PARIS/SINGAPORE: Chicago soybean futures edged higher for a second session on Tuesday as strong domestic demand offset supply pressure from a fast-moving US harvest.
Corn inched down as traders monitored the US harvest progress, while wheat eased further after reaching its highest in over two weeks on Monday.
The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 0.4% at $12.90-3/4 a bushel by 1157 GMT.
The oilseed market drew support on Monday from industry data showing monthly US soybean crush at its highest-ever level for September, and end-of-month soyoil stocks at their lowest in nearly nine years.
However, US Department of Agriculture crop data released after Monday’s close highlighted incoming harvest supply.
US farmers had harvested nearly two-thirds of their soybean crop by Sunday, above a range of analyst estimates, while soybean condition ratings also improved, the USDA’s weekly data showed.
Growers were focusing on gathering soybeans as crops are dry and liable to break if left in fields, said Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist with StoneX.
“Farmers are going to harvest soybeans as quickly as they can this time of year,” he said. “They’ll leave corn in the field to dry down while focusing on soybean harvest.”
A reduced USDA forecast of US soybean production in a monthly report last Thursday had put attention back on the impact of hot, dry spells this summer.
A swift harvest can reflect low yields, “but I don’t think we can say that’s the case overall – just regionally,” Suderman said.
In top soybean exporter Brazil, soybean planting has slowed due to hot, dry weather, consultancy AgRural said on Monday.
CBOT corn gave up 0.2% to $4.89-1/4 a bushel, while wheat fell 1.1% to $5.70-3/4 a bushel.
The US corn harvest was 45% complete, slightly below the average of analyst estimates though ahead of the five-year average, the USDA data showed.
Grains also reflected a cautious mood in financial markets, as investors monitored Israel’s war with Palestinian group Hamas and awaited a speech on Thursday by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.
“Markets are taking a pause ahead of Powell’s comments on Thursday, after which we count down to the Fed policy decision on November 1st,” Peak Trading Research said in a note.
After rallying on signs of continuing Chinese import demand, the wheat market was facing renewed pressure from large Black Sea supplies.
Russian wheat export prices continued to decline last week, analysts said.