U.S. grains: Soybeans climb above $10 on Argentina weather woes

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures climbed one per cent on Tuesday, scrambling back above US$10 a bushel, amid ongoing worries about poor weather threatening yield prospects in Argentina.

Corn futures ended fractionally higher while wheat futures sagged on sluggish export demand for U.S. supplies.

Chicago Board of Trade January soybeans settled up 10 cents at $10.08-1/2 per bushel after reaching $10.15, the highest spot price on a continuous chart since July 25 (all figures US$).

CBOT March corn ended up 1/4 cent at $3.53-3/4 a bushel and March wheat fell 2-1/2 cents at $4.32-3/4.

Soybeans rose on worries about dry conditions in Argentina, the world’s third-largest soy producer and the top exporter of soymeal and soyoil.

“The six- to 10-day forecast remains very dry, with no precipitation expected across the growing areas in Argentina. As a result, soil moisture should decline across the corn- and soybean-growing areas over the next 10 days,” MDA Weather Services said in a note to clients.

Deferred CBOT soymeal futures set life-of-contract highs, including the March and May 2018 contracts.

The uncertainty surrounding Argentine crop prospects fueled hopes that China, the world’s biggest soybean importer, might start booking more U.S. soy cargoes. Sales of U.S. soybeans in the 2017-18 marketing year begun Sept. 1 have lagged the year-ago pace.

“Our exports have been disappointing on soybeans so far, but (given) the issues in South America that are starting to bubble up in a La Nina year, I think the belief is that China is going to get a little more aggressive on some coverage,” said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based U.S. Commodities.

Corn futures edged higher but rallies were capped by plentiful supplies following the second-largest U.S. harvest on record.

Wheat futures sagged on technical selling and a lack of export demand for U.S. supplies.

“Our exports are anemic,” said Dan Cekander, president of DC Analysis, adding that traders were using wheat futures as the short leg of inter-market spread positions against soybeans and corn.

— Julie Ingwersen is a commodities correspondent for Reuters in Chicago; additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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