June 17, 2019 / 3:28 AM / 4 months ago

GRAINS-Corn hits highest since 2014 on expectations of lower US output

    * Chicago corn jumps to 5-year peak, gains more than 2%
    * Rains, flooding likely to reduce U.S. corn production

 (Adds details, quote)
    By Naveen Thukral
    SINGAPORE, June 17 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures climbed
more than 2% on Monday to a five-year top as more rains and
flooding in parts of the U.S. Midwest are likely to curb output
in the world's biggest producer of the grain. 
    Wheat rose to a nine-and-a-half-month peak while soybeans
advanced more than 1%, gaining for a sixth consecutive session. 
    The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade
 was up 2.3% at $4.63-1/4 a bushel, as of 0305 GMT, near
the session high of $4.64 a bushel - the highest since June
    "The market is finding new 'horror stories' about U.S. corn
crops as it scours the U.S. Midwest for information," said Tobin
Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of
    The storms have left millions of acres unseeded in the $51
billion U.S. corn market and put crops that were planted late at
a greater risk for damage from severe weather during the growing
    Together, the problems heap more pain on a farm sector that
has suffered from years of low crop prices and a U.S.-China
trade war that is slowing agricultural exports.
    End-users of corn, such as producers of livestock feed and
ethanol, have been bidding up for old-crop supplies to prepare
for tighter domestic inventories.
    "The market does not believe that farmers can complete
planting before the window closes. The weather will now have a
material impact on supplies," said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness
economist, National Australia Bank.
    Wheat was up nearly 1% at $5.43-3/4 a bushel after
climbing to its highest since Aug. 31 at $5.44-3/4 a bushel, and
soybeans added 1.4% to $9.09-1/2 a bushel, having firmed
1% in the previous session.
    Analyst said soybeans were drawing support from the wet U.S.
weather. Soybeans have a later planting window, but should the
rains continue, farmers may be unable to finish planting of the
oilseed too.
    U.S. soybean processors likely crushed fewer soybeans last
month than they did in the same month a year ago, but the crush
rate was still the second-largest on record for May, according
to analysts polled ahead of a monthly industry report.

    Large speculators raised their net long position in CBOT
corn futures in the week to June 11, regulatory data released on
Friday showed. 
    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's weekly
commitments of traders report also showed that non-commercial
traders, a category that includes hedge funds, trimmed their net
short position in CBOT wheat and increased their net short
position in soybeans.

 Grains prices at 0305 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  543.75  5.25    +0.97%   +1.54%       484.68  74
 CBOT corn   463.25  10.25   +2.26%   +4.81%       402.11  83
 CBOT soy    909.50  12.75   +1.42%   +2.42%       850.50  77
 CBOT rice   11.61   -$0.04  -0.30%   -0.39%       $11.38  51
 WTI crude   52.64   $0.13   +0.25%   +0.69%       $57.73  
 Euro/dlr    $1.122  $0.001  +0.11%   -0.50%               
 USD/AUD     0.6880  0.001   +0.12%   -0.48%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 RSI 14, exponential

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral, additional reporting by Colin
Packham in SYDNEY; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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