U.S. grains: Soy hits one-week top

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures climbed to a one-week high on Friday, buoyed by a light surge of buying in the closing minutes of trade following a dull, largely technical session, analysts said.

Wheat and corn also closed with modest gains.

Chicago Board of Trade November soybeans settled up four cents at $9.72-1/4 per bushel after reaching $9.73-3/4, its highest since Sept. 29 (all figures US$).

CBOT December wheat ended up 2-3/4 cents at $4.43-1/2 a bushel and December corn rose 1/2 cent at $3.50 a bushel, after trading in a slim 2-1/2 cent range.

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Soybeans had modest support from rains in the U.S. Midwest this week that slowed fieldwork.

“You are probably not going to have big harvest yields over the weekend, if the weather is the way it is,” said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based U.S. Commodities.

Also supportive were worries about dry conditions in portions of Brazil’s soy belt. Soybean planting in Brazil was 5.6 per cent complete as of Friday, consultancy Safras + Mercado said, down from 10.4 per cent at this time last year as dry weather conditions for most of September delayed seeding.

However, the figure was in line with a five-year average of 5.3 per cent, Safras said.

Traders should focus next week on any changes in the weather outlook for Brazil and Argentina, as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s monthly supply/demand reports on Oct. 12.

They will watch whether the USDA adjusts its estimates of U.S. 2017 corn and soybean yields and harvested area. Brokerage INTL FCStone and research firm Informa Economics this week raised their U.S. yield estimates for both crops.

“We are getting closer to a report that is going to solidify what these yields really are. We are looking for a slightly bigger yield on both corn and beans,” Roose said.

CBOT wheat firmed on technical buying and short-covering, plus strength in spring wheat futures on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange.

MGEX spring wheat rose on ideas the market was due for a rebound after the December contract dropped to $6.06 this week, its lowest since mid-June. The contract stayed mostly above its 200-day moving average on Friday after dipping below the mark earlier this week.

— Julie Ingwersen is a commodities correspondent for Reuters in Chicago; additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris.

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