U.S. grains: Corn drops from one-week high

(Lisa Guenther photo)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn futures slipped from a one-week high on Wednesday on ample global supplies, traders said.

Soybean futures edged higher, with bargain buyers picking prices up from their lowest since October even as concerns about dry weather culling crop production in South America eased.

“Despite recent talk of drier-than-normal weather across Brazil, most local observers still see soybean production on track to set new records,” Morgan Stanley analyst Bennett Meier said in a note to clients.

Brazilian crop analysts Celeres pegged the country’s 2014-15 soy crop at a record 94.2 million tonnes, up three per cent from its August forecast.

The expectations for a huge crop kept the gains in soybeans in check and the market fluctuated between positive and negative territory several times during the session.

Strength in soymeal futures also added support. Traders on the cash market noted a pick-up in export demand for U.S. soymeal due to higher-than-expected prices for South American supplies.

Chicago Board of Trade March soybeans, the most actively traded oilseed contract, ended up 1-1/2 cents at $9.83-1/2 a bushel (all figures US$). Deferred contracts also settled slightly higher.

CBOT March corn was 2-1/4 cents lower at $3.88 a bushel.

Wheat was mixed, with soft red winter wheat settling close to unchanged. High-protein spring wheat and hard red winter wheat were lower due to bigger-than-expected supplies in the U.S. countryside.

CBOT March soft red winter wheat was down 1/4 cent at $5.36-3/4 a bushel. MGEX spring wheat was off 5-1/2 cents at $5.72-1/4 a bushel and K.C. hard red winter wheat for March delivery lost 8-1/2 cents to close at $5.81 a bushel.

The Minneapolis Grain Exchange said on Wednesday there were 19.4 million bushels of wheat in its storage warehouse in Duluth, a 1.9 million bushel increase from a week earlier.

A crumbling Canadian dollar also weighed on spring wheat prices.

In Brazil, a cold front has broken into Brazil’s southeast and centre-west agricultural areas, Somar meteorologists said on Wednesday, ending at least 20 days of unseasonably hot, dry weather.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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