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Gus Trompiz

GRAINS-Wheat firm near 6-year top as weather worries persist

23 Oct 2020

* Dry weather effects seen in Russian, U.S., Argentine wheat belts * Egypt wheat tender adds to flurry of international demand * Corn steady near 14-month top on strong export demand * Soybeans also consolidate after 4-year high; Brazil rain eyed (Updates with European trading, changes byline/dateline) By Gus Trompiz and Colin Packham PARIS/SYDNEY, Oct 23 Chicago wheat rose on Friday as traders worried about persisting effects of drought in major production belts worldwide and importers continued to grab available supply. Corn edged higher to hold near Thursday's 14-month high as strong export demand and doubts over harvest prospects in Ukraine and South America underpinned the market. Soybeans were little changed after rallying to a four-year peak in the previous session, as investors assessed improving rainfall in Brazil that could boost the planting campaign. The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 0.9% at $6.28-1/2 a bushel by 1046 GMT. The contract had fallen earlier to a one-week low as it eased from Tuesday's near six-year high, before turning upwards to trade back close to that peak. "The weather remains a really important factor for wheat," Nathan Cordier of consultancy Agritel said. "You've got a lot of rain in Australia, Argentina has suffered from dryness and frost, conditions aren't good in U.S. states like Kansas, while in Russia there is still a lot of uncertainty." The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange on Thursday cut again its forecast of the Argentine wheat harvest, citing the impact of drought despite the recent return of rain. Fellow southern hemisphere exporter Australia is set for a rebound in production this year, but rain in the southeast has raised concern about crop quality. In Russia, virtually no rain was expected in the week ahead in dry southern belts, although some forecasts projected showers in early November. Egypt is holding a tender on Friday, following purchases this week by Algeria, Tunisia and Turkey. CBOT soybeans inched up a quarter of a cent to $10.74 a bushel, after hitting on Thursday a more than four-year high of $10.85-1/4. CBOT corn was up 0.4% at 4.17-3/4 a bushel, near Thursday's peak of $4.19 that marked a highest since August 2019. U.S. Department of Agriculture weekly export data on Thursday confirmed strong demand for corn and soybeans, including large sales to China. Prices at 1046 GMT Last Change Pct End Ytd Pct Move 2019 Move CBOT wheat 628.50 5.75 0.92 558.75 12.48 CBOT corn 417.75 1.50 0.36 387.75 7.74 CBOT soy 1074.00 0.25 0.02 955.50 12.40 Paris wheat December 210.25 1.25 0.60 188.75 11.39 Paris maize Nov 194.50 3.25 1.70 174.75 11.30 Paris rape Nov 393.25 -1.50 -0.38 391.50 0.45 WTI crude oil 40.86 0.22 0.54 61.06 -33.08 Euro/dlr 1.18 0.00 0.22 1.1210 5.64 Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne (Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Sydney; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Tomasz Janowski)

Louis Dreyfus gets profit boost in pandemic but equity shrinks

28 Sep 2020

PARIS Agricultural commodity merchant Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) said its first-half profits rose as it adjusted to price volatility and shifts in food demand during the coronavirus pandemic.

GRAINS-Soybeans hover around $10 after pullback on harvest pressure

25 Sep 2020

* Soybeans down 4% this week in retreat from 2-year high * U.S. harvest curbs soy, corn prices while exports underpin (Updates with European trading, changes byline/dateline) By Gus Trompiz and Naveen Thukral PARIS/SINGAPORE, Sept 25 Chicago soybean futures were little changed on Friday, consolidating around the $10 threshold after a sharp pullback this week fuelled by an advancing U.S. harvest. Corn was firm after also falling this week, with strong exports continuing to underpin the market. Wheat ticked lower. "The U.S. harvest is progressing well," said one Singapore-based trader at an international trading company. "I wouldn't say yields are fantastic, but they are pretty decent." The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade was 0.1% lower at $9.98-3/4 a bushel at 1110 GMT, putting it on course for a 4.3% drop this week. Last Friday, the contract reached its highest since late May 2018. "The contract seems to be consolidating a bit, but it will have to be watched closely to see if it can hold the symbolic $10 level," a European trader said. A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report showed export sales of corn at 2.139 million tonnes and soybeans at 3.195 million tonnes, both topping the higher end of market expectations. However, the USDA did not report a fresh deal for soybeans to China in its daily reporting system, snapping a stretch of 14 straight trading days after a so-called flash sale has been announced. CBOT corn was up 0.5% at $3.65-1/4 a bushel and wheat was down 0.5% at $5.47. Wheat markets had rallied with support from purchases by importing countries and a surge in Russian export prices, but forecasts calling for rain in parched wheat belts in Ukraine and Argentina in the coming days helped curb the upward trend. Prices at 1110 GMT Last Change Pct End Ytd Pct Move 2019 Move CBOT wheat 547.00 -2.75 -0.50 558.75 -2.10 CBOT corn 365.25 1.75 0.48 387.75 -5.80 CBOT soy 998.75 -1.25 -0.12 955.50 4.53 Paris wheat December 192.50 0.25 0.13 188.75 1.99 Paris maize Nov 171.75 -0.25 -0.15 174.75 -1.72 Paris rape Nov 383.25 2.50 0.66 391.50 -2.11 WTI crude oil 39.94 -0.37 -0.92 61.06 -34.59 Euro/dlr 1.16 0.00 -0.32 1.1210 3.79 Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne (Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Mark Potter)

GRAINS-Prices slip to one-week lows on firm dollar, advancing U.S. harvest

24 Sep 2020

* U.S. corn, soybean harvest counters support from China demand * Two-month top for dollar also clouds U.S. export outlook * Traders assess coronavirus fallout, South America crops (Updates with European trading, changes byline/dateline) By Gus Trompiz and Naveen Thukral PARIS/SINGAPORE, Sept 24 Chicago grain futures eased to one-week lows on Thursday as strength in the dollar and advancing U.S. corn and soybean harvests pushed prices away from recent highs fuelled by Chinese demand. "A stronger U.S. dollar is not helping, but we also suspect the market is fatigued after such a strong rally from mid-August," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. A flurry of export sales to China, together with concern over weather damage to U.S. corn and soybean crops, had fanned a rally in Chicago prices, with soybeans reaching a two-year high, corn a six-month peak and wheat a five-month top. But the start of U.S. corn and soybean harvesting, with favourable weather expected for field work in the coming days, encouraged prices to ease. The dollar, which hit a two-month high against a basket of currencies on Thursday, also weighed on U.S. grains, particularly U.S. wheat, which has struggled to compete overseas against Russian supplies. The dollar's strength was linked to worries about further economic fallout from a coronavirus epidemic that has accelerated again in Europe. "Soybeans are reflecting the concerns that demand could suffer again from the pandemic," a European trader said. The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) was down 1.2% at $10.02 a bushel by 0958 GMT, as it approached the psychological $10 chart level. CBOT corn fell 1.49% to $3.63-1/4 a bushel and wheat was down 1.1% at $5.43-1/4 a bushel. All three crops struck one-week lows earlier in the session. However, strong demand from China helped limit declines. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reported soybean sales to China in each of the past 14 trading days. Traders are also turning their attention to South American harvest prospects. Argentina's upcoming soybean and corn crops will be smaller than last season's due to dry weather and capital controls, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said. Prices at 0958 GMT Last Change Pct End Ytd Pct Move 2019 Move CBOT wheat 543.25 -5.75 -1.05 558.75 -2.77 CBOT corn 363.25 -5.25 -1.42 387.75 -6.32 CBOT soy 1002.00 -12.50 -1.23 955.50 4.87 Paris wheat December 192.50 -1.50 -0.77 188.75 1.99 Paris maize Nov 171.75 -0.25 -0.15 174.75 -1.72 Paris rape Nov 383.75 -2.50 -0.65 391.50 -1.98 WTI crude oil 39.82 -0.11 -0.28 61.06 -34.79 Euro/dlr 1.16 0.00 -0.18 1.1210 3.82 Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne (Reporting by Gus Trompiz; Editing by Mark Potter)

GRAINS-Soybeans tick down after latest two-year high on Chinese demand

09 Sep 2020

* U.S. soybean crop rating declines less than expected * Market weighs Midwest weather, looks ahead to USDA forecasts * Wheat dips to near 2-week low, corn eases (Updates with European trading, changes byline/dateline) By Gus Trompiz and Naveen Thukral PARIS/SINGAPORE, Sept 9 Chicago soybean futures inched down on Wednesday, consolidating after a latest two-year high fuelled by strong Chinese demand, as attention turned to U.S. crop forecasts later this week. A smaller-than-expected decline in weekly U.S. crop ratings for soybeans encouraged the pause in the rally, which has spanned the last 11 trading sessions, although dry weather in the U.S. Midwest remained a concern. Corn edged lower after two days of gains, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) weekly crop rating for the cereal in line with expectations. Wheat eased for a fifth straight session to a near two-week low as rain relief in Argentina and expectations for large harvests in Russia and Australia tempered recent concerns about global export availability. The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade was down a quarter of a cent at $9.72-3/4 a bushel by 1037 GMT, after climbing on Tuesday to $9.77, its highest since June 2018. "The market may lose some ground today on profit-taking ahead of Friday's USDA report," consultancy Agritel said. "Yesterday's crop rating (report) was roughly in line with traders' expectations." Grain markets are turning their attention to the USDA's monthly supply-and-demand forecasts scheduled for Sept. 11 to gauge the impact of dry weather and storm damage on U.S. corn and soybean harvest prospects. The agency's weekly crop progress report showed soybean ratings declined to 65% good-to-excellent, down 1 point from a week earlier but less than the 2-point decline analysts, on average, had expected. However, weather forecasts showed little rain relief in the Midwest for the week ahead, while USDA export data continued to indicate brisk sales to China. "China's state-run companies are buying U.S. beans to build food reserves," said one Singapore-based trader. "That has been the key factor driving prices higher." Prices at 1037 GMT Last Change Pct End Ytd Pct Move 2019 Move CBOT wheat 542.75 -1.50 -0.28 558.75 -2.86 CBOT corn 359.50 -2.25 -0.62 387.75 -7.29 CBOT soy 972.75 -0.25 -0.03 955.50 1.81 Paris wheat December 188.50 -0.25 -0.13 188.75 -0.13 Paris maize Nov 166.75 0.25 0.15 174.75 -4.58 Paris rape Nov 383.50 -0.25 -0.07 391.50 -2.04 WTI crude oil 37.59 0.83 2.26 61.06 -38.44 Euro/dlr 1.18 0.00 -0.21 1.1210 4.85 Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne (Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Shailesh Kuber)

Cham-pain: grape harvest cut as pandemic crushes bubbly sales

18 Aug 2020

PARIS France's champagne makers reached a last-minute agreement on Tuesday to cut the volume of grapes they will harvest this year by more than a fifth as they try to cope with a collapse in sales caused by the coronavirus crisis.

GRAINS-Corn, soy gain as exports, storm damage offset big crop outlook

13 Aug 2020

* Corn, soy prices buck USDA forecasts for massive U.S. harvest * Increased export outlook, storm damage encourage short-covering * Wheat subdued as big global supply weighs, Egypt tender eyed (Updates with European trading, changes byline/dateline) By Gus Trompiz and Naveen Thukral PARIS/SINGAPORE, Aug 13 Chicago corn rose to its highest in more than two weeks on Thursday, while soybeans climbed to a one-week high as brisk export demand and worries over storm damage in the Midwest countered pressure from big official harvest forecasts. Wheat was little changed, holding near a one-month low, as ample global supplies hung over the market. In widely followed monthly forecasts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Wednesday U.S. farmers would reap a record corn harvest and a second-biggest soybean crop, buoyed by favourable weather. However, selling pressure was limited after prices already touched multi-week lows in the past few days and with traders also focusing on Midwest storm damage as well as the USDA's increased projections for U.S. exports. "Soybeans and corn are supported by strong import momentum," consultancy Agritel said, adding this demand was driven by China. Traders will get an update on overseas demand from weekly U.S. export sales figures due at 1230 GMT. The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade was up 1.6% at $3.32-1/2 a bushel at 1133 GMT, after earlier rising to its highest since July 27 at $3.33-1/2. Traders said a recent slide in corn, which led the European Union this week to re-introduce a corn import tariff, had encouraged buying of U.S. supplies. The market was also assessing the impact of Monday's storm, which came after the Aug. 1 cut-off point for crop conditions used by USDA for its August forecasts. The storm potentially impacted some 10 million acres of farmland in Iowa, the top U.S. corn growing state, according to Iowa's authorities. CBOT soybeans rose 0.9% to $8.91-1/4 a bushel after climbing to their highest since Aug. 4 at $8.91-3/4. CBOT wheat inched down a quarter cent to $4.91 a bushel. The wheat market was awaiting the outcome of a second import tender this week by Egypt, expected to confirm the competitiveness of Russian supplies. Prices at 1133 GMT Last Change Pct End Ytd Pct Move 2019 Move CBOT wheat 491.00 -0.25 -0.05 558.75 -12.13 CBOT corn 332.50 5.25 1.60 387.75 -14.25 CBOT soy 891.25 8.25 0.93 955.50 -6.72 Paris wheat December 177.25 -0.50 -0.28 188.75 -6.09 Paris maize Nov 164.00 0.25 0.15 174.75 -6.15 Paris rape Nov 377.25 0.75 0.20 391.50 -3.64 WTI crude oil 42.59 -0.08 -0.19 61.06 -30.25 Euro/dlr 1.18 0.01 0.48 1.1210 5.61 Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne (Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Rashmi Aich and David Evans)

GRAINS-Wheat steadies but set for weekly slide on global supply pressure

07 Aug 2020

* Wheat down 5.6% so far this week * Improved outlook for Russia, Canada, Australia weigh on wheat * Corn, soy edge down as good U.S. crop conditions cap markets * Attention turning to Aug. 12 USDA crop forecasts (Updates with European trading, changes byline/dateline) By Gus Trompiz and Naveen Thukral PARIS/SINGAPORE, Aug 7 Chicago wheat ticked higher on Friday after a one-month low but was still poised for a weekly loss of over 5% as rising harvest expectations for a clutch of exporting countries created supply pressure. Corn and soybeans inched down to hold near multi-week lows struck this week as optimal Midwest weather reinforced expectations for a U.S. harvest. Traders were also shifting their attention towards next week's August supply and demand report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in which the USDA is expected to increase forecasts for U.S. corn and soybean production. The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade was up 0.1% at $5.01-1/2 a bushel by 1144 GMT, consolidating after a one-month low on Thursday. Over the week, it was down 5.6%. An estimate calling for a record Canadian wheat crop, rising forecasts for Russia's harvest, improving conditions in Australia and good early signs for the U.S. spring wheat harvest were underscoring ample global supplies. "You've got four major countries in which wheat crop forecasts are being upgraded," said Nathan Cordier of consultancy Agritel. "Egypt has bought a lot of wheat for September but supply pressure from Russia's harvest is there." Improving prospects elsewhere have taken the focus away from disappointing production in the European Union, marked by a steep fall in French output. "The supply-and-demand situation is heavier than the last two years," said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at agriculture brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney. "We think there could easily be 30-50 cents more downside to U.S. wheat futures between now and September." CBOT corn was down 0.1% at $3.23-1/2 a bushel while soybeans inched down 0.3% to $8.75-3/4 a bushel. The ideal growing conditions for U.S. corn and soybeans, as well as big crops in Brazil, were offsetting support from brisk export sales to China. Prices at 1144 GMT Last Change Pct End Ytd Pct Move 2019 Move CBOT wheat 501.50 0.25 0.05 558.75 -10.25 CBOT corn 323.50 -0.25 -0.08 387.75 -16.57 CBOT soy 875.75 -2.25 -0.26 955.50 -8.35 Paris wheat December 179.25 -0.25 -0.14 188.75 -5.03 Paris maize Nov 164.25 -0.50 -0.30 174.75 -6.01 Paris rape Nov 378.50 -1.00 -0.26 391.50 -3.32 WTI crude oil 41.37 -0.58 -1.38 61.06 -32.25 Euro/dlr 1.18 -0.01 -0.54 1.1210 5.36 Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne (Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

Hail, high water and lockdown: Europe's fruit growers prepare for tough harvest

31 Jul 2020

PARIS/LONDON Europe's been eating more fruit under lockdown, by all accounts. The problem is, it could struggle to find people to pick it.

GRAINS-Wheat holds near 3-month top on China demand talk, world crop risks

16 Jul 2020

* Wheat edges down after 4% jump on Wednesday * Talk of China buying U.S. wheat, harvest doubts fuel rally * Corn, soybeans stay firm on China demand, Midwest weather risks (Updates with European trading, changes byline/dateline) By Gus Trompiz and Colin Packham PARIS/SYDNEY, July 16 Chicago wheat futures edged lower on Thursday but held close to a near three-month high struck a day earlier as talk of Chinese purchases and concern about northern hemisphere harvests supported prices. Corn and soybeans added to gains from the previous session on signs of renewed Chinese demand. The most-active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were down 0.5% at $5.547-3/4 a bushel. They had climbed more than 4% on Wednesday when prices hit their highest since April 23. Traders said unconfirmed reports of China buying two cargoes of U.S. soft red winter wheat - the variety traded in Chicago - had fuelled Wednesday's rally, coming after recent corn and soybean sales to China. "Unconfirmed reports about Chinese wheat purchases gave rise to hopes of additional demand," Commerzbank said in a note. Private buyers booked at least five cargoes of U.S. soybeans on Wednesday, or at least 300,000 tonnes, two U.S. export traders with knowledge of the deals said. On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture had confirmed a biggest single-day Chinese purchase of U.S. corn on record at 1.762 million tonnes. The latest deals came despite concerns about diplomatic tensions over Hong Kong. The wheat market has also been supported by mixed harvest prospects in the northern hemisphere and rising export prices in Europe and the Black Sea region, partly due to slow farmer selling. Consultancy Strategie Grains on Thursday further reduced its forecast for this year's soft wheat harvest in the European Union. CBOT soybean futures were up 0.5% at $8.87-1/4 a bushel, while corn futures rose 1.0% to $3.37-1/4 a bushel. The National Oilseed Processors Association said its members crushed 167.3 million bushels of soybeans last month, topping the range of trade estimates. Traders were also assessing Midwest weather for key summer growth stages for corn and soybeans, with some latest forecasts showing more intense heat building in the coming two weeks. Prices at 1109 GMT Last Change Pct End Ytd Pct Move 2019 Move CBOT wheat 547.75 -3.00 -0.54 558.75 -1.97 CBOT corn 337.25 3.25 0.97 387.75 -13.02 CBOT soy 887.25 4.50 0.51 955.50 -7.14 Paris wheat December 189.50 1.00 0.53 188.75 0.40 Paris maize Aug 174.00 -1.00 -0.57 180.00 -3.33 Paris rape Aug 386.75 1.50 0.39 411.50 -6.01 WTI crude oil 40.70 -0.50 -1.21 61.06 -33.34 Euro/dlr 1.14 0.00 -0.12 1.1210 1.66 Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne (Reporting by Gus Trompiz Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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