GRAINS-Soybeans, corn start 2021 on strong note, at 6-1/2 year high

SINGAPORE, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures kicked off 2021 with a bullish tone, climbing to their highest since June 2014 on Monday, as tightening South American supplies and strong Chinese demand underpinned prices.

Corn gained more ground to touch its highest in 6-1/2 years, while wheat rose in early Asian trade.


* The Chicago Board of Trade most-active soybean contract added more than 1% at 13.25-3/4 a bushel, as of 0148 GMT, after hitting $13.27 a bushel, earlier in the session, its highest since June 2014.

* Corn added 1.2% to $4.89-3/4 a bushel and wheat gained 0.6% to $6.44-1/4 a bushel.

* Wheat finished 2020 in the black for the fourth straight year after touching a six-year high on Thursday and ending mostly firm.

* Corn ended up 24.8% for the year and soybean prices climbed 37.2% from a year ago. Wheat added 14.6%.

* Corn guided grains higher after Argentina’s agriculture ministry announced that the country would suspend sales of corn for exports until Feb. 28 to ensure ample domestic food supplies.

* The move triggered more buying in a futures market already on edge due to crop-threatening South American weather amid robust demand and tightening global corn and soybean supplies.

* Argentina and southern Brazil are expected to remain hot and dry in the coming weeks, according to meteorologists.

* Chinese demand has further supported prices as the country rebuilds the world’s biggest pig herd.


* Asian share markets hit pause on Monday as reports of a possible tightening in coronavirus emergency rules for Tokyo pulled Japanese stocks off 30-year highs, while also lifting the safe-haven yen.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT, Dec) 0145 China Caixin Mfg PMI Final 0850 France Markit Mfg PMI 0855 Germany Markit/BME Mfg PMI 0900 EU Markit Mfg Final PMI 0930 UK Markit/CIPS Mfg PMI Final 1445 US Markit Mfg Final PMI (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)