U.S. grains: Corn, soybeans rise following heavy rains in U.S. Midwest

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn and soybean futures rose for the second straight session on Thursday, supported by concerns that heavy rains in some growing areas of the U.S. may have caused damage to developing crops, traders said.

“It looks like 10 to 20 per cent of the Corn Belt is just too darn wet,” said Dave Fogel, a broker for Advance Trading in Bloomington, Illinois. “There is an expectation that we will see crop ratings drop on both (corn and soybeans).”

Wheat futures ended firm, supported by a late round of bargain buying after hovering near unchanged for much of the session.

Chicago Board of Trade soybeans for July delivery closed up 11-3/4 cents at $14.20-3/4 a bushel (all figures US$). November soybeans, which track the crop that is currently growing, were 14-1/4 cents higher at $12.27-1/4 a bushel.

CBOT July corn was nine cents higher at $4.50-1/2 a bushel, closing just off its session high.

Bargain buying and short covering was featured in both commodities, which have fallen sharply during the past two months on easing supply concerns and expectations for a big harvest this fall.

“Both the corn and soybean market have been hit pretty well as far as selling goes,” said Greg Wagner, president of GWX-Ag Advisors, “I would regard the strength in both these markets as being technically based more than anything.”

CBOT soft red winter wheat for July delivery ended up 6-1/2 cent at $5.93-1/2 a bushel. Traders also noted some spreading against the K.C. hard red winter wheat contract, which rallied 2.1 per cent on Wednesday.

K.C. July hard red winter wheat rose 1-1/2 cents to close at $7.29-1/4 a bushel but failed to break through technical resistance at its 100-day moving average.

The Kansas Wheat Commission and the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers issued a report earlier this week about disappointing harvest yields in key hard red winter wheat-growing areas of the U.S. Plains.

“The report has raised some quality concerns and the weather outlook over the next seven days calls for rain across the southern Plains and Midwest region, which could downgrade that wheat into feed category,” said Andrew Woodhouse, grains analyst at Advance Trading Australasia.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Colin Packham in Sydney and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris.

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