By Kirk Maltais

-- Soybeans for July delivery rose 0.9% to $12.47 1/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Wednesday in response to rumors of China purchasing U.S. soybean exports after being absent from new crop purchasing.

-- Corn for July delivery rose 0.7% to $4.61 a bushel.

-- Wheat for July delivery fell 0.4% to $6.94 3/4 a bushel.


Back to the Table: China is rumored to have purchased more U.S. soybean exports, after buying most of its product from competing exporters such as Brazil. Because the USDA hasn't announced any sales to China for soybeans for the upcoming 2024-25 marketing year, the prospect of a sale to China is energizing markets.

"Brazil's beans are not getting any cheaper and China needs beans and bean oil," Phil Flynn of Price Futures Group said.

Thursday's export sales report from the USDA is expected to show soybean sales between 300,000 metric tons to 700,000 tons, which would exceed last week's total of just over 290,000 tons.

Eyes to the East: CBOT wheat tested the $7-per-bushel mark early in the session. It fell back throughout the rest of the day, although traders are alert for further Russian output concerns that could push wheat well above the $7-a-bushel mark for the first time since July.

"To get an extension of the rally, we are going to need to feed the bull, in the guise of some new Russian news or talk on production," said Charlie Sernatinger of Marex in a note.


Improving Margins: Support for soybeans this week is coming from soyoil futures, with soyoil finishing with its seventh higher close out of the past nine sessions.

The uptick in prices is needed to better incentivize soybean crushing and oil production, AgResource said in a note. "Soyoil's extended recovery on the margin has kept crush profitability intact," the firm said.

NOPA's last monthly report showed a drop in crush rate, which was bigger than expected by analysts.

Revving Up: Daily U.S. production of ethanol rose from this time last week, while inventories fell, according to data from the EIA.

The EIA said daily ethanol production for the week ended May 17 rose to 1.019 million barrels a day, up from 1 million barrels reported last week. That lands within the range of 990,000 barrels and 1.028 million barrels forecast by analysts. Inventories fell to 24.21 million barrels for the week, down from the previous week, but within analyst estimates.

Higher production comes as driving over Memorial Day is expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels and hit the highest level since 2000, according to estimates from AAA.


-- The USDA is scheduled to release its weekly export sales report at 8:30 a.m. EDT Thursday.

-- The USDA is due to release its monthly livestock slaughter report at 3 p.m. EDT Thursday.

-- The USDA is scheduled to release its monthly cattle-on-feed report at 3 p.m. EDT Friday.

-- The USDA is due to release its monthly cold storage report at 3 p.m. EDT Friday.

-- The CFTC is scheduled to release its weekly Commitments of Traders Report at 3:30 p.m. EDT Friday.

Write to Kirk Maltais at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-22-24 1535ET