U.S. grains: Wheat, corn fall sharply

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. wheat futures fell on Wednesday, extending their decline under pressure from the ongoing harvest of a bountiful crop in the Plains and the Midwest which threatens to add to a glut of supplies that is largely being shunned by overseas buyers.

Corn futures also dropped, pressured by forecasts for rain in key U.S. growing areas, and soybeans fell as traders staked out positions ahead of a key U.S. Agriculture Department report on Thursday.

The most actively traded Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat contract sank 2.8 per cent, hitting its lowest since March 2 and notching its fourth straight negative session. K.C. hard red winter wheat staked out a fresh 10-year low and closed lower for the fifth day in a row.

“Wheat continues to have the same problems,” said Mike Krueger, president of The Money Farm, a grain market advisory service near Fargo, N.D. “There is still slack demand and an awesome crop in the southern Plains.”

CBOT September soft red winter wheat settled down 12-3/4 cents at $4.44-1/2 a bushel (all figures US$). K.C. September hard red winter wheat was 8-1/2 cents lower at $4.19-3/4 a bushel.

“Wheat crashed and burned into new contract lows today, with selling off of harvest and the charts combining,” Charlie Sernatinger, global head of grain futures at ED+F Man Capital said in a note to clients. “There just were no friends on the long side.”

CBOT December corn was down 11-1/4 cents at $3.83 a bushel and CBOT November soybeans dropped 7-3/4 cents to $11.12-1/2 a bushel.

Some forecasts for rain in dry parts of the U.S. Midwest during the weekend added pressure to both corn and soybeans.

Traders were closely monitoring crop development across the region, with corn in particularly tight focus as it enters its key pollination phase.

U.S. farmers may have increased soybean sowings to 83.8 million acres this year, up from USDA’s March estimate of 82.2 million acres, analysts said ahead of the release of the USDA’s annual acreage report on Thursday.

As they switched to soybeans, U.S. farmers may have cut corn plantings to 92.8 million acres, from 93.6 million forecast by USDA in March.

— 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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