April 11, 2018 / 11:05 AM / 3 months ago

GRAINS-Soy rises on tighter-than-expected supplies, wheat eases

* Soybeans gain as USDA trims end-of-season supply f’cast

* Weak rouble could boost outlook for Russia wheat exports (Adds quotes, updates prices)

By Nigel Hunt

LONDON, April 11 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures rose on Wednesday towards the prior session’s one-month high, boosted by a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report which indicated both domestic and global supplies are tighter than had been expected.

Wheat prices in the United States and European Union were slightly lower, weighed partly by heightened competition in international markets from Russia as its currency weakened, while corn was little changed.

The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 0.7 percent at $10.57-1/4 a bushel by 1045 GMT, edging up towards a one-month high of $10.64 set on Tuesday.

“The market is adjusting positions after the USDA gave it a surprise and trimmed its (U.S.) 2018-ending stocks forecast when nearly everyone was expecting the figure to go higher,” said one Melbourne-based grains trader, who declined to be named as he is not authorised to talk to the media.

The USDA trimmed its 2017/18-ending U.S. soybean stocks forecast to 550 million bushels, from 555 million bushels last month and below an average of analyst estimates for 574 million bushels.

Global 2017/18-ending soybean stocks were also cut more sharply than expected to 90.80 million tonnes, with a cut in Argentina’s crop only partially offset by an upward revision for Brazil.

“Argentinian processors are already appearing as buyers on the global market to ensure they have sufficient product for the period when – earlier than usual – no more soybeans produced in their own country are available,” Commerzbank said.

Argentina, the world’s third biggest soy producer, booked its largest purchase of U.S. soybeans in 20 years on Tuesday after drought cut its harvest, forcing crushers there to turn to imports.

Wheat futures were slightly lower, with the most active CBOT contract down 0.8 percent at $4.88-1/4 a bushel. That marked a further retreat from the prior session’s peak of $4.94 - the highest since March 13.

Dealers noted a decline in Russia’s rouble could diminish export prospects in the United States and EU.

“This is providing a further factor of competitiveness for the Russian wheat on international markets. We consider that Russia could export 40 million tonnes in this marketing year,” Agritel said in a market note.

The USDA is forecasting Russian exports at 38.5 million.

May milling wheat in Paris was down 0.25 euros, or 0.15 percent, at 167.25 euros a tonne.

The most active CBOT corn futures rose 0.06 percent to $3.89-1/2 a bushel. (Additional reporting by Colin Packham in Sydney; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Mark Potter)

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