Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures surged 1.6 per cent on Tuesday to their highest in more than five weeks on expectations that a slow harvest in Brazil will add further stress to the already tight supply situation in the United States, traders said.
Corn futures also were strong, hitting a two-week high as Brazil’s soybean harvest delays risked holding up planting of the country’s main corn crop. Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat futures also settled higher after trading in negative territory for much of the session.
The most-active CBOT soybean futures contract jumped past the $14 a bushel mark but some profit-taking was noted after prices hit their highest since Jan. 15 (all figures US$).
“Supplies remain delayed from South America, and the U.S. (is) basically running out of stocks heading into the summer months,” Matt Zeller, director of market information at StoneX, said in a note to clients.
CBOT May soybean futures closed up 21 cents at $14.08-1/2 a bushel.
CBOT May corn futures were up two cents at $5.52-1/2 a bushel.
Consultancy AgRural said on Monday that the soy harvest pace in Brazil was the slowest in a decade.
Traders shrugged off a forecast by Agroconsult that raised its outlook for Brazil’s soybean crop by 1.6 million tonnes to 134 million.
CBOT May soft red winter wheat settled 1/2 cent higher at $6.70-1/4 a bushel.
Traders were assessing mixed crop ratings for U.S. winter wheat as reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Monday afternoon.
“There wasn’t a huge drop in the crop ratings and Kansas was pretty stable,” Agritel’s Nathan Cordier said.
However, the market was monitoring potential damage in Texas, where wheat development is faster than elsewhere and crops faced severe winter weather last week, as well as a Russian cold spell, he added.
— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.