Grain futures higher, soybeans advance on expectations for strong U.S. exports

Grain futures advanced on Thursday on unfavorable weather outlook for most of the major U.S. growing areas. Soybeans also drew support on expectations for increased demand for U.S. supplies prior to USDAs sales report, due to be released later today.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, soybeans futures for settlement in January rose by 0.78% to $12.8438 per bushel by 13:44 GMT. Prices held in range between days high and low of $12.8463 and $12.7563 per bushel respectively. The oilseed fell by 0.3% on Wednesday but rose back to positive weekly territory following Thursdays advance.

Soybeans were supported by speculations that U.S. exports rose to between 500 000 and 1 million tons in the week ended November 14, a Bloomberg survey of analysts showed prior to the release of USDAs sales report today. Outbound shipments were at 441 031 tons during the same week a year earlier.

Soybeans were pressured earlier in the week after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said that American farmers had collected 95% of the crop as of November 17, near the five-year average of 96% and slightly below last year’s 98% during the comparable week.

Also fanning negative sentiment, Oil World said on November 19 that global production will surge to a record 286.5 million tons this year, 5.2 million above last months forecast and 19.3 million above last years harvest.

Meanwhile, corn futures for settlement in December traded at $4.1988 per bushel at 13:42 GMT, up 0.64% on the day. The grain shifted in a days range between $4.2063 and $4.1688 a bushel. Prices declined by 0.4% on Wednesday but trimmed its weekly loss to less than 0.5% on Thursday.

The USDA said on Monday that the U.S. harvest accelerated by 7% last week and remained above the average. As of November 17, 91% of the crop was collected, compared to the five-year average of 86% and last year’s 99% during the comparable period.

Corn and soybeans drew support on outlook for unfavorable weather in some key growing areas. DTN reported on November 20 that rainfall in the southern parts of the Midwest will cause delays to the final harvest stage in the end of the week, followed by cold and dry weather early next week which would ease field work.

In Brazil, scattered thunderstorms will maintain soil moisture ample for early development of corn and soybeans but will also cause planting delays and some southern areas may see flooding, DTN said. In South Africa, scattered showers and thundershowers continued to maintain adequate soil moisture to early planted corn and sugarcane in the countrys Maize Triangle region, but also slowed planting.

Wheat gains as well

Elsewhere on the grains market, wheat futures for settlement in December traded at $6.5013 per bushel at 13:44 GMT, up 0.42% on the day. Prices held in a days range between $6.5238 and $6.4738 a bushel and are up nearly 1% this week.

Futures drew support recently after top importer Egypt said on Tuesday it bought 120 000 tons of wheat from Russia and Lebanon will seek to buy another 20 000 tons, while Japan wants to buy the most milling wheat in three months from the U.S., Canada and Australia. The USDA reported that 18.1 million bushels of U.S. wheat were inspected for export in the week ended November 14, up 45% from a week earlier.

Meanwhile, DTN reported that cold and dry weather expected early next week in the Midwest will slow the development of the soft red winter wheat crop. Upcoming below-average temperatures across the Southern Plains will also slow the pre-dormancy development progress of wheat in the region.

In central Argentina, dry and warm weather in the end of the week and early in the weekend will favor spring field work and wheat development, DTN reported, but scattered showers and cool weather will redevelop early next week.

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