Renewed optimism about U.S. China trade talks lifts grains
* Investors warm to report of progress in U.S.-China talks
* Sentiment tempered by lack of new Chinese buying
* Profit-taking clips gains in wheat
(Adds closing prices, weekly trends)
By Karl Plume
CHICAGO, Jan 18 (Reuters) - U.S. corn and soybean futures
rose for a third straight session on Friday in a broad
commodities and equities market rally sparked by renewed
optimism about U.S.-China trade talks.
Wheat edged upward along with corn and soy, but shed gains
late in the day as traders pocketed profits fueled by media
reports highlighting potential progress in U.S.-China trade
Rumors of large scale U.S. grain purchases by China riled
markets this week, but official confirmation of such deals has
not been available due to the partial U.S. government shutdown
that has shuttered numerous divisions of the U.S. Department of
"The commodity markets are starting to gear up for the idea
that China's going to open up," said Mike Zuzolo, president of
Global Commodity Analytics. "The trade is really gearing up for
the idea that these rumors are going to materialize."
Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) March soybeans ended up
9 cents at $9.16-3/4 a bushel, March corn gained 1-3/4
cents to $3.81-3/4 a bushel and CBOT March wheat ended
unchanged at $5.17-3/4 a bushel.
Corn and soybeans both made advances for the second week in
six, rising 0.9 and 0.7 percent respectively. Wheat shed 0.3
percent, the first weekly drop in three weeks.
Bloomberg reported on Friday that China offered to go on a
six-year buying spree to ramp up imports from the United States
in an effort to cut its trade imbalance.
The report came a day after the Wall Street Journal said
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed lifting some or
all tariffs imposed on Chinese imports and suggested offering a
tariff rollback during trade discussions scheduled for Jan. 30.
A Treasury spokesman working with the administration's trade
team denied the report.
Gains in grains have been modest, however, as traders
remained cautious in the absence of confirmed Chinese purchases
and signs that the negotiating parties are following through on
their trade proposals.
Soybean and corn markets weighed harvest prospects in South
America, where adverse weather has dented yield prospects.
Wheat traders eyed a threatening winter storm traversing the
central United States on Friday and forecasts for harsh cold in
the system's wake.
Heavy snowfall expected from the storm should help insulate
dormant winter wheat from the cold air. But the snow is likely
to miss portions of the Plains and Midwest, leaving some areas
vulnerable to crop-damaging weather.
(Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen
Thukral in Singapore; editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Tom
Brown and Richard Chang)
First Published: 2019-01-18 03:44:49
Updated 2019-01-18 22:48:47
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