Sunday, December 5

Corn climbs on US export data, acreage worries; soy, wheat also firm

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CHICAGO — US corn futures ended higher on Monday, rallying from early declines, as traders focused on stronger-than-expected weekly US export inspections data and fears that rising fertilizer prices could limit corn plantings in the coming year.

Soybean futures also rose, buoyed by strength in soyoil and global vegetable oil markets. Wheat futures followed the firm trend.

Chicago Board of Trade December corn futures settled up 7 cents at $5.32-3/4 per bushel. November soybeans ended up 3-3/4 cents at $12.21-1/2 a bushel and December wheat finished up 2-1/4 cents at $7.36-1/4 a bushel.

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Corn posted the biggest gains on a percentage basis as traders worried about high costs for fertilizer.

“Corn prices find support from declining yields and fears that acreage will decline globally due to high input costs in 2022,” Arlan Suderman, StoneX chief commodities economist, wrote in a client note.

The market found additional support as the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported export inspections of US corn in the latest week at 976,218 tonnes, above a range of trade estimates and the biggest weekly tally since early August. Soybean inspections also topped trade expectations at nearly 2.3 million tonnes.

After the CBOT close, the USDA said the US corn harvest was 52% complete, ahead of the five-year average of 41% but behind the average estimate in a Reuters analyst poll of 54%. Similarly, the soybean harvest was 60% complete , ahead of its five-year average of 55% but behind the average analyst expectation of 62%.

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Soybean planting is under way in the Southern Hemisphere. In top global producer Brazil, soybean planting was 22% complete by Oct. 14, the second-fastest progress as of mid-October, agribusiness consultancy AgRural said.

Soybeans drew support as soyoil futures advanced, following as Malaysian palm oil futures rose more than 1%.

CBOT wheat ended modestly higher in technical moves, with underlying support from tightening world supplies.

“Wheat prices continue to find global mill buying on price breaks amid tight supplies among major exporters,” Suderman said.

However, Russia, a top global exporter, may increase its wheat crop to 80.7 million tonnes in 2022 from 75.5 million tonnes in 2021, Sovecon, one of the leading agriculture consultancies in Moscow, said in a note. (Reporting by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago with additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Colin Packham in Canberra; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Matthew Lewis)