U.S. grains: Corn futures up on firm cash markets

Soybeans post modest gains

CBOT December 2021 corn (candlesticks) with 20-, 50- and 100-day moving averages (yellow, orange and dark green lines). (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn futures rose about two per cent on Monday, rallying from early declines on support from tight domestic cash markets and spillover strength from crude oil futures, analysts said.

Soybean futures climbed as China booked several U.S. cargos of the oilseed but wheat futures ended narrowly mixed.

Chicago Board of Trade December corn settled up 12-3/4 cents at $5.39-1/2 per bushel after reaching $5.40, the contract’s highest since Aug. 31 (all figures US$).

CBOT November soybeans ended up 2-1/2 cents at $12.87-1/2 a bushel. CBOT December wheat fell 1-1/2 cents to settle at $7.22-1/4 a bushel.

Corn rallied despite clear weather in the U.S. Midwest that should promote harvesting. After the CBOT close, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the U.S. harvest was 18 per cent complete for corn and 16 per cent for soybeans, both slightly ahead of the five-year averages of 15 and 13 per cent, respectively.

Yet with harvest still in the early stages, cash markets remain relatively firm as processors scramble to meet their immediate needs.

“There hasn’t been enough grain in the pipeline to supply the end-user. We are trying to push the market up high enough to attract the farmer,” said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based U.S. Commodities.

Corn drew additional support as crude oil futures advanced. Goldman Sachs raised its forecast for year-end Brent crude oil prices to $90 per barrel, from $80 previously. Corn sometimes follows trends in the energy market due to its role as the primary U.S. feedstock for ethanol.

Some traders also cited optimism that China might buy more U.S. grains after an agreement between the U.S. and China led to Canada releasing Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou last week.

USDA on Monday confirmed private sales of 334,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China, the world’s largest oilseed buyer, a factor that supported soybean futures.

Meanwhile, U.S. soybean export inspections jumped to a six-month peak last week while corn shipments were the highest in a month as Louisiana Gulf Coast terminals steadily ramped up operations disrupted by Hurricane Ida nearly a month ago, preliminary data showed.

The export pace, however, was still well below normal for this time of year as several terminals remain shuttered or running at reduced capacity.

Traders are looking ahead to USDA’s Sept. 30 quarterly stocks report. Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average expect the government to report U.S. Sept. 1 corn stocks at 1.155 billion bushels, below the 1.187 billion bushels USDA projected in its last monthly supply/demand report on Sept. 10.

— Reporting for Reuters by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago; additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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