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GRAINS-Chicago soybeans extend rebound, corn also edges higher

Nigel Hunt

* CBOT soy extends rebound from Monday's contract low

* Corn prices rise as rains delay planting in U.S. Midwest

* China trade surplus with U.S. widens in April (Adds comment, updates prices)

LONDON, May 8 (Reuters) - Chicago soybeans rose for a second session on Wednesday, with the focus on whether talks this week will prevent an escalation in the U.S.-Chinese trade dispute.

Corn gained more ground as rains have delayed U.S. planting, while wheat was little changed.

July soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade rose 0.3 percent at $8.33 a bushel by 1031 GMT as the market extended its rebound from a contract low of $8.16-3/4 a bushel set on Monday.

The market was supported by fund short covering with the market technically oversold after a prolonged decline in prices.

Dealers said the scope for a more significant rebound may hinge on progress at the talks as a deal to resolve the trade war could trigger accelerated commodities purchases by China, helping to reduce massive U.S. stockpiles of soybeans.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He travels to Washington for two days of talks this week, China said on Tuesday, setting up a last-ditch bid for a deal to avoid a sharp increase in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, as ordered by President Donald Trump.

"Soybeans are ticking higher but the market is unlikely to get very excited unless there are substantial purchases of U.S. beans by China," said Phin Ziebell, an agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank.

"The latest Trump threats don't point to swift resolution of issues. And there are plenty of supplies in the market, Brazil has just finished harvesting a big crop."

Soybeans were the single most valuable U.S. agricultural export crop and until the trade war China bought $12 billion-worth a year from U.S. farmers. The dispute has slashed shipments of U.S. soy to China.

Chinese data issued on Wednesday showed its trade surplus with the United States, a major irritant for Washington, widened to $21.01 billion in April from $20.5 billion in March.

Some analysts believe recent signs of improvement in both the Chinese and American economies may have hardened their negotiating positions on trade after months of progress made when the business outlook appeared much more shaky.

CBOT July corn was up 0.3 percent at $3.67-3/4 a bushel, underpinned by excessive rains delaying U.S. planting.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday said 23 percent of the corn crop had been planted, below the five-year average of 46 percent.

Dealers said the forecast for the next few days remained wet and additional delays could lead to acreage switching from corn to soybeans.

CBOT July wheat rose a marginal 0.1 percent to $4.40 a bushel while September milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext fell 0.3 percent to 171.75 euros a tonne.

(Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore Editing by Rashmi Aich and Edmund Blair)