Corn up for 3rd day on US planting outlook, wheat prices firm

Corn

Chicago corn edged up on Tuesday, with the market trading close to its highest in more than three weeks on support from a U.S. government forecast of lower plantings this year.

Soybeans edged higher as the market recovered from last session’s lowest since October, although prices remained under pressure from a record Brazilian harvest.

The Chicago Board of Trade most-active corn contract had added 0.1 percent to $3.68 a bushel by 0312 GMT after climbing to its highest since March 9 at $3.71-3/4 a bushel on Monday.

Soybeans gained 0.1 percent to $9.38-3/4 a bushel following a decline on Monday to $9.37-1/4 a bushel, matching the lowest price since Oct. 13. Wheat gained 0.1 percent to $4.28-1/4 a bushel.

The corn market was supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s projection on Friday that U.S. farmers would plant 89.996 million acres of corn. The figure fell below a range of trade expectations.

The agency forecast U.S. soybean plantings at 89.482 million acres, above trade expectations.

Soybean futures are struggling as record supplies from Brazil hit the market.

“South Americans are churning out record volumes of soybeans,” said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank. “There is no shortfall of supplies unless we see a major weather event.”

Brazilian soybean exports totalled 9.7 million tonnes in March, the highest on record for the month, according to grain export association Anec, which warned of the potential stresses of a bumper crop on the country’s major ports.

After the close on Monday, the USDA rated 51 percent of the U.S. winter wheat crop as good to excellent, compared with 59 percent a year earlier.

But the USDA’s state reports showed week-on-week improvements in crop ratings for several key winter wheat states, including Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado.

Russian wheat export prices fell last week, hit by weaker demand from Egypt and Turkey and the rouble’s strength against the dollar, an agricultural consultancy said on Monday.

Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn and wheat futures contracts on Monday and net sellers of soybeans, traders said.

Trade estimates of net fund buying in corn ranged widely from 5,000 to 25,000 contracts.

[reuters]

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