Corn jumps 1.5% as USDA pegs planting behind forecast

Wheat rises 1% as U.S. crop quality slips

  
Corn plants are seen on a field in Jalmolonga, Mexico September 9, 2020.

Corn plants are seen on a field in Jalmolonga, Mexico September 9, 2020.

REUTERS/Claudia Daut

CANBERRA - Chicago corn futures climbed about 1.5% on Tuesday after slower than expected U.S. planting progress focused attention back on global supply risks.

Wheat tracked corn higher, drawing support from a decline in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) weekly rating of winter wheat conditions.

Soybeans rose as the oilseed market weighed a surge in palm oil prices against U.S. planting progress that exceeded average analyst estimates.

A sharp fall in the dollar also lent support to Chicago crop futures. 

The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 1.7% at $7.06-3/4 a bushel by 1058 GMT.

The contract had fallen on Monday to its lowest since April 28 before rebounding. The drop was in reaction to a favourable weather outlook for just-planted Midwest corn, though further hefty sales of U.S. corn to China returned attention to low U.S. stocks.

The USDA's weekly crop progress report, released after Monday's market close, showed farmers had planted 80% of intended corn acres by Sunday. That was above a five-year average of 68% but below an average estimate of 84% in an analyst poll. 

"Global supplies are tight and the USDA report is fuelling that," said Phin Ziebll, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank.

Private exporters reported the sale of 1.7 million tonnes of corn to China for delivery in 2021/22, the USDA said on Monday. It was the fourth corn sale of more than 1 million tonnes to China this month.

Tightening availability of corn helped to push Chicago futures to an eight-year high in early May.

CBOT wheat was up 1% at $7.06-3/4 bushel.

The USDA rated 48% of the winter wheat crop in good-to-excellent condition. That was down 1 percentage point from the previous week while analysts polled by Reuters, on average expected a one-point improvement.

CBOT soybeans were up 0.8% at $15.99-3/4 a bushel.

Soybean planting was 61% complete as of Sunday, ahead of the analyst estimates of 60%, according to the USDA.

U.S. soy processors crushed fewer soybeans than expected in April, data released by the National Oilseed Processors Association showed. 

A 5% jump for palm oil futures on Tuesday underscored supply tensions in vegetable oils. POI/

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Canberra Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and David Goodman ) ((gus.trompiz@thomsonreuters.com; +33 1 49 49 52 18; Reuters Messaging: gus.trompiz.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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