PARIS/SINGAPORE: Chicago soybean prices inched lower on Tuesday from an earlier five-week high while wheat pulled back from Monday’s nine-year peak as traders watched for further signs of demand, including any Chinese purchases following talks between Washington and Beijing.
Corn similarly ticked lower, with a firm dollar and US harvest progress encouraging grain markets to consolidate.
The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) was down 0.2% at $12.55-1/4 a bushel by 1303 GMT, after climbing earlier in the session to its highest since Oct. 8.
The National Oilseed Processors Association on Monday said US soybean crush rose in October to 183.993 million bushels, the third-highest monthly volume on record and above the average of market forecasts.
A video call on Monday between US President Joe Biden and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping has also spurred hopes that renewed dialogue could bolster Chinese buying of US soybeans.
“The market suspects that China’s importers have and will make hefty purchases of US soybeans in that context,” Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said.
Soybeans ease, strong demand curbs losses; wheat near multi-year high
The market will be monitoring any announcements of daily export sales under the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) reporting system.
Private exporters reported the sale of 264,000 tonnes of soybeans to unknown destinations, the USDA said on Monday, in what was the biggest daily soybean sale in a month.
In a separate report on Monday, the USDA estimated that the US soybean crop was 92% harvested as of Sunday, in line with analyst expectations but behind the five-year average of 93%.
The US corn harvest was 91% complete, also matching the average estimate in a Reuters poll of analysts.
A headline rating for the US winter wheat crop improved to 46% good-to-excellent condition from 45% a week earlier, surpassing an average analyst expectation for no change.
CBOT wheat was down 0.3% at $8.24 a bushel but remained near its latest nine-year high of $8.29-1/2 set on Monday.
Corn ticked down 0.2% to $5.75-1/2 a bushel.
International demand for wheat has remained steady despite rising prices in major exporting countries. Traders were watching to see if Algeria would make a purchase in an import tender after traders said the country’s grain agency pushed back an initial deadline of Monday.