Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn and soybean futures ended lower on Thursday, as beneficial rainfall across the U.S. Midwest added pressure to soybean markets, while export sales capped losses.
Wheat found technical support, underpinned by tight global supply concerns.
Chicago Board of Trade most-active corn fell one cent to $5.50-3/4 a bushel, while nearby September corn firmed 1-1/2 cents higher at $5.52-3/4 (all figures US$).
Wheat added 13-3/4 cents to $7.39-1/4 a bushel, while soybeans lost 6-1/2 cents lower at $13.26-1/4 a bushel, though nearby September beans added 21-1/2 cents to $13.67-1/2 a bushel.
Traders said the market was in a holding pattern, awaiting the impact of recent rains across the U.S. Midwest and the harvest, which could begin in the coming weeks in the southern United States.
“It’s a market that’s still directionless and is floating between technicals,” said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities. “The bears don’t want to press it too far, knowing that as you go down, you see a pickup in demand.”
As farmers gear up for harvest, there are fewer growers with old-crop corn and soybeans in bins, having sold grain earlier in the year when prices were near multi-year highs. That lack of selling could keep prices from dropping as early as in years past.
“We don’t have to clear out the bins before we get into harvest. That’s what’s different this year,” said Ted Seifried, vice-president at Zaner Group. “I don’t think we’ll have a tremendous amount of harvest pressure.”
Export demand has increased from earlier in the year, but lags the strength seen this time last year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported daily export sales of 100,000 tonnes of corn to Colombia, 133,000 tonnes of soybeans to China and 132,150 tonnes of soybeans to unknown destinations, all for delivery in the 2021/22 marketing year.
For the week, export sales of corn and soybeans were in line with analyst expectations, while wheat export sales lagged predictions.
— Christopher Walljasper reports on agriculture and ag commodities for Reuters from Chicago.