U.S. grains: Corn, wheat, soybeans ease on profit-taking

Focus on weather as corn, soy stocks ebb

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago corn, wheat and soybean futures eased on Wednesday on profit-taking after climbing in earlier trading as traders assessed weather risks to crops in Brazil and the U.S.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) lost 10-1/2 cents to $6.44 per bushel, while the nearby May contract fell 9-1/4 cents to $6.86-1/4 (all figures US$).

CBOT wheat fell 10 cents to $7.22-3/4 per bushel, while soybeans eased 5-3/4 cents to $15.13-3/4 per bushel.

“Huge speculative buying has pushed this market up, but it’s also on the heels of excellent demand,” Jeff French, owner of Ag Hedgers, said about the corn market. “It just got overdone and it corrected.”

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Corn has been at the centre of the grain rally. Cold planting weather in the United States and dry growing conditions in southern Brazil have cast doubts over harvest prospects in the world’s top exporters at a time of tight supplies.

Southern Brazil is forecast to stay dry into early May, but an expected warming of temperatures along with showers in the U.S. Midwest could help planting and early crop development.

“Early planting does support yield potential. The guys are telling me it’s planting great, but it’s dry, so timely rains are going to be critical from here on in,” said Bob Utterback, president of Utterback Marketing.

Soybeans ended lower despite dwindling U.S. supplies, with few farmers left holding the oilseed.

U.S.-based meat processor Perdue is shipping one cargo of 31,450 tonnes of Brazilian supplies into the United States, according to shipping data.

Tuesday’s cancellation of a wheat import tender by Egypt was seen by traders as a sign that high prices were discouraging buyers.

— Reporting for Reuters by Christopher Walljasper in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris.

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