Corn prices edge higher on cool weather; soybeans retreat

(Updates with closing prices)
By Julie Ingwersen
CHICAGO, Aug 22 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures inched higher
on Thursday, stabilizing from three-month lows set a day
earlier, supported by worries that cool weather could slow the
maturity of the delayed U.S. crop, analysts said.
Wheat rose on technical buying and better-than-expected
weekly U.S. export sales. But soybean futures declined,
retreating from early strength on what appeared to be technical
selling, analysts said.
Chicago Board of Trade December corn settled up 3/4
cent at $3.71 per bushel. December wheat ended up 3-3/4
cents at $4.71-3/4 a bushel while November soybeans
finished down 4-1/4 cents at $8.68-3/4 a bushel.
Corn futures had bullish technical momentum after the
December contract rallied from a three-month low to settle
higher on Wednesday.
Also, temperatures in the Midwest are forecast as cooler
than normal into September, a potential drag on production at a
time when late-planted corn and soybean crops need warmth and
"We need every GDD (growing degree day) we can get to bring
these crops home, yet it's supposed to be kind of cool for the
next week or two," said Jack Scoville, an analyst with the Price
Futures Group in Chicago.
CBOT corn drew support from news that President Donald Trump
planned to meet with Cabinet members on Thursday to discuss ways
to boost demand for biofuels including corn-based ethanol.
Trump's move was seen as "initiating damage control by
looking into ways to soothe irate producers over his recent
decision to grant unnecessary small refinery exemptions for the
second year in a row, which has negatively impacted ethanol
producers and all U.S. corn and soybean producers," Dan
Cekander, president of DC Analysis, wrote in a client note.
CBOT corn and soybeans firmed in early moves after the Pro
Farmer Midwest Crop tour late on Wednesday projected
below-average crop prospects in Illinois, the top U.S. soybean
state and the No. 2 corn producer.
The crop tour wraps up in Minnesota on Thursday and editors
of the Pro Farmer newsletter are expected to release U.S.
soybean and corn production estimates on Friday.
CBOT wheat futures climbed after the U.S. Department of
Agriculture reported wheat export sales in the week ended Aug.
15 at nearly 600,000 tonnes, topping trade expectations.

"The export sales are starting to pick up, so maybe we are
finding some value here," Scoville said.
The USDA's report also showed that China bought a small
volume of U.S. soybeans last week, despite pledging to halt
purchases of American farm products due to the escalating trade
war between Washington and Beijing.

CBOT settlement prices:
Net Pct Volume
Last change change
CBOT wheat WZ9 471.75 3.75 0.8 43705
CBOT corn CZ9 371.00 0.75 0.2 165354
CBOT soybeans SX9 868.75 -4.25 -0.5 90509
CBOT soymeal SMZ9 299.30 -1.00 -0.3 43141
CBOT soyoil BOZ9 28.90 -0.22 -0.8 51402
NOTE: CBOT December wheat and corn and November soybeans
shown in cents per bushel, December soymeal in dollars per short
ton and December soyoil in cents per lb.

(Additional reporting by Nigel Hunt in London and Naveen
Thukral in Singapore; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Sandra

First Published: 2019-08-22 00:11:09
Updated 2019-08-22 22:54:28

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