U.S. grains: Corn, soy futures extend gains on China demand

CBOT September wheat eases

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean and corn futures rose on Friday, with soybeans hitting a one-week top as a pick-up in export demand for both crops, primarily from China, sparked speculative buying and short-covering, analysts said.

Soybeans got an additional boost from surging palm and soyoil futures. But forecasts for beneficial rains in the U.S. Midwest capped rallies by supporting expectations for large corn and soy harvests.

Wheat futures drifted lower on profit-taking after climbing sharply since late June.

Chicago Board of Trade November soybeans settled up four cents at $8.95 per bushel after reaching $8.96-1/4, its highest price since July 10 (all figures US$).

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December corn ended up 2-1/4 cents at $3.39-3/4 a bushel while September wheat fell 1/2 cent to finish at $5.34-3/4 a bushel.

For the week, CBOT November soybeans rose 4-1/4 cents a bushel, or 0.5 per cent. December corn fell five cents, or 1.5 per cent, its second straight weekly decline as U.S. crop weather improved, and CBOT September wheat rose 3/4 cent, or 0.1 per cent, to eke out a third straight weekly advance, reflecting fears of tightening global supplies.

CBOT soybeans advanced on Friday as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, through its daily reporting system, confirmed sales of 126,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to unknown destinations. The sale brought the total for U.S. soy sales announcements this week to 1.5 million tonnes, including about one million tonnes to China.

USDA has also confirmed sales of three million tonnes of U.S. corn to China since July 10.

“Corn purchases by China are up and could increase further due to attractive prices,” consultancy Agritel said.

Rising global vegetable oil markets lifted allied CBOT soyoil futures, with the benchmark December contract reaching its highest level since early March. Malaysian palm oil futures recorded their biggest weekly rise in 3-1/2 years as heavy rains in Indonesia, Malaysia and China stoked supply concerns.

Traders noted that the National Oilseed Processors Association this week reported that soyoil stocks among its U.S. members fell more than expected during June, to 1.778 billion lbs., from 1.88 billion at the end of May.

“The NOPA soybean oil stocks number was a little bit light, even with the big crush. And with the new highs for the move (in CBOT soyoil futures), you are going to get technical buying,” said Dan Cekander, president of DC Analysis.

— Julie Ingwersen is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Sydney.

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