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Corn set for weekly gain on U.S. crop woes; soybeans firm

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SINGAPORE — Chicago corn futures climbed 1% on Friday, with the market rising for a seventh session in eight and poised for a weekly gain, as hot weather conditions continue to impact the U.S. crop, raising concerns over world supplies.

Soybeans rose, while wheat ticked lower.

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“Concerns that actual yield will come in well below the current USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) estimates helped support,” according to a Hightower report.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 1% at $6.56-1/4 a bushel, as of 0319 GMT. The market has gained more than 5% this week and is trading close to a two-month high scaled earlier this week.

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Soybeans and wheat have climbed more than 2% each this week.

Farmers and commodity traders are closely watching the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour at a time when bumper U.S. crops are needed to offset low global grain supplies. Yet, extreme heat and drought in parts of the Midwest have caused concerns over weather impacts on crop yields.

Iowa’s corn yield prospects are on par with the three-year average, while soybean pod counts are above the three-year average, scouts on an annual tour of top U.S. production states found on Thursday.

India’s cabinet on Thursday approved a policy to restrict wheat flour exports to calm prices in the local market, the government said in a statement.

As China’s record heatwave starts to subside, farmers are assessing the damage caused by a prolonged drought and the government is urging them to replant or switch crops where they can.

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More than 70 days of extreme temperatures and low rainfall have wreaked havoc along the basin of the Yangtze, which supports more than 450 million people as well as a third of the country’s crops.

Egypt, one of the world’s largest wheat importers, is believed to have made no purchase of imported wheat in talks with trading houses on Wednesday, traders said. The General Authority for Supply Commodities considered prices offered as too high, they said.

Nearly complete quality results from France’s soft wheat harvest showed slightly weaker protein levels than in initial samples, underscoring a decline compared with last year, according to data from farm office FranceAgriMer on Thursday.

For protein, 27% of soft wheat analyzed so far came below 11% content, often a minimum standard for milling markets, compared with 24% in initial results published last week by FranceAgriMer with crop institute Arvalis.

Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT wheat, soybean, corn and soymeal futures contracts on Thursday and net even in soyoil futures, traders said. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Subhranshu Sahu)

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