Grains surge on pre-USDA report positioning

08/08/2012 @ 3:01pm

U.S. grain and soybean futures settled higher Wednesday, boosted by expectations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday to cut its forecasts for the U.S. corn and soy harvests.

Chicago Board of Trade soybeans for August delivery, thinly traded ahead of the contract's expiration Aug. 14, rose 24 3/4 cents or 1.5% to $16.30 a bushel. Most-active November soybeans rose 15 1/2 cents or 1% to $15.81 1/4 a bushel.

September corn futures rose 14 3/4 cents or 1.9% to $8.10 3/4 a bushel. Most-active December corn rose 16 cents or 2% to $8.16 1/2 a bushel.

CBOT September wheat rose 10 1/4 cents or 1.2% to $8.99 1/4 a bushel.

Analysts on average expect the USDA, in a monthly report on Friday, to cut its U.S. corn-production forecast by 15.4% to 10.97 billion bushels due to drought, according to a Dow Jones Newswires poll of analysts. Analysts also expect the USDA to cut its estimate for U.S. soybean production this year by 8.7% to 2.79 billion bushels.

Soybean prices also benefited from the USDA on Wednesday announcing the sale of 140,000 metric tons of soybeans to unidentified customers during the 2012-13 marketing year by private exporters. The sale, while not unusually large, follows one to China announced this week, suggesting demand remains strong despite high prices.

Wheat futures were pressured Wednesday morning by Russia saying it won't restrict grain exports. But they rebounded later in the session on higher corn prices and continued concerns that Russia could still restrict exports later. Drought has reduced forecasts for Russia's grain production this year.

-Write to Owen Fletcher at
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 08, 2012 15:38 ET (19:38 GMT)
DJ U.S. Grain, Soy Futures End Higher; Pre-USDA Positioning->copyright