Grain futures higher, soybeans hit 10-week high on strong demand for US supplies

Grain futures edged higher on Wednesday with corn slightly advancing, while wheat and soybeans posted moderate gains. The oilseed gained for a fifth straight day supported by strong demand for US supplies, despite a recent cancellation of orders by China.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, soybeans futures for settlement in January rose by 0.54% to $13.3713 per bushel by 9:15 GMT. Prices jumped to a days high of $13.3788 per bushel, the strongest level since September 19, while days low stood at $13.2738. The oilseed marked a minor daily advance on Tuesday, a fourth consecutive one, and extended its weekly gain to over 1.3% on Wednesday.

Soybeans drew support on robust demand for U.S. supplies but forecasts for favorable weather in South America limited gains. U.S. exporters sold 360 000 tons of soybeans for delivery by August 31 to unknown buyers, offsetting cancelled orders for 300 000 tons by China. The USDA reported on Monday that soybeans inspected for shipment in the week ended November 21 surged by 21% to 66.93 million bushels from a year earlier. Outbound shipments jumped by 5.9% to 585.6 million bushels since September 1, up from 553.1 million a year earlier.

Gains were however limited as weather forecasting models continued to predict mostly favorable weather across South America. DTN reported on November 26 that a drier and very warm trend over Parana and Mato Grosso do Suls crop areas will favor field work and planting but may deplete soil moisture. However, periodic showers to the north and timely showers in the south will provide suitable conditions for early crops.

In central Argentina, scattered rains will maintain ample soil moisture for crops while causing some planting delays, DTN said.

Meanwhile, corn for delivery in March traded at $4.2538 per bushel at 9:08 GMT, up 0.09% on the day. Futures held in range between days high of $4.2588 and $4.2363 per bushel. The grain lost nearly 1.7% on Wednesday, the most in a week, but extended its weekly advance to nearly 0.5% following Wednesdays rebound.

DTNs November 26 forecast called for very cold weather in the Midwest to firm the ground and ease the final harvest effort.

Corn was pressured after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its weekly crop progress report on Monday that the U.S. harvest accelerated from last week’s 91% and neared completion. Farmers had collected 95% of the corn crop in the week ended November 24, above the five-year average of 91% but below last year’s full completion during the comparable week.

Wheat up as well

Elsewhere on the grains market, wheat futures for settlement in March rose by 0.57% to $6.5975 per bushel by 9:10 GMT. Prices jumped to a session high of $6.6013, while days low was touched at $6.5638 per bushel. The grain lost 0.6% on Tuesday, snapping four consecutive days of advances, but extended its weekly advance to over 1.6% on Wednesday.

The USDA reported on Monday that 93% of the U.S. crop had emerged in the week ended November 24, surpassing the five-year average of 89% and last year’s 88% during the same period.

A slight deterioration in crop conditions however provided some support. The government agency said that 8% of the crop was categorized as “Very poor” and “Poor”, up 1% from a week earlier. Meanwhile, 62% of the plants were rated good-excellent, compared to 63% during the preceding seven days.

DTN reported yesterday that a warmer trend is expected to develop in the Midwest in the next six to ten days, favoring the soft red winter wheat crop. Meanwhile in the Southern Plains, moderating temperatures during the next five to seven days will favor winter wheat but extended forecasts showed a possible return of colder conditions, DTN said.

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