U.S. grains: Soybeans gain on hope of continued China purchasing

USDA hiked world wheat stocks to record high; corn gains after ethanol demand cut less than expected

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago soybean futures rallied late on Friday as hopes of continued U.S. exports to top-importer China supported prices.

Wheat futures rebounded after touching a three-week low at the Chicago Board of Trade earlier in the session, as the U.S. government’s forecast for a record world wheat stock added supply pressure.

Corn was little changed after the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s June supply-demand report, issued on Thursday, increased projected U.S. inventories but cut demand for corn to make ethanol by less than analysts anticipated.

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The most-active soybean contract on the CBOT ended the day up 5-1/4 cents at $8.71-1/4 a bushel (all figures US$).

CBOT July wheat added 2-3/4 cents to end at $5.02 cents a bushel, after hitting a session low of $4.95-1/4, its weakest since May 18. July corn gained 1/4 cents to end at $3.30 a bushel.

For the week, CBOT wheat dropped 2.6 per cent, the largest drop since the week ending May 15. Corn lost 0.4 per cent on the week, while soybeans added 0.4 per cent.

Soybean traders squared positions heading into the weekend, after a week of renewed export sales to China.

“Beans traded both sides of unchanged today, up overnight on Chinese pricing, back down when the Brazilian currency gave up the ghost, and then up late on talk of more Chinese buying of U.S. beans,” said Charlie Sernatinger, global head of grain futures at ED+F MAN Capital Markets.

Wheat strengthened on weather forecasts showing hot, dry weather across the U.S. Great Plains, but was limited by USDA’s estimates for world inventories to reach a record 316 million tonnes for 2020-21.

Corn held steady as traders eyed the weather forecasts for potential stress on replanted acres.

“There’s a lot of late corn out there that needs good weather, and I think the market’s sensitive to that right now,” said Mike Zuzolo, president of Global Commodity Analytics.

— Christopher Walljasper reports on agriculture and ag commodities for Reuters from Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Sydney.

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