U.S. grains: Corn, soybeans rebound from multi-year lows

(Lisa Guenther photo)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn and soybeans edged higher on Monday, rebounding from multi-year lows reached earlier in the session as investors covered short positions ahead of a U.S. Department of Agriculture Department due on Tuesday.

Wheat futures also were higher at the Chicago Board of Trade after the dollar trimmed gains against a basket of other currencies. Plentiful global grain supplies and a surging greenback have made U.S. corn and wheat less competitive in top export destinations in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Corn had its first gains in three sessions after falling as low as $3.22 per bushel, the lowest since September 2009 (all figures US$). Soybeans rebounded after dropping to $9.05-1/2, a 4-1/2 year low.

“We’ve thrown so much bear news at this thing and I just think it’s a bit oversold and we’re due for a rally,” said Mark Gold, an analyst at brokerage Top Third Ag Marketing in Chicago.

Record corn and soybean harvests were accelerating under mostly warm and dry conditions in the U.S. Midwest. Analysts expected a weekly USDA harvest report after the close of trading on Monday to show harvests were progressing slightly below average. Cool weather during the growing season presented few threats to the crops but also slowed maturity, according to analysts polled by Reuters.

“You have the harvest going unabated and you have reports of exceptional yields,” said Brett Cooper, senior manager for markets at FCStone Australia. “Anecdotally, most of the corn crop harvested so far has been well above the record yields.”

Investors also evened their positions ahead of a quarterly USDA report on grain stocks due Tuesday in which the government will estimate quarterly stockpiles.

Most-active CBOT December corn finished up three cents at $3.25-3/4 per bushel while CBOT November soybeans gained 13-1/4 cents, or 1.5 per cent, at $9.23-1/2 per bushel. CBOT wheat was up seven cents at $4.81-1/4.

Soybeans were further supported by USDA data showing U.S. export inspections at 687,191 tonnes in the week ending Sept. 25, above analysts’ expectations and the largest inspections since March. Corn inspections of 601,825 tonnes fell below estimates ranging from 950,000 to 1.1 million tonnes.

With the weather broadly favourable, a rally in the dollar to multiyear highs has further sapped price sentiment by potentially making it harder to sell abundant new-crop supplies overseas.

The dollar started the week close to a six-year peak against the yen and touched a fresh four-year high against a basket of currencies, getting help from revised data that showed higher U.S. growth in the second quarter.

— Michael Hirtzer reports on ag commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris.

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