Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures eased for a third straight session on Wednesday and corn futures were mostly lower as forecasts for rains and limited crop-stressing heat across the Midwest farm belt bolstered production prospects.
Weak outside markets also hung over grain futures, with equities and crude oil posting steep losses as rising coronavirus infection rates stoked fears of renewed lockdown measures and economic damage.
“The weather looks really good overall and that’s going to limit any advance for corn and soybeans,” said Brian Hoops, president of Midwest Market Solutions. “And the outside factors, with the Dow and crude oil being down, are taking the edge off.”
Forecasts for rains throughout the Midwest and generally mild temperatures tempered concerns about recently planted corn and soybean crops.
The lack of much stressful heat in the forecast was seen limiting any drag on development of the corn crop in the heart of the Midwest, which will be entering its crucial pollination stage in the coming weeks.
Traders were also beginning to square positions ahead of next week’s U.S. Department of Agriculture quarterly stocks and planted acreage reports.
Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) July soybeans ended down 4-1/4 cents at $8.70-3/4 a bushel, while July corn was down 3/4 cent at $3.24-1/4 a bushel (all figures US$).
Corn futures drew some support from a firm cash market and rising ethanol production.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday reported higher week-on-week ethanol production for an eighth straight week and lower stocks for a ninth week.
CBOT July wheat fell 4-3/4 cents to $4.81-1/4 a bushel as favourable weather accelerated harvesting of the winter crop.
–– Karl Plume reports on agriculture and ag commodities for Reuters from Chicago; additional reporting by Nigel Hunt and Naveen Thukral.