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U.S. grains: Wheat rises to 8-1/2-year highs on world supply worries

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Chicago | Reuters – U.S. wheat futures climbed to 8-1/2-year highs on Friday and European wheat futures extended gains, led by fresh contract highs in Paris, after steep cuts to world stockpiles in a U.S. government report fuelled supply worries, analysts said.

Soybean futures rose on fears of tightening global vegetable oil supplies, but corn futures ended mostly lower.

Chicago Board of Trade September wheat settled up 8-3/4 cents at $7.62-1/4 per bushel, after reaching $7.74-3/4, the highest price on a continuous chart of the most-active CBOT wheat contract since February 2013.

MGEX September spring wheat touched $9.53 a bushel, the highest spot price since November 2012.

CBOT November soybeans settled up 24 cents at $13.65 a bushel, while benchmark December soyoil rose 1.70 cents, or 2.76 percent, to 63.28 cents per pound. December corn ended down 1/4 cent at $5.73 a bushel.

Wheat extended advances a day after the U.S. Department of Agriculture slashed its forecast of global 2021-22 wheat production and ending stocks, citing poor weather in Russia, Canada and the United States.

Adverse weather has also cut crop prospects in the European Union, contributing to a potentially “explosive” global supply outlook, analyst firm Strategie Grains said on Thursday.

“There are a lot of worries about the French wheat harvest maybe pushing back barley shipments and wheat shipments, so we’ve got Paris wheat probably leading the U.S. markets higher,” said Terry Reilly, senior analyst with Futures International in Chicago.

Soybeans drew support from a pick-up in U.S. export sales as well as rising prices for vegetable oils including Malaysian palm oil and Canadian canola.

“People are starting to think that maybe the U.S. won’t get as many canola oil imports as expected … The global vegetable oil market dictates that things might get a little tighter going forward,” Reilly said.

CBOT corn pared gains and turned choppy on profit-taking at week’s end. The market was underpinned by supply worries after the USDA on Thursday cut its estimate of U.S. corn production more than most analysts expected.

However, some analyst said that acreage data released late Thursday by the USDA’s Farm Service Agency USDA implied that the USDA eventually might raise its official estimate of U.S. corn plantings.

Traders await findings next week from an annual U.S. corn and soy crop tour organized by the Pro Farmer newsletter. Scouting begins Monday and continues through Thursday across seven Midwest states.

– Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore

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