Wheat futures jump but global production estimates shrink

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  • CBOT wheat nears one-month high
  • Corn, soybeans touch one-week lows
    By Tom Polansek

CHICAGO, July 8 – Global wheat futures jumped on Wednesday on short-covering and concerns about tightening global supply estimates, traders and analysts.

Prices for soft red winter wheat approached a one-month high at the Chicago Board of Trade, while the neighboring corn and soybean markets were mixed.

“Wheat’s the big winner,” said Don Roose, president of broker U.S. Commodities in Iowa.

Commodity funds bought back previously sold, or short, positions in wheat as the U.S. harvest is now more than halfway finished, Roose said. The harvest had previously hung over prices as new supplies were coming online.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in a monthly report due on Friday, is expected to trim its estimate for U.S. all-wheat production to 1.848 billion bushels from 1.877 in June, according to a Reuters poll of analysts. Winter wheat prodution is seen at 1.247 billion, down from 1.266 billion in June.

Production estimates have also declined in other wheat-producing countries like Russia and France. In its first projections for 2020/21, farm office FranceAgriMer forecast soft wheat shipments outside the EU would fall to 7.75 million tonnes, down 43% from 2019/20 and the lowest in four years.

“The surplus that is forecast on the wheat market for 2020/21 should be taken with a pinch of salt,” Commerzbank said.

The most-active Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat futures contract was up 16-3/4 cents at $5.12 a bushel and reached its highest price since June 9 by 12 p.m. CDT (1700 GMT). Prices also climbed for K.C. hard red winter wheat and MGEX hard red spring wheat.

CBOT soybeans were down 4-3/4 cents at $8.97-3/4 a bushel and touched their lowest price since July 1. CBOT corn was up 1/2-cent at $3.53 a bushel, after also touching a one-week low.

Corn and soy traders are keeping a close eye on U.S. crop weather to signs of stressful conditions, after the USDA last week estimated lower plantings than analysts expected. (Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago. Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Sydney; Editing by Shailesh Kuber, Mark Potter and David Gregorio)

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