Chicago | Reuters –– U.S. soybean futures hit three-week highs on Monday on bargain buying and a technical rebound from long-term lows established last week, traders said.
Corn also firmed at the Chicago Board of Trade while wheat ended mixed, with nearby contracts pressured by larger-than-expected deliveries against the December contract.
At the CBOT, January soybeans settled up eight cents at $8.81 per bushel, after reaching $8.83-1/4, the highest level since Nov. 5 (all figures US$).
March corn ended up five cents at $3.72-1/4 a bushel.
Soybeans attracted chart-based buying after the January contract established a bullish reversal on weekly charts last week, falling to a life-of-contract low on Nov. 23 before rallying to finish above the previous week’s high.
“The market is reacting to the outside week up in beans and getting some follow-through,” said Terry Linn, analyst with the Linn Group in Chicago. Traders who took on short positions in soybeans in recent weeks are losing money, Linn said, prompting them to exit the market.
Similarly, corn dipped to a 1-1/2 week low in early moves on Monday but rallied after holding above contract lows set at mid-month.
“The market is telling you we have done enough on the low end,” said Jim Gerlach, president of A/C Trading in Fowler, Indiana. However, he said corn’s rally could be short-lived, given bearish global fundamental factors.
“You’ve got the strong dollar and pretty good weather in South America, and those are not going anywhere.”
After the CBOT close, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released updated mandates raising its blending requirements for renewable fuels, including corn-based ethanol and soy-based biodiesel, from a proposal it laid out in May.
The mandate for increased biodiesel use should support CBOT soyoil futures, Linn said, at a time when U.S. soybean processors may start to scale back their crushing pace due to softening profit margins.
In wheat, spreading was the feature, with nearby CBOT contracts losing to back months after the exchange reported 2,343 deliveries against the spot December futures contract on first notice day, far more than traders expected.
“Deliveries are bearish. You see that in the flat price and the spreads,” Linn said.
CBOT March wheat ended down 3-1/2 cents at $4.75-1/2 a bushel but the spot December contract, which is in delivery, fell 5-3/4 cents to $4.60 after falling to a contract low at $4.58-3/4. Back months in wheat closed higher on the day.
— Julie Ingwersen is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris.