U.S. grains: Soybeans, corn up after USDA confirms massive U.S. crops

Traders assessing damage from Midwest storm Monday

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Board of Trade corn and soybean futures rose on Wednesday as short-covering and position-squaring emerged after the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed expectations for massive crops, traders said.

USDA, in a monthly report, said U.S. farmers will reap their biggest corn harvest and second-biggest soybean harvest, thanks to favourable weather. The agency raised its ending stocks estimates for both crops, although corn stocks came in lower than analysts had expected.

Traders are watching production and supply numbers carefully after USDA said earlier this year that farmers planted fewer acres than expected.

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“For the ending stocks number to come in slightly below the trade expectations, even with a yield number that came in slightly above trade expectations, that is a little bit friendly report for corn,” said Ted Seifried, chief ag market strategist for Zaner Group.

The most-active corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade settled up 3-3/4 cents at $3.27-1/4 per bushel (all figures US$). Soybean futures rose 9-1/2 cents to $8.83 a bushel, while wheat fell 4-3/4 cents to $4.91-1/4 per bushel.

“We went into the report at the bottom of the ranges and pretty heavily sold,” said Matt Wiegand, commodity broker for FuturesOne. “When we decided that we weren’t going lower, that gave shorts some incentive to come in and take some profits.”

USDA said its production estimates were based on conditions as of Aug. 1, and did not include the impact of a derecho — a type of storm known for its damaging winds — that potentially impacted some 10 million acres of Iowa farmland.

“The trade will shift back to their focus on U.S. weather developments and impact from the recent derecho that could cause a massive loss of acreage from Iowa and Illinois,” said Terry Reilly, senior commodity analyst for Futures International.

Traders will review weekly export sales data on Thursday and await the result of an Egyptian tender for wheat.

— Reporting for Reuters by Tom Polansek in Chicago, Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Sydney.

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