U.S. grains: Soy firms with export demand

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures rose on Tuesday on continued strong export demand as overseas buyers waited for the bulk of the expected bumper South America harvest to come online, traders said.

“Beans continue to be the darling of the grains thanks to a long seasonal export tail, with the big anticipated shift to Brazil still yet to materialize,” Matt Zeller, director of market information at INTL FCStone, said in a note to clients.

Corn futures also firmed, finding technical support after dipping to Monday’s low. Wheat ended higher on a round of short-covering.

Both corn and wheat settled near session highs after breaking through key technical resistance points late in the session.

“Corn rallied smartly after a lower opening overnight, with funds coming back in with buy orders,” Charlie Sernatinger, global head of grain futures at ED+F Man Capital, said in a note to clients. “Wheat started lower on chart selling, but rallied back bouncing off moving average support, with a bit of fresh fund buying hitting the market.”

Traders noted position squaring ahead of the U.S. Agriculture Department’s monthly supply and demand report, set for release on Thursday.

Chicago Board of Trade March soybean futures settled up 6-3/4 cents at $10.42-3/4 a bushel (all figures US$).

Active buying by Chinese customers following Lunar New Year celebrations buoyed the soy market.

“Chinese soybean demand seems to be back again after the break,” said Ole Houe, analyst with brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney.

But soybeans, which have risen for five of the last six sessions, failed to break through last week’s high of $10.44-1/4, a level it challenged on Friday and Monday.

CBOT March soft red winter wheat ended up 8-1/4 cents at $4.30-3/4 a bushel. MGEX spring wheat for March delivery was 1/4 cent higher at $5.55-1/2 a bushel while March K.C. hard red winter wheat futures rose 3-3/4 cents to $4.39-1/2 a bushel.

CBOT March corn was up 4-3/4 cents at $3.68-1/2 a bushel.

Corn found support from early weakness at Monday’s low of $3.62-1/2 a bushel. The higher close snapped a three-session losing streak.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Nigel Hunt in London.

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