Chicago | Reuters — New-crop U.S. soybean futures rebounded on Thursday from a contract low set earlier in the session, while corn topped a one-week high in a recovery from recent losses and wheat futures ended a five-day slide.
Traders took profits on previously sold, or short, positions after crop prices came under pressure earlier this week from expectations that U.S. soy and corn yields will surpass forecasts issued in a monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture report on Tuesday.
Analysts said USDA will likely increase its yield estimates in the coming months due to favourable weather in the Midwest.
“Ideas of a huge crop waiting to be harvested kept gains in check,” said Brian Hoops, president of brokerage Midwest Market Solutions.
Chicago Board of Trade November soybeans gained 0.9 per cent to $10.56 a bushel after earlier touching a contract low of $10.38-3/4 (all figures US$).
December corn rose one per cent to $3.73-1/2 a bushel, after reaching a contract low of $3.58 on Tuesday. The contract has ended higher for four consecutive sessions, its longest streak of gains since February.
December wheat added 1.3 per cent at $5.52-3/4 a bushel.
Commodity funds bought an estimated 5,000 corn contracts, 4,000 soybean contracts, and 3,000 wheat contracts.
“Light short-covering in thin trade is taking place,” said Karl Setzer, grain solutions team leader for MaxYield Cooperative in Iowa. “A large reason for this is post-report positioning.”
Traders also continue to monitor crop weather amid talk about pockets of dry land in the Corn Belt as well as about areas of the Midwest and northern Plains that need warm temperatures through autumn to achieve good corn and soy yields, Setzer said.
Uncertainty about the weather “will keep a certain level of risk premium in the market through the remainder of the growing season,” he added.
In Tuesday’s report, USDA put the U.S. soybean crop at a record 3.82 billion bushels, near trade expectations, and the U.S. corn harvest at a record 14.032 billion bushels, below analysts’ consensus estimate of 14.253 billion.
On Friday, traders will analyze monthly data from the National Oilseed Processors Association, which is expected to show that U.S. soy processors in July slowed their crushing pace due to tight supplies ahead of the autumn harvest.
U.S. soybean export sales last week were 1.143 million tonnes, above expectations for 850,000 to 1.05 million tonnes. Weekly corn export sales of 670,700 tonnes were within expectations of 600,000 to 900,000 tonnes, while wheat export sales of 338,700 tonnes were below estimates of 450,000 to 650,000 tonnes.
— Tom Polansek reports on ag commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.