U.S. grains: Soy, wheat, corn consolidate after earlier gains

Wheat ends week nearly three per cent higher

CBOT November 2021 soybeans (candlesticks) with 20-, 50- and 100-day moving averages (yellow, green and black lines). (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago soybeans, corn and wheat eased on Friday as the markets consolidated after earlier gains, pressured by a continuing U.S. harvest and limited exports at hurricane-damaged U.S. Gulf export terminals.

The most-active soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade fell 12 cents to $12.84 a bushel, ending the week down 2-1/2 cents, despite gains earlier in the week (all figures US$).

CBOT corn futures settled 2-1/4 cents lower at $5.27-1/4 a bushel, though it ended the week 1.93 per cent higher, its first positive week since Aug. 27.

CBOT wheat futures ended 4-1/4 cents lower at $7.08-3/4 a bushel, though it added 20-1/4 cents for the week, a 2.9 per cent climb.

Soybeans led the complex lower, as favourable weather indicates strong harvest progress through the weekend, while exports remain capped by terminals on the U.S. Gulf Coast that continue to struggle with power outages and hurricane damage as the country heads into its busiest export season.

“The export picture is not favourable right now, until we get those exports at the Gulf moving up,” said Mike Zuzolo, president of Global Commodity Analytics. “It’s a very crucial two weeks, because it’s our prime selling.”

Wheat offered support, unaffected by harvest pressure, though Australia’s second consecutive bumper crop nears harvest, which could ease tight global supplies.

Attention shifted to supply risks this week after a lower-than-expected official estimate of Canada’s drought-affected harvest, as well as reduced estimates of French and European Union crops and expectations for a fall in winter wheat sowings in Russia.

“We’ve already seen considerable strength,” said Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist at StoneX. “Wheat is taking the opportunity to do a little profit-taking of its own.”

Corn losses were limited as harvest yields in parts of the Eastern corn belt have lagged expectation, Suderman added.

“That was the region we were counting on to make up for losses in the Northwestern belt, where drought was a problem this summer,” he said. “Yields have been coming in a little below expectations.”

— Christopher Walljasper reports on agriculture and ag commodities for Reuters from Chicago.

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