U.S. grains: Wheat, corn futures ease, soy firms

(Stephen Ausmus photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures sank to contract lows on Wednesday as ample global supplies provided overseas buyers with cheaper alternatives to U.S. offerings in export deals, traders said.

Corn futures also were lower, pressured by the drop in wheat as well as good weather for crop development across the U.S. Midwest. Soybeans closed firm, with signs of good export demand keying a turnaround after prices dipped into negative territory.

Both corn and soybeans hit their lowest levels since late June during the session.

“Rains moving across the western Corn Belt this morning should bring heavy rains west of the Mississippi, with the eastern Midwest also picking up a half inch to an inch according to maps for the next week,” Farm Futures analyst Bryce Knorr said in a note to clients.

CBOT December corn futures ended down two cents at $3.66-1/2 a bushel (all figures US$). CBOT November soybeans were one cent higher at $9.25-1/4 a bushel.

CBOT September soft red winter wheat settled 10-1/4 cents lower at $4.19-1/4 a bushel.

Egypt, the world’s largest wheat buyer, on Wednesday said it signed deals to buy 295,000 tonnes of Russian wheat and 60,000 tonnes of Ukraine wheat. No U.S. wheat was offered in the tender.

“Wheat prices in Chicago slumped from the start of the week due to the rise of supplies in the world, mainly caused by bumper harvests in the Black Sea (region),” consultancy Agritel said in a note.

While large volumes purchased in the tenders could be supportive of prices, a wide gap between Black Sea origins such as Russian wheat and U.S. and West European origins may maintain price pressure.

But strong export demand was limiting the declines in soybeans.

A delegation of importers from China signed agreements to buy 3.8 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans valued at about $1.56 billion at a ceremony in Omaha on Tuesday, the U.S. Soybean Export Council said on Wednesday.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris.

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