Grain futures mixed, soybeans advance as rain seen disrupting harvest

soybeansGrain futures were mixed on Tuesday with soybeans and corn advancing, while corn declined. Rains in the Midwest were expected to delay the harvest, while wet weather in the Black Sea region will likely curtail production in Ukraine and Russia.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, soybeans futures for settlement in November rose by 0.19% to $12.9888 per bushel at 12:44 GMT. Prices held in range between days high and low of $13.0563 and $12.9675 a bushel respectively. The oilseed marked a minor daily retreat on Monday but extended its weekly advance to over 0.2% on Tuesday.

Soybeans continued to draw support on Tuesday amid expectations for harvest delays, leaving crops vulnerable to cold damage and yield losses. DTN reported yesterday that moderate to heavy rain late last week and during the weekend will delay harvesting in the Midwest and especially in the northern and southeastern parts of the region. However, conditions for field work should improve later this week.

Vanessa Tan, an investment analyst at Phillip Futures Pte, said for Bloomberg: “Rains over the weekend and expectations of storms in the U.S. raised concern soybean harvest will slow.”

Meanwhile, Informa Economics Inc. in Memphis, Tennessee, cut its soybean harvest outlook by 1.5% to 3.176 billion bushels, above the total of 3.161 billion bushels predicted in a Bloomberg survey. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will delay updating its September forecast of 3.149 billion on October 11 due to the lapse of government funding, a USDA spokeswoman said yesterday.

Wheat at 3 1/2-month high

Elsewhere on the market, wheat for delivery in December rose by 0.49% to $6.9863 per bushel at 12:44 GMT. The grain rose to a 3 1/2-month high of $6.9963 per bushel in late European trading, while days low stood at $6.9388. The grain surged 1.2% on Monday and extended its weekly advance to over 1.7% after adding 7.1% in the preceding three weeks.

Wheat was well supported in recent sessions on speculations that wet weather will decrease production in Russia and Ukraine. Ukraine’s national weather center in Kiev said on September 27 that the nation’s winter-wheat planting may be 30% lower than expected following record rainfall.

Meanwhile, the Russian agriculture Minister Nikolai Fedorov said today that his country may plant only 13 million hectares of wheat next year, down from previously projected 16.4 million.

Shawn McCambridge, the senior grain analyst for Jefferies Bache LLC in Chicago, said yesterday for Bloomberg: “The drop in planted area in Russia and Ukraine will continue to provide support for the market. A further rally in prices may begin to slow demand.”

DTN reported on October 7 that favorable conditions will benefit planting and developing of winter wheat in the Southern Plains but showers may increase during the next six to ten days. Meanwhile in the Northern Plains, heavy snow and strong wind will combine to form blizzard or near blizzard conditions on Friday from Wyoming and western South Dakota to northwest Nebraska and also southeast Montana and southwest North Dakota.

Elsewhere on the grains market, corn futures for settlement in December fell by 0.52% to $4.4688 per bushel at 12:45 GMT. The contract held in range between days high and low of $4.4963 and $4.4688 a bushel respectively. The grain advanced 1.3% on Monday but trimmed its weekly advance to 0.8% after Tuesdays retreat.

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