Soybeans gain on demand hopes while wheat falls further

By Naveen Thukral and Sybille de La Hamaide

SINGAPORE/PARIS, April 21 (Reuters) – Chicago soybean futures ticked higher on Thursday, holding on to gains made in recent sessions, as expectations of higher demand for US supplies underpinned the market. Wheat lost more ground, while corn also eased.

“Unlike grains, oilseed prices have gained materially over the past couple of days,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “Soybean prices, old and new crop, are at new highs for the season.”

The most active Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) soybean contract added 0.1% to $17.18-3/4 a bushel by 1115 GMT. Wheat lost 0.6% to $10.90-1/2 a bushel and corn gave up 0.3% to $8.07-1/4 a bushel. Export prices for US soybeans are competitive with Brazilian supplies for May loadings and cheaper than Brazil for June, July and August, StoneX chief commodities economist Arlan Suderman wrote in a client note.

Brazil and the United States are the world’s top soybean exporters.

China’s March soybean imports from the United States, meanwhile, plunged from a year earlier, customs data showed on Wednesday, as poor margins curbed buying. China, the world’s top importer of soybeans, brought in 3.37 million tonnes last month from the United States, down from 7.18 million a year earlier, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

In corn, the market continues to monitor weather forecasts for the US Midwest and supply in the southern hemisphere. Argentina’s Rosario grains exchange raised its forecast for the country’s 2021/22 soy and corn harvests on Thursday, citing better than expected soy yields and an adjustment in its estimate for the corn planting area. Wheat futures slide, but the market has underlying support from dry conditions in the US Plains, which could hit winter wheat production.

The US Department of Agriculture on Monday rated 30% of US winter wheat in good to excellent condition, a 26-year low for this time of year. Ukrainian farmers have sown 2.5 million hectares of spring crops so far this year, amounting to 20% of the expected area, the agriculture ministry said on Thursday, adding that the sowing area in places where there is intense conflict could shrink by 70%.

Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, soybean, soymeal and soyoil futures contracts on Wednesday and net sellers of wheat futures, traders said.

Prices at 1115 GMT Last Change Pct Move CBOT wheat 1090.50 -7.00 -0.64 CBOT corn 807.25 -2.75 -0.34 CBOT soy 1718.75 1.75 0.10 Paris wheat 406.75 8.25 2.07 Paris maize 334.25 3.25 0.98 Paris rape 1057.00 12.75 1.22 WTI crude oil 102.85 0.66 0.65 euro/dlr 1.0888 0.00 0 ,35 Most active contracts – Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne (Reporting by Naveen Thukral and Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and David Goodman )

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