Corn futures pare losses as market assesses U.S. plantings

Dry weather expected to raise pace of planting

  

PARIS/SINGAPORE- Chicago corn futures pared some losses on Tuesday after falling for two sessions as traders assessed the impact of dry weather in the U.S. grain belt which could boost planting but pose a risk to yields.

Wheat also rose, also supported by difficult crop conditions in Europe, and soybeans edged higher.

"Dry weather is likely to boost planting, but it is also a risk to yields with this amount of dryness," said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney.

The most active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) rose 0.3% to $5.70-3/4 a bushel by 1025 GMT, while soybeans Sv1 gained 0.5% to $13.88-3/4 a bushel.

Wheat Wv1 added 1% to $6.34-1/2 a bushel.

"Risks on the future crop related to weather conditions are still high. Experts are predicting a dry spell in coming weeks in the European continent. The water deficit is already in place on U.S. spring wheat areas in the north of the country," French consultancy Agritel said in a note.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said U.S. farmers were able to plant 4% of their intended corn acreage as of Sunday, below the range of analyst estimates in a Reuters poll.

In a report released on Monday, the USDA said corn planting progress was up from 2% a week earlier and ahead of the five-year average of 3%. Pre-report trade estimates from 10 analysts surveyed by Reuters for the week ended April 11 ranged from 5% to 8%.

There was some support for grains and oilseed prices from strong Chinese demand.

Chinese imports of soybeans, as well as grains such as corn and wheat, soared in the first quarter on increased demand from the livestock sector, customs data showed on Tuesday. 

March soybean imports almost doubled year on year, according to customs data, as cargoes of beans from top exporter Brazil cleared customs after delays. Meanwhile, first-quarter corn and wheat shipments jumped on elevated domestic corn prices amid a supply shortage, the data showed.

Favourable weather in the Black Sea regions capped gains in wheat prices.

Consultancy Sovecon on Friday raised its forecast for Russia's 2021 wheat crop by 1.4 million tonnes to 80.7 million tonnes, citing favourable weather. 

Farmers in Brazil, who planted their second corn crop outside the ideal climate window, are bracing for potential yield losses across Center-South states, AgRural, an agribusiness consultancy, said on Monday.  

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral Editing by Uttaresh.V, David Goodman, Alexandra Hudson) ((naveen.thukral@thomsonreuters.com; +65-6870-3829; Reuters Messaging: naveen.thukral.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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