U.S. grains: Soy futures rally, corn hits 7-1/2 month peak

(Scott Bauer photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Board of Trade soybean, corn and wheat futures firmed on Wednesday, recovering from weakness in the overnight trading session on a round of technical buying, traders said.

Corn futures staked out a fresh top, peaking at its highest since June 30 while wheat was trending near the 7-1/2 month high it hit earlier this week.

Soybeans were bouncing back from two days of declines that wiped out 1.3 per cent of the most-active contract’s value, attracting bargain hunters. A bullish report on monthly crushings added strength to the soy complex.

Buying by investment funds keyed the rebound from the overnight drop.

“They really do not want to press the short side,” said Brian Hoops, analyst with Midwest Marketing Solutions. “There is dollars of upside potential and dimes of downside risk.”

Traders have grown comfortable with the expectations for a bumper crop in South America and were waiting to see how weather for the U.S. planting season would progress during the next two months before locking in profits from the recent rally.

A rally during the spring in 2016 also made traders wary of selling off their long positions, Hoops added.

CBOT March soybean futures settled up 16-1/4 cents at $10.61-1/4 a bushel, just below its session high of $10.61-1/2 (all figures US$).

U.S. soybean processors ramped up their pace of crushing above market forecasts last month, notching the third busiest January on record, according to the National Oilseed Processors Association’s monthly report. NOPA said that its members crushed 160.621 million bushels during January, up from 160.176 million bushels in December.

CBOT March corn ended up 4-1/2 cents at $3.78-3/4 a bushel, just below its session peak of $3.79 a bushel, its highest since June 30.

Corn found support from early weakness after dipping to its weekly low of $3.71-3/4 a bushel.

CBOT March wheat was 5-1/4 cents higher at $4.54-3/4 a bushel. A key technical support point for wheat was Tuesday’s low of $4.46-1/4 a bushel.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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