Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

U.S. grains: Soy, corn fall on big U.S. crops

Wheat lower but underpinned by funds' net short position

corn harvest
(FIle photo by Allan Dawson)

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Board of Trade soybean and corn futures fell on Tuesday on expectations the U.S. Department of Agriculture might raise its forecast of the U.S. soybean yield in a monthly report next week, traders said.

Wheat followed the weak trend, with global grain supplies adding pressure.

CBOT January soybeans settled down 18-1/2 cents at $9.93-1/4 per bushel (all figures US$). December corn ended down 5-3/4 cents at $3.49 a bushel and December wheat fell two cents at $4.14-1/4 a bushel.

Soybeans sagged as traders began positioning for USDA’s Nov. 9 supply/demand reports, which will include updated forecasts of U.S. corn and soybean crops already projected as the largest on record.

“The trade is a bit fearful that yields are going to be a little bit bigger on soybeans, and it’s a reminder we have no shortage of grain in the U.S. or the world,” said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa.

After the CBOT close, commodity brokerage INTL FCStone raised its estimate of the average U.S. 2016 soybean yield to a record 52.8 bushels per acre, from 52.5 in its previous monthly report.

The firm raised its forecast of the U.S. 2016 corn yield to 175.3 bu./ac., from 175.2 last month.

CBOT corn and soybeans also felt pressure from fund selling at the start of the month and generally benign weather for South America, where planting is underway.

“South American soybean planting conditions look fine overall also with no significant problems currently visible,” said Matt Ammermann, commodity risk manager for INTL FCStone.

“Without additional news there is weakness as attention turns to the overall reasonable state of the huge U.S. soybean and corn harvests,” Ammermann said.

USDA said the U.S. soybean harvest was 87 per cent complete by Sunday, ahead of the five-year average of 85 per cent, and the corn harvest was 75 per cent complete, in line with the five-year average.

Wheat futures fell on ample supplies and lacklustre export demand. But the market had underlying support from the fact that commodity funds already hold a large net short position in CBOT wheat, leaving it vulnerable to bouts of short-covering.

Julie Ingwersen is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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