U.S. grains: Soybeans hit two-week high on fund buying

(Photo courtesy United Soybean Board)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures jumped to a two-week high on Wednesday while corn and wheat prices also rose on support from investment fund buying and position squaring ahead of a government crop report due on Thursday.

Soybeans saw the biggest gains, with Chicago Board of Trade climbing 1.5 per cent for the third straight day of higher prices, settling up 16 cents to $10.58-3/4 per bushel (all figures US$).

Firm soybean and soy product prices in China underpinned U.S. soy and there was market chatter that China, which imports roughly two-thirds of global soy exports, bought several U.S. bulk soybean cargoes.

“The funds are long and are pushing their position a little bit,” said Highground Trading broker Scott Capinegro.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its monthly supply and demand report due at midday on Thursday was expected to trim its U.S. and global soybean ending stocks estimate and make minor adjustments to its corn and wheat outlooks, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.

“Soybeans are again being supported by expectations of strong U.S. exports with Chinese purchasing demand again looking robust as the country returns to business following the Lunar New Year holidays,” Rabobank senior commodity analyst Graydon Chong said.

“Overall soybean harvest weather in Brazil and Argentina is looking positive and non-threatening to crops. But there are hopes the strong export demand for U.S. supplies we have seen all this season, especially from China, will continue until South American new crops start to take over.”

CBOT March corn futures settled 2-1/4 cents higher at $3.70-3/4 per bushel, earlier equaling a seven-month high of $3.71 touched on Jan. 24.

CBOT March wheat finished 1-3/4 cents higher at $4.32-1/2, gaining for the second straight session but still trading below last week’s multimonth highs of $4.37-3/4.

— Michael Hirtzer reports on ag commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Colin Packham in Sydney.

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