U.S. grains: Soy, wheat firm on bargain buying

(Stephen Ausmus photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. wheat and soybeans firmed on Wednesday, reversing overnight losses, on technical buying and a mild round of short-covering, traders said.

Corn futures weakened, with buyers wary of pushing prices higher amid a swift pace of planting in the U.S. Midwest.

Sharp declines on Tuesday caused investors to step in and cover bearish bets despite a bleak fundamental picture for all three commodities that kept Wednesday’s gains in check.

“I think it is just a technical bounce off the lows,” said Mike Krueger,” president of The Money Farm, a grain market advisory service near Fargo, N.D.

Technical support for corn was noted at the benchmark Chicago Board of Trade July contract’s 30-day moving average, a level it has not closed below since April 12.

Soybean futures found support near the weekly low, with buyers stepping in despite improving conditions for harvest in Argentina that should boost the amount of supplies available for exporters.

CBOT July soybean futures settled four cents higher at $10.34 a bushel (all figures US$).

“Soybean prices ran up and down the elevator a couple of times during the session, ending a bit higher, as fund buying materialized on the break,” Charlie Sernatinger, global head of grain futures for ED+F Man Capital, said in a note to clients.

CBOT July wheat ended up 1/2 cent at $4.71-1/4 a bushel.

“Wheat is being supported by technical bargain buying and short-covering after Tuesday’s falls,” said Frank Rijkers, agrifood economist at ABN AMRO Bank. “But the wheat market is still weighing up the latest positive reports about the state of wheat from the U.S. crop tour and has been moving in and out of positive territory today.”

Winter wheat prospects in southwest Kansas are above average as recent rains benefited crops after much drier early-season growing conditions, scouts on an annual crop tour said on Wednesday. The scouts made their biggest yield projection for northern Kansas since 2012 following surveys of that part of the state on Tuesday.

CBOT July corn ended down three cents at $3.76-3/4 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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