Soybeans maintain gains thanks to continuing Chinese demand

On Wednesday Chicago soybeans made gains, thanks to continuing solid demand from the world’s biggest importer China, while corn ticked lower, and wheat fell for a fourth consecutive session after Australia raised its forecast for wheat production by more than a quarter following recent rains.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) added 0.1% to $8.64 a bushel by 0204 GMT. Wheat lost 0.4% to $5.02–3/4 a bushel, while corn gave up 0.3% to $3.26–1/2 a bushel.

“China is key to soybean prices for now as they are buying U.S. beans,” said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at agriculture brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney. “There are lots of things pivoting in China.”

China’s state-owned trader Sinograin bought at least 120,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans for shipment in December from U.S. Pacific Northwest ports, two U.S. traders familiar with the deals said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) weekly crop conditions report, issued after the market closed on Monday, rated 75% of the U.S. corn crop as “good to excellent”, up from 74% last week.
For soybeans, the USDA rated 72% of the crop as “good to excellent”, up from 70% last week, and 82% of U.S. spring wheat as “good to excellent”, above analyst expectations of 80%.

Australia raised its estimate for wheat production in the 2020/21 season by more than 25% on Wednesday after recent heavy rains broke a three-year drought that has ravaged the country’s east coast.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences said wheat production for the year ending June 30, 2021, will total 26.7 million tonnes, up from its March estimate of 21.3 million tonnes.

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