U.S. grains: Soy futures jump on reported China purchases

CBOT wheat futures retreat after setting five-month top

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures advanced on Wednesday as traders said China bought U.S. cargoes, while wheat futures retreated on profit-taking a day after climbing to a five-month high.

Chinese state-owned firms bought at least eight bulk shipments of U.S. soybeans, or at least 480,000 tonnes, for shipment in December and January, two U.S. traders familiar with the deals told Reuters.

Traders and analysts will watch for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to confirm the deals on Thursday in its daily export sales reporting system. China is the world’s biggest soybean importer and has recently made large purchases of U.S. corn.

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Soaring corn prices are stoking food security jitters in China, where food inflation has climbed to the highest in over a decade.

USDA on Wednesday did not announce sales of any U.S. crops in its daily reporting system, dousing rumours from Tuesday of Chinese demand for U.S. wheat.

Traders are keeping an eye on wheat sales as some exporting countries, such as Argentina and France, have suffered adverse weather that has limited supplies.

Egypt’s General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) set a tender on Wednesday to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for shipment Nov. 5-15.

“Wheat’s been on a roller coaster,” said Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist for broker StoneX. “This is a little bit of pullback.”

The most-active CBOT wheat contract fell 5-3/4 cents to close at $5.58-1/4 per bushel, after rallying on Tuesday to its highest price since April 1 (all figures US$).

Most-active CBOT soybeans advanced 7-1/4 cents to settle at $9.62 a bushel, after rising on Monday to their highest price since June 2018. Corn settled up 3/4 cent at $3.58-3/4 a bushel.

Traders are looking ahead to monthly USDA supply and demand reports due on Sept. 11 for updated estimates on corn and soy output.

— Reporting for Reuters by Tom Polansek in Chicago; additional reporting by Naveen Thukral and Sybille de La Hamaide.

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