Soybeans supported by exports, large U.S. crops looms

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CHICAGO — Chicago soybeans traded both sides of even on Monday, supported by stronger-than-expected weekly export sales, though pressure persists as farmers begin harvesting what is expected to be a near-record crop.

Corn also saw harvest pressure, while wheat dropped on easing concerns about global supplies.

Chicago Board of Trade most-active soybeans were down 2 cents at $12.84-1/2 a bushel at 11:09 a.m. (1609 GMT).

Wheat lost 2 cents to $6.86-1/2 a bushel, while corn eased 3 cents to $5.15 a bushel.

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“Corn and beans are going to spin their wheels as we move into harvest,” said Tom Fritz, commodity broker at EFG Group.

The USDA on Friday raised its forecast of the U.S. corn harvest by 1.7% after farmers devoted more acres to the grain.

The U.S. soybean crop outlook also was raised after some timely rains in August increased expectations of record yields in key production areas.

Soybean futures were underpinned by recent exports, including a daily sales notice of 132,000 tonnes of soybeans to unknown destinations in the 2021/22 marketing year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

“The Chinese have picked up their buying in the last month, but they needed too,” said John Zanker, market analyst at Risk Management Commodities. “I’m just really concerned we’re not going to see the kind of export pace this fall that we saw last year.”

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Weekly export shipments were muted by damaged terminals at the U.S. Gulf after Hurricane Ida swept through the region in early September.

For the week ended Sept. 9, exporters shipped 138,189 tonnes of corn, down 50.34% from the week prior and 85.29% from the same week a year ago.

Soybean exporters shipped 105,368 tonnes of the oilseed, up 16.3% from the week prior but down 93.55% from the same period in 2020.

“With the Gulf being pretty much out of operation – there were a couple places that started operation late last week – everything’s got to come out over the (Great) lakes or through the PNW,” Fritz said.

As favorable weather expedites harvest progress across much of the U.S. Midwest, Zanker said harvest pressure should persist for several more weeks.

“I’m not seeing anything that would lead me to believe the lows are in,” Zanker said. (Reporting by Christopher Walljasper; Additional reporting by Michael Hogan; Editing by Will Dunham)