harvest hitting the home stretch in the U.S. the attention of traders has turned to South America, where the growing season is just beginning.

Weather has not been favourable for planting, with dry conditions in the northern half of Brazil and wet conditions in southern Brazil and northern Argentina.

“There is some chance towards the end of the month that we’ll start seeing a big change in the weather patterns… that would allow planting to pretty much (get) underway,” Scoville said.

— Ashley Robinson writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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Ashley Robinson writes for MarketsFarm specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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