U.S. grains: Corn, soy, wheat futures ease in setback from surges

Sovecon raises Russian wheat export forecast

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. grain and soybean futures eased on Monday in a setback from rallies driven by concerns about tight crop supplies.

The markets will likely not decline too sharply, traders said, because of strong demand from China and the need for large global harvests. In corn, speculative bullishness in corn remains near all-time highs.

There is “more range trade ahead, with limited downside,” said Rich Feltes, head of market insights for broker RJ O’Brien.

The most actively traded Chicago Board of Trade corn futures contract fell 9-1/4 cents to $5.38-1/4 a bushel, after climbing last month to its highest price since June 2013 (all figures US$).

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Most-active soybeans dropped 13 cents, to $13.91-1/4 a bushel. The contract last week surged to its highest price since June 2014. CBOT wheat ended down 10 cents at $6.50-1/4 per bushel.

In a reflection of lofty futures prices, U.S. crop insurance policies that guarantee prices for the 2021 growing season are the highest in seven years for corn and the highest in eight years for soybeans.

The high prices bolster expectations for record combined acreage of corn and soybeans, analysts said.

In Brazil, the world’s biggest soybean exporter, farmers are expected to harvest 133.5 million tonnes of soy for 2020-21, up from a previous estimate of 132.8 million tonnes, according to broker StoneX.

However, Brazil’s harvest has been slowed by rain.

“As the new month starts, I think there is reflection in the market that U.S. soybean supplies remain tight and there are not a lot of inventories available in the U.S. to meet Chinese demand,” said Matt Ammermann, StoneX commodity risk manager.

In other news, Russian agriculture consultancy Sovecon raised its forecast for Russia’s 2020-21 wheat exports by 1.2 million tonnes to 39.1 million tonnes due to the fast pace of shipments in recent months.

Reporting for Reuters by Tom Polansek in Chicago and Michael Hogan in Hamburg; additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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