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U.S. grains: Soybeans gain on weather concern; global demand pressures corn, wheat

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Chicago | Reuters – Corn and wheat futures slipped on Wednesday, tracking falls in outside energy markets as rising Delta-variant coronavirus cases raised worries that renewed restrictions could limit demand and overwhelmed recent weather concerns for U.S. crops.

Chicago soybeans ended higher, supported by a private assessment of the U.S. crop, released Tuesday after the market close, as well as uncertain forecasts across the Midwest in the coming days.

Grain markets also anticipated next week’s U.S. Department of Agriculture monthly supply and demand report for revisions to U.S. corn and soybean yields and global demand.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) added 6 cents to $13.25-3/4 per bushel.

CBOT wheat eased 7-1/4 cents to $7.17-1/4 per bushel after reaching $7.38-3/4, its highest since May 12. Corn lost 5 cents to $5.46-3/4 per bushel.

“We saw a reversal on what was leading the conversation,” said Mike Zuzolo, president of Global Commodity Analytics. “The Delta variant increase in the two largest economies of the world make the weather seem a lot less important.”

Oil prices fell to a two-week low after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a rise in crude stockpiles for the week ended July 30, pulling the grain complex lower.

Soybeans were supported by continued weather uncertainty and positioning ahead of the USDA’s monthly supply and demand report, due August 12, though a dearth of recent export sales weighs on the market.

“China hasn’t committed in a real way, like they did last year,” said Dan Hussey, senior market strategist at Zaner Group. “This time of year, we’re expecting to see Chinese purchasing, we’re expecting to see flash sales.”

An estimate by commodity brokerage StoneX released Monday afternoon pegged the U.S. soybean harvest at 4.332 billion bushels with an average yield of 50.0 bushels per acre, slightly below most-recent USDA estimates.

Wheat prices were underpinned by recent tenders, as well as drought damage in North America, reduced forecasts for Russian production and quality concerns surrounding the European Union’s harvest.

The corn market was supported by a poor second corn crop in Brazil after drought and frost damage.

– Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz.

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