U.S. grains: Soybeans pare losses as China buys more

U.S. wheat harvest gathering pace

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago soybean futures pared losses on Tuesday as traders said that China was purchasing more U.S. soy, after the market slumped earlier on improved crop progress outlooks.

Chicago wheat and corn fell on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s assessment of crop conditions, which analysts viewed as bearish, and a favourable weather outlook across the Midwest.

The Chicago Board of Trade’s most-active soybean contract ended down 1-1/2 cents at $8.63-1/4 a bushel, after bottoming out at $8.56-1/2 (all figures US$).

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Corn fell 6-1/4 cents to $3.27-1/2 a bushel and wheat slid seven cents to $5.04-1/2 a bushel.

China’s state-owned trader Sinograin bought at least 120,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans for shipment in December from U.S. Pacific Northwest ports, two U.S. traders familiar with the deals said.

The purchases buoyed the bean market, after crop conditions pressured it lower around midday.

USDA’s weekly crop conditions report, issued after the market close on Monday, rated 75 per cent of the U.S. corn crop as good to excellent, up from 74 per cent last week and aligned with average analyst estimates in a Reuters poll.

For soybeans, USDA rated 72 per cent of the crop as good to excellent, up from 70 per cent last week, and 82 per cent of U.S. spring wheat as good to excellent, above analyst expectations of 80 per cent.

Some seven per cent of U.S. winter wheat was harvested, up from three per cent last week, with 51 per cent of the crop in good-to-excellent condition, slightly better than analyst expectations of 50 per cent.

Weather forecasts across the Midwest indicate heavy rains are coming as tropical depression Cristobal pushes moisture up the Mississippi River Valley, followed by hot, dry weather supporting crop conditions into July, analysts said.

Meanwhile, traders anticipated USDA’s world agricultural supply and demand estimate (WASDE) and crop production reports on Thursday.

“If we can get through that report without any bearish, shocking surprise, I think we will continue to resume the seasonal uptrend higher,” said Ted Seifried, chief ag market strategist at The Zaner Ag Hedge Group. “That report does always have the potential to smash the technical picture.”

— Reporting for Reuters by Christopher Walljasper; additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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