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Markets

Soybeans surge near 9-year high on tightening supplies

  • Soybeans up ahead of US report.
  • Corn near highest since 2013; wheat flat.
Published May 12, 2021

SINGAPORE/PARIS: Chicago soybeans climbed more than 1.5% on Wednesday to their highest in nearly nine years, as shrinking global feed grain supplies and positioning ahead of a key US supply-demand report due later in the day underpinned prices.

Wheat was flat while corn futures rose slightly, gaining for a second straight session.

"The bullish trend remains in place and tightening global supplies are in focus ahead of the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) report," said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney.

"No one wants to be caught short before the USDA report."

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) rose 1.6% to $16.40-1/2 a bushel, as of 1030 GMT, after hitting its highest since September 2012 at $16.53-1/4 a bushel in the session.

Wheat was unchanged at $7.41-3/4 a bushel and corn added 0.2% to $7.23-3/4 a bushel, not far from an eight-year high of $7.35-1/4 hit on Friday.

Tightening corn supplies should affect competing feedstuffs as well, including soybean meal.

Traders await Wednesday's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, in which the USDA will give its first global outlook for 2021/22 and update its 2020/21 estimates.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average expected the USDA to lower its estimate of Brazil's 2020/21 corn production to 103.5 million tonnes, from 109 million tonnes in April. Others fear the figure ultimately could fall below 100 million tonnes, curbing exportable supplies.

"The prospect of lower production volumes in Brazil is driving the market, supporting prices for the current crop as well as the new season," French consultancy Agritel said.

Brazilian agribusiness consultancy AgRural on Monday cut its production estimate for Brazil's second corn crop in the Center South region due to a prolonged drought that worsened in the first week of May.

Farmers there are now expected to reap 65.1 million tonnes of second corn, down from 73 million tonnes estimated on April 19, according to a statement.

Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT soybean, corn, soymeal, wheat and soyoil futures contracts on Tuesday, traders said.

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