U.S. grains: Soybeans rise to four-year peak

Corn up on export hopes, eye on South American dryness

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Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures scaled a four-year high on Tuesday as soaring demand from domestic users and exporters stoked concerns that already-thin supplies are likely to tighten further.

Corn futures climbed for a third straight session on strong demand and smaller global supplies, while wheat dipped after two days of gains.

“Soybeans are leading the complex today with hopes of more U.S. export sales, especially to China, and signs of robust U.S. domestic soybean crushing demand,” said Matt Ammermann, StoneX commodity risk manager.

“This is against the background of tighter supplies after the forecast of smaller U.S. soybean stocks from the USDA last week,” he said.

The National Oilseed Processors Association on Monday reported a record-large U.S. soybean crush in October that topped all trade estimates.

Lingering dry weather in parts of South America, where dry conditions had stalled soybean planting recently, has increased concerns about the size and timing of the next harvest. A later harvest would likely benefit U.S. exports.

Chicago Board of Trade January soybean futures ended up 16-1/4 cents at $11.69-3/4 a bushel after peaking at $11.78-1/4, the highest for a most-active contract since June 13, 2016 (all figures US$). All soybean contracts posted new life-of-contract highs.

CBOT December corn gained four cents to $4.20-1/4 a bushel and CBOT December wheat fell 2-3/4 cents to $5.95-1/4 a bushel.

Much of the market’s focus remains on exports, particularly to China, which has slowed purchases from the brisk pace earlier in the autumn. China is believed to still need U.S. soybeans and corn before the next South American harvest arrives.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Tuesday that private exporters sold 195,000 tonnes of U.S. corn to Mexico. South Korea also continues to buy imported corn.

— Reporting for Reuters by Karl Plume in Chicago; additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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