U.S. grains: Soy futures rally on dry Argentina weather

Attention turns to next week's USDA supply-demand outlook

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Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures prices pushed higher on Friday, notching a fourth straight weekly gain, as dry weather in Argentina continued to fuel worries about global supplies of the oilseed.

Corn futures rebounded from a three-week low reached in the previous session, while wheat futures also edged higher.

Concerns increased over crops in Argentina, the world’s top soymeal exporter, as Commodity Weather Group said a rain deficit was seen “leading to severe yield loss” for 30 per cent of the soy belt in the coming 10 days.

Weather firm Maxar said below-normal rains are forecast in Argentina over the next 15 days, stressing second-crop soybeans.

Some traders also adjusted positions ahead of the release of monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) crop forecasts on Tuesday. The agency is expected to further lower its estimates for 2020-21 ending stocks for soybeans and corn, according to a Reuters survey of analysts.

Record U.S. soybean crushings and exports are already projected to shrink U.S. soybean stocks to a mere 9-1/2-day supply ahead of the next North American harvest.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) closed up 19-1/2 cents at $14.30 a bushel (all figures US$). The contract had climbed to a one-week high on Thursday, nearing last week’s 6-1/2-year peak.

CBOT corn jumped 13 cents to $5.45-1/2 a bushel, after falling on Thursday to its lowest price since Feb. 11 after USDA reported poor weekly U.S. export sales. The smaller-than-anticipated sales signaled high corn prices are reducing demand, traders said.

On Feb. 9, the most-active corn contract reached $5.74-1/4, the highest price since June 2013 on concerns about tight old-crop supplies.

CBOT wheat ended up two cents at $6.53 per bushel on Friday.

— Reporting for Reuters by Tom Polansek in Chicago, Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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