Wheat gains for third day on Russia supply concerns; soybeans firm

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SINGAPORE — Chicago wheat futures gained more ground on Tuesday, with prices climbing to their highest in more than a week on concerns over supplies from top exporter Russia.

Russian wheat export prices rose for the eighth consecutive week, lifted by higher export taxes, solid domestic demand, a lower 2021 crop output and a stronger rouble, analysts said on Monday.

Soybeans and corn ticked higher.

“Buyers are worried about tightening supplies from the Black Sea region,” said one Singapore-based wheat miller which has processing facilities across Asia. “One good thing is that by the end of this year, we will have ample supplies from Australia.”

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The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) most-active wheat contract climbed 0.7% to $7.31-1/4 a bushel by 0323 GMT, after hitting its highest since Aug. 30 at $7.32 a bushel earlier in the session.

Soybeans added 0.6% to $13.00-1/4 a bushel and corn edged up 0.3% to $5.25-1/2 a bushel.

However, expectations of higher production in Australia, typically the world’s fourth-largest exporter, limited gains.

Australian farmers are on course to harvest a near record amount of wheat this season, the country’s chief commodity forecaster said on Tuesday, as it lifted its production forecast by more than 17% following recent favorable weather.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences said it now expects production during the season ending June 30, 2022, to total 32.63 million tonnes, up from its June estimate of 27.8 million tonnes.

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In China, soybean imports fell in August from the same month a year ago, customs data showed on Tuesday, as low crushing margins and high international bean prices weighed on demand.

Brazil’s 2020/21 total corn crop is now expected to reach 81.9 million tonnes, more than 20 million tonnes below last year’s harvest, agriculture consultancy AgRural said on Monday, hurt by unfavorable weather conditions.

AgRural had previously estimated the corn crop to reach 82.2 million tonnes versus 102.6 million tonnes in 2019/20, following damage from drought and frosts.

Large speculators cut their net long positions in CBOT corn futures in the week ended Aug. 31, regulatory data released on Friday showed.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly commitments of traders report also showed that non-commercial traders, a category that includes hedge funds, trimmed their net short position in CBOT wheat and cut their net long position in soybeans. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Devika Syamnath)

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