GRAINS-Soy and corn at one-week highs on latest Argentina crop downgrades

By Gus Trompiz and Naveen Thukral

PARIS/SINGAPORE, April 13 (Reuters)Chicago soybean and corn futures rose to one-week highs on Thursday as a leading forecaster made another sharp cut to the outlook for Argentina’s drought-affected crops.

A weaker dollar .DXY also lent support to Chicago futures.

Wheat eased, giving up some of the last session’s gains, as traders played down an immediate threat to Black Sea supply and saw U.S. spring weather improving in most crop belts.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Sv1 was up 0.8% at $15.15-3/4 a bushel by 1102 GMT, after climbing earlier to its highest since April 5 at $15.16.

CBOT corn Cv1 added 0.3% to $6.57-3/4 a bushel, after also touching a one-week high earlier. CBOT wheat Wv1 lost 0.8% to $6.74 a bushel.

Argentina’s Rosario grains exchange on Wednesday further cut its forecast for the 2022/2023 soybean harvest to 23 million tonnes, down from the 27 million tonnes previously estimated, as a historic drought pummels the country’s agricultural sector.

That came after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tuesday cut its own forecast for the Argentine soybean crop to 27 million tonnes.

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“Argentina’s crop growing areas continue to be dry, which is reducing yields,” a Singapore-based grains trader said.

The Rosario exchange also cut its forecast for Argentina’s corn output to 32 million tonnes from 35 million previously.

China’s March soybean imports rose 8% from the same month a year earlier, data showed on Thursday, bringing first quarter arrivals to a record even as demand failed to pick up as expected.

Grain markets will get an update on U.S. exports with weekly data published by the USDA later on Thursday.

The Kremlin warned on Wednesday that the outlook for extending a deal beyond May 18 that allows the safe wartime export of grain and fertiliser from several Ukrainian Black Sea ports was “not so great”.

However, the continuation of corridor shipments for now, along with large exports from Russia, were seen as tempering short-term risks to export supply.

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Sonia Cheema, Kirsten Donovan)

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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