U.S. grains: Corn, soy higher after choppy day amid hot forecasts

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago corn and soybean futures settled higher on Monday after a seesaw trading session.

Analysts blamed the choppy day on forecasts for hot and dry weather in the U.S. Midwest in the coming days.

But forecasts showing heat building further in the next two weeks, with limited rainfall, were causing concern that late-planted corn and soybeans may be stressed.

“Hot and dry weather is nice for a week or 10 days,” said Dan Basse of AgResource Co. “The ideal situation is warm weather with frequent showers.”

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Chicago Board Of Trade September corn futures settled up 3/4 of a cent at $4.39-1/2 a bushel (all figures US$).

CBOT August soybean futures settled up three cents, at $8.79 a bushel.

Traders viewed warmer weather last week as beneficial in helping fields dry out and boost plant development.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its weekly crop progress report on Monday and crop condition ratings varied.

USDA rated 53 per cent of the soybean crop as good to excellent, down one per cent from last week’s report.

Corn saw an increase, with 57 per cent being good to excellent, up one per cent from last week’s report. Winter wheat is also up one per cent from last week, with the good to excellent rating reported at 64 per cent.

Grain markets are also looking ahead to Thursday’s monthly supply and demand forecasts from USDA.

USDA surprised the market with its June 28 acreage report in which it pegged corn plantings well above trade expectations and soybean acreage lower than anticipated.

“The USDA needs to tread lightly with this report or else they will have egg all over their face,” said Roy Huckabay with Linn + Associates, a Chicago brokerage.

Wheat futures fell, halting a two-session climb, despite declining estimates for wheat production in Russia, the world’s top exporter. SovEcon and IKAR, the leading agriculture consultancies in Moscow, on Monday downgraded their forecast for Russia’s 2019 wheat crop as they continued to assess the negative impact of June’s hot, dry weather.

After the CBOT close, Egypt’s General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) announced an international wheat purchase tender for Aug. 10-20 shipment. Results were expected on Tuesday. In its last wheat tender on July 2, GASC bought 60,000 tonnes of Romanian wheat.

Reporting for Reuters by Barbara Smith in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Sydney.

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