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CHICAGO: US corn futures surged 4% on Tuesday as news of fresh export sales to China re-ignited concerns about tightening US and global grain supplies, analysts said.

Soyabeans followed corn higher, with worries about a slow start to the Brazilian soya harvest lending support. Wheat firmed on supply concerns and news that Russia formally adopted a planned increase in a wheat export tax.

As of 1:15 p.m. CST (1855 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade March corn futures were up 20-1/2 cents at $5.32 per bushel. Traders were eyeing resistance at the contract’s Jan. 13 peak of $5.41-1/2, the highest price on a continuous chart of the most-active corn contract since mid-2013.

CBOT March soyabeans were up 29 cents at $13.72-1/2 a bushel and March wheat was up 17-1/4 cents at $6.65-3/4 a bushel.

Corn posted the biggest gains on a percentage basis, jumping after the US Department of Agriculture confirmed private sales of 1.36 million tonnes of US corn to China, the largest such sale since July.

Tuesday’s corn sale to China, Feltes said, reflects “further tightening in our US carry-over situation, and the need for more acres and a great yield in 2021 in the US”.

US agribusiness Archer Daniels Midland Co on Tuesday reported a 36% jump in fourth-quarter profit on strong soya processing margins and solid exports, particularly to China.

Agribusiness research firm AgRural estimated Brazilian soya farmers had harvested just 0.7% of the planted area through Jan. 21, compared with 4.2% a year ago.

Wheat futures drew support as Russia formally adopted a planned increase in a wheat export tax from March 1, a measure that contributed to a recent rally in prices. Also, a USDA attache in Argentina estimated the country’s 2020/21 wheat exports at 11.3 million tonnes, 700,000 tonnes lower than USDA’s official forecast.

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