PARIS/SINGAPORE: Chicago wheat futures rose for a third session on Monday as a stirring in export demand, including a rare sale to China, helped offset pressure from large Black Sea supplies.
Soybeans prices edged up while corn was almost unchanged as both markets awaited a clearer picture on the advancing US harvest.
A slightly weaker dollar lent some support to Chicago futures, though ample global supply and investor worries about escalation in Israel’s conflict with Palestinian group Hamas hung over the market.
The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was up 1.47% at $5.88-1/4 a bushel by 1135 GMT.
The contract earlier reached its highest in over two weeks, extending a rebound after approaching a near three-year low on Thursday.
The strongest US weekly export sales in more than a year and a second rare sale of soft red winter wheat to China boosted prices late last week.
“China has bought some US wheat and there are expectations of more deals,” said one Singapore-based trader. “Lower quality US wheat is competitive in the market.”
The US wheat sales have underscored Chinese demand after buyers in the country reportedly bought large amounts of French wheat last month.
Some analysts and traders also see the wheat market as likely to recover as attention turns to drought-affected southern hemisphere harvests and with investment funds holding a significant short position.
“Nevertheless, competition and dominance from Black Sea origins remain very strong,” consultancy Agritel said in a note.
Major importer Egypt last week bought nearly 1 million tons of Black Sea wheat, mostly from Russia, through private talks and an international tender.
Russia’s IKAR agriculture consultancy raised slightly its forecasts for the country’s overall grain production and exports this season.
CBOT soybeans added 0.16% to $12.82-1/4 a bushel and corn inched up 0.05% to $4.93-1/2 a bushel.
Soybean and corn harvest downgrades in a monthly US Department of Agriculture (USDA) report last week supported prices.
The USDA will issue weekly harvest progress and crop condition estimates later on Monday.
Brisk weekly US soybean exports also underpinned the oilseed market, though indications about Chinese imports were mixed in the wake of strong shipments from Brazil.
The corn market is also monitoring drought in northern Brazil that is disrupting some barge traffic for exports.