US soybean futures jumped nearly 2 percent on Friday and were on track for their first weekly gain in five weeks, helped by signs of improving export demand and expectations that the US government will trim its harvest forecast in a monthly crop report next week.
Corn and wheat futures firmed on support from rallying soybeans and as traders squared positions ahead of next Wednesday’s US Department of Agriculture’s supply and demand reports. “It’s mostly a bean-led rally. There are some yield concerns before the report next week and demand is starting to pick up a little bit,” said Jack Scoville, vice president for the Price Futures Group in Chicago.
Analysts polled by Reuters on average called for a cut to forecasts for corn and soybean yields, harvested acres and total production. The USDA was also expected to trim its 2014/15 and 2015/16 ending stocks forecasts for both crops. The production cuts were expected after overly wet weather in parts of the Midwest early this season was believed to have reduced crop prospects. But crop conditions have stabilized in recent weeks.
Soybean futures drew support from confirmation of a second 132,000-tonne soybean sale to China in two days, although forward sales of new-crop supplies remain well below normal. Chicago Board of Trade November soybeans gained 16 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $9.59-1/4 a bushel by 12:03 pm CDT (1703 GMT). The contract was on track for a 2 percent weekly gain.
Buying accelerated as November soybeans breached technical resistance at its 100-day moving average of $9.53-3/4, but the contract failed to climb above its 50-day moving average around $9.62-1/2. CBOT September corn rose 4 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $3.73-3/4 a bushel while September soft red winter wheat climbed 6 cents, or 1.2 percent to $5.13. Both were in position to post their first weekly gains since early July.