March 18, 2021
US corn futures continues to rise thanks to increased demand from China, soybean drops
Chicago corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) gained for a fifth consecutive session thanks to demand from China, while wheat prices eased and soybean prices dropped, Reuters reported.
The most active CBOT corn contract was 0.1% up to US$5.55 a bushel on March 17 after gaining 0.9% on March 16.
Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said news of a major US export sale to China has been a boon to corn futures.
Soybeans were 0.6% down at US$14.14-3/4 a bushel, while wheat dropped 0.7% to US%6.42-1/4 a bushel.
Agritel, a French consultancy, said wheat prices have come under pressure as a result of the improved crop rating and the prospect of Russia lifting its export tax regulations.
On March 16, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed US corn sales to China of 1.156 million tonnes. This is the highest US corn export to China since January.
The sales follow a USDA report on March 15 of one of the strongest weeks of corn export inspections on record.
Analysts project China's demand for corn to remain firm as the country faces a threat from armyworm, which attacks corn and other crops.
According to China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the pressure to control and prevent armyworm attacks in China this year is higher than in 2020.
The Interfax news agency cited Russian Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev in saying that Russia will halt its interference in grain export regulations when the market stabilises.