Chicago | Reuters –– U.S. corn and wheat futures climbed on Tuesday to their highest levels in more than a month, as technical and speculative buying pushed up prices in the face of advancing U.S. harvests.
Soy futures also traded higher, led by gains in soymeal.
The rallies will likely be short-lived as farmers are bringing in record-large U.S. corn and soy crops from their fields, traders said.
Prices rose after corn and soy futures touched one-week lows during the session as forecasters called for favourable weather conditions to speed up harvest progress after rain delays.
“We continue to see the funds position and reposition themselves in the market, which is the primary reason behind recent trade,” said Karl Setzer, market analyst for MaxYield Cooperative.
Chicago Board of Trade December corn ended 2.2 per cent higher at $3.56 a bushel after trading as high as $3.58-3/4, the highest price for a nearby contract since Sept. 2 (all figures US$).
December wheat gained 1.1 per cent to $5.19-1/4 a bushel after touching a session high of $5.23-3/4, the highest price for a front-month contract since Sept. 10.
November soybeans jumped 2.1 per cent to $9.64-1/4 a bushel after dropping more than two per cent in the previous two sessions. December soymeal soared four per cent to $342.90 per short ton.
Commodity funds bought a net 9,000 corn contracts, 8,000 soybean contracts, 4,000 soymeal contract, and 3,000 wheat contracts, traders said.
Gains did not “have anything to do with harvest,” said Jim Gerlach, president of A/C Trading.
“You’re looking almost exclusively at money flow coming in.”
U.S. farmers had harvested 53 per cent of their soybean crop as of Sunday, up from 40 per cent a week earlier but below the five-year average of 66 per cent, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a weekly crop report on Monday.
The corn harvest was 31 per cent complete, up from 24 per cent a week earlier and below the average of 53 per cent.
Rainy weather that slowed harvesting in the U.S. Midwest this month also stalled the planting of winter wheat, a delay that could threaten crop yields, experts said.
Still, questions remained about global demand for U.S. soft red winter wheat, which is traded at the CBOT.
Egypt, the world’s top wheat importer, said on Tuesday it had bought 180,000 tonnes of French, Romanian and Russian wheat in an international tender.
— Tom Polansek reports on agriculture and ag commodities for Reuters from Chicago. Reporting for Reuters by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris.