Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures rose on Thursday, supported by signs of strong exports as more recently harvested supplies became available, traders said.
Corn futures were firm, with investors staking out positions ahead of a key government report that will update the forecast for U.S. production.
Winter wheat futures were weaker on signs that the U.S. export program remained lacklustre despite strong international demand for the grain, but tight supplies supported spring wheat contracts.
A run of wheat tenders by importing countries has been absorbing supplies from Europe and the Black Sea region, fuelling speculation that Russia could add further curbs on exports as it battles domestic inflation.
CBOT December soft red winter wheat futures were down 4-3/4 cents at $7.41-1/4 a bushel. CBOT December corn was up 1-3/4 cents at $5.34 a bushel and CBOT November soybeans were up 5-1/4 cents at $12.47-1/4 a bushel.
“Fundamentally, the trade is now focused on USDA’s supply side numbers that will be updated next Tuesday,” Arlan Suderman, StoneX chief commodities economist, said in a note.
Analysts were expecting USDA’s monthly world agricultural supply and demand estimates (WASDE) report on Tuesday to forecast U.S. corn production at 14.973 billion bushels, down from its September estimate of 14.996 billion. The average soybean production estimate was 4.415 billion bushels, up from USDA’s September view of 4.374 billion.
“The weather has been favourable for good progress in cutting in the Corn Belt, while yields have held up well so far,” consultancy Agritel said in a note.
USDA said on Thursday morning that export sales of soybeans totaled 1.042 million tonnes. The government also said that private exporters reported a sale of 261,264 tonnes of soybeans to Mexico.
— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.