U.S. grains: Corn gains as Iowa yields falter on storm damage

Soybeans even near seven-month high; wheat down slightly on Russian yield forecast

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago corn rose on Friday after a U.S. Midwest crop tour found storm damage across top corn-growing state Iowa.

Meanwhile, soybeans ended lower as tropical storms in the U.S. Gulf offered hope for much-needed rain in parts of the Midwest, offsetting strong export demand.

And wheat rallied late in the day as weather issues threaten Argentinian wheat, a major global exports competitor, while Russia improved its harvest outlook.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) was up 1-1/4 cent at $3.40-1/2 a bushel (all figures US$).

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CBOT soybeans ended 1/2 cent lower at $9.04-3/4 a bushel, while wheat added 6-1/2 cents to close at $5.35 a bushel, after earlier reaching $5.35-1/2, its highest since July 27. Wheat added 7% for the week, the biggest gain in six weeks.

Following a crop tour of seven top producing states, Pro Farmer projected U.S. corn and soybean harvests will be below USDA forecasts, with a corn crop of 14.82 billion bushels based on an average yield of 177.5 bushels per acre and a soybean crop of 4.362 billion bushels based on an average yield of 52.5 bushels per acre.

The results were due in part to corn damage in Iowa from drought and the Aug. 10 windstorm. Tour scouts found stronger corn yield potentials in other states.

“You’ve got some mild positives from the end of the crop tour — at least some uncertainties that cast some doubt on the USDA’s yield estimates,” said Dale Durchholz, commodity analyst at Grain Cycles.

Exporters sold 405,000 tonnes of new-crop corn and 400,000 tonnes of new-crop soybeans for delivery to China, as well as 368,000 tonnes of soybeans bound for unknown destinations, according to USDA.

— Reporting for Reuters by Christopher Walljasper in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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