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Soybeans, wheat, corn up before USDA report, Russian export tax underpins

Chicago soybeans, wheat and corn rose on Tuesday as investors awaited forecasts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) of global grain and oilseed production later in the day.

Wheat was underpinned by reports that Russia will increase its planned tax on wheat exports.

“Attention is on the USDA report, the market is expecting it to be bullish as it is likely to trim global corn and soybean inventories,” said one Singapore-based trader. “But it can turn out to be the other way, less bullish than expected.”

Chicago Board of Trade most active soybeans (CBOT) rose 0.4% to $13.79-1/4 a bushel at 1018 GMT. Soybeans hit their highest since June 2014 at $13.88-3/4 a bushel on Monday.

Corn rose 0.2% to $4.93-1/4 a bushel. Wheat rose 1.3% to $6.43 a bushel.

The USDA reports scheduled for release at 1700 GMT are expected to show tightening supplies of key crops and may forecast higher demand from some major importers.

Grain markets have soared to the highest levels in years as rising global demand and hot, dry crop weather in South America reinforced concern about tightening world supplies.

Argentine farmers said on Monday they would continue their ban on selling crops despite the government’s decision to amend the corn export suspension that has triggered a sales strike in the South American grains powerhouse.

Russia is considering raising its wheat export tax from the currently planned 25 euros ($30) per tonne between Feb. 15 and June 30, the head of the Russian Union of Grain Exporters told Reuters on Monday.

Euronext front month European wheat futures hit their highest since April 2014 on Tuesday.

“If the (Russian) export duty were to be raised, the additional incentive this provides for exports could be eroded,” Commerzbank said in a note.

“Ultimately, the government’s objective is to keep enough wheat in the country so as to dampen domestic prices.” Source: Reuters (Reporting by Michael Hogan, additional reporting by Naveen Thukral Editing by Robert Birsel)

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