Soybeans gain on lower U.S. yields, wheat firms for second session

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures rose on Tuesday, gaining for two out of three sessions, on expectations of lower U.S. yields and as the U.S. Department of Agriculture pegged the pace of the harvest behind market forecasts.

FILE PHOTO: Soybeans in a field on Hodgen Farm in Roachdale, Indiana, U.S. November 8, 2019. Picture taken November 8, 2019. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston

Corn prices slid, dragged by a decline in oil demand which is likely to reduce the use of the grain-based fuel ethanol.

“Yields of both U.S. soybeans and corn are declining,” said one Singapore-based trader. “But trading is likely to be subdued as many players are not willing to take positions in the market due to uncertainty ahead of U.S. elections.”

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Sv1 rose 0.6% to $10.58-1/4 a bushel by 0316 GMT.

Corn Cv1 eased 0.1% to $3.97-1/4 a bushel, while wheat Wv1 added 0.2% to $6.08-3/4 a bushel.

President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden made a last-ditch push for votes in battleground states on Monday as their campaigns prepared for post-election disputes that could prolong a divisive presidential election.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the U.S. corn harvest was 82% complete, ahead of the five-year average of 69%, and the soybean crop was 87% harvested, ahead of the five-year average of 83%.

However, both figures fell short of the average expectations in a Reuters poll of analysts.

The USDA rated 43% of the U.S. winter wheat crop in good to excellent condition, up from 41% a week earlier but below the average estimate of 45% in a Reuters survey.

Commodity brokerage StoneX, formerly known as INTL FCStone, on Monday trimmed its estimate of the average U.S. 2020 corn yield to 178.9 bushels per acre (bpa), from 179.0 in its previous monthly report released Oct. 1.

StoneX pared its forecast of the U.S. 2020 soybean yield to 52.1 bpa, from its Oct. 1 figure of 52.4 bpa. The firm forecast U.S. soybean production at 4.291 billion bushels, down from 4.351 billion previously.

Oil prices slipped on Tuesday as worries about soaring COVID-19 cases, rapidly rising Libyan supply and U.S election jitters outweighed growing hopes that major producers would hold back on planned production increases.

Ukraine’s grain exports have fallen 15.8% to 16.5 million tonnes so far in the season that runs from July 2020 to June 2021 because of a lower corn shipments, the economy ministry said on Monday.

Traders sold 2.5 million tonnes of corn compared with 4.4 million tonnes on the same date last year. Wheat exports fell to 10.6 million tonnes from around 11 million.

Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT wheat futures contracts on Monday and net sellers of soybean, corn, soymeal and soyoil futures, traders said. <COMFUND/CBT>

Reporting by Naveen Thukral; editing by Uttaresh.V