CBOT weekly outlook: Crop commodities rangebound

MarketsFarm — Favourable growing conditions across most of the U.S. — and a good start to the growing season — have kept commodity prices on the Chicago Board of Trade locked in a sideways range.

In the crop progress report released Tuesday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. corn crop was approximately 88 per cent planted. Of that, 78 per cent was rated good-to-excellent.

“We don’t see any problems with the upcoming corn crop,” said Terry Reilly of Futures International, explaining that prices are expected to remain steady “unless demand picks up from countries like China.”

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July corn on Wednesday closed around $3.20 per bushel (all figures US$).

Relations between the U.S. and China remain strained, but “there’s a possibility that China purchases U.S. soybeans for October-January arrival.”

China has been purchasing South American soybeans recently, with Brazil on track to set a record high for soybeans shipped in May. However, the COVID-19 coronavirus has hit the country hard, and may force ports to close.

“We’re keeping an eye on China to see if they come in and buy U.S. soybeans,” Reilly said.

Soybean prices closed around $8.49 per bushel on Wednesday.

Growing conditions have largely co-operated in North America, to the point that winter wheat conditions have improved by two points, to 54 per cent.

“That’s bearish as well,” Reilly said.

— Marlo Glass reports for MarketsFarm from Winnipeg.

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