U.S. grains: Soy futures rise on fresh China sale

CBOT wheat firm, corn eases

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures rose to their highest level in more than seven months on Wednesday with stepped-up demand from China and dry weather threatening to cut U.S. Midwest yields supporting prices for a third day in a row, traders said.

Corn eased on technical selling and profit-taking after rising to a multi-week high on Tuesday, while wheat firmed for the ninth time in 10 sessions, recovering from early weakness on short-covering and technical buying.

Private exporters reported the sale of 400,000 tonnes of soybeans to China for delivery in the 2020-21 marketing year, the U.S. Agriculture Department said Wednesday morning.

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Additionally, hot and dry weather across the Midwest raised concerns about the soybean crop as it nears the end of the key development phase following near-perfect weather throughout planting and early growth stages.

“The dynamics have shifted,” said Dan O’Bryan, a risk management specialist and broker at Top Third Ag Marketing. “You are seeing worse weather and better demand.”

Chicago Board of Trade soybeans for November delivery settled four cents higher at $9.24-1/4 a bushel (all figures US$). On a continuous basis, the most-active contract hit its highest level since Jan. 21.

CBOT December corn ended down 1/4 cent at $3.54-1/4 a bushel and CBOT December wheat was up 4-1/4 cents at $5.39-3/4 a bushel.

The corn contract turned lower after failing to take out its Tuesday high of $3.55 a bushel overnight. But concerns about heat and dryness reducing harvest expectations in the U.S. Midwest kept prices from falling further on Wednesday.

“Corn charts have all momentum up as a half-hearted attempt to break was met with fresh short covering,” ED+F Man Capital said in a note to clients.

— Reporting for Reuters by Mark Weinraub in Chicago; additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris.

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