Corn rises; Pro Farmer sees smaller U.S. harvest than USDA


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CHICAGO — Chicago Board of Trade corn and soybean futures jumped on Friday on concerns about hot and dry weather reducing U.S. yields, analysts said.

After the close of trading, advisory service Pro Farmer projected a U.S. corn harvest of 13.759 billion bushels, which would be the smallest since 2019 and below government forecasts for 14.359 billion bushels. Pro Farmer predicted a soybean crop of 4.535 billion bushels, slightly bigger than the U.S. Agriculture Department’s outlook for a record 4.531 billion bushels.

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Farmers and commodity traders were closely watching the estimates and a Pro Farmer crop tour this week, at a time when bumper U.S. crops are needed to offset low global grain supplies.

Traders said it appears that corn harvests in the eastern Midwest will not be able to completely offset crop damage due to drought in western growing areas.

“I think it’s very tough,” said Don Roose, president of broker U.S. Commodities. “Iowa looks very variable.”

The most-active CBOT corn contract ended up 14-1/4 cents at $6.64-1/4 a bushel. CBOT soybeans settled up 30 cents at $14.61-1/4 a bushel, while wheat rose 16-1/4 cents to $8.05-1/4 a bushel.

“The crop monitoring tour … does not lead us to expect much in the way of good news for this year’s U.S. crop,” Commerzbank analysts said of corn. “The risk of tightening supply should lend support to U.S. prices.”

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European crops have also struggled with drought. French maize crop conditions declined last week to their lowest rating in more than 10 years, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed, suggesting that recent rain has brought limited benefit to fields damaged by heatwaves and dryness.

On Monday, Statistics Canada is scheduled to release its first estimates of this year’s Canadian crop production, based on a model.

In demand news, exporters struck deals to sell 146,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to unknown buyers, the USDA said. This week the agency also reported U.S. soy sales totalling 627,000 tonnes to China.

(Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago, Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, David Evans, Grant McCool and Cynthia Osterman)



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