U.S. grains: Wheat, corn, soy fall as dollar rises

U.S. harvest accelerates, adding pressure

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures dropped 1.8 per cent on Wednesday, pressured by a firm dollar that traders said was depressing already weak overseas demand for U.S. supplies.

“We are still not getting the export demand,” said Mark Schultz, chief market analyst at Northstar Commodity. “There is plenty of wheat globally.”

The drop in wheat weighed on the corn market, which also faced seasonal harvest pressure as farmers around the U.S. Midwest began running their combines.

Soybeans closed lower for the third day in a row but traders said strong export demand kept the losses in check.

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CBOT December wheat futures ended down nine cents at $5.49 a bushel (all figures US$).

U.S. wheat exporters were winning routine business for small shipments to places such as Japan, Taiwan and South Korea but prices were still too high to be competitive for larger deals.

Egypt on Tuesday purchased 405,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at around $256 per tonne, including freight, up about $7 a tonne from what it paid in a similar tender last week.

Russian supplies also were the cheapest offered in a Pakistani tender for 300,000 tonnes.

CBOT November soybeans were 5-1/4 cents lower at $10.14-1/2 a bushel.

“The U.S. harvest is gathering pace but prices are unlikely to decline much as Chinese demand is pretty strong for soybeans and corn,” said one Singapore-based grains trader.

USDA on Wednesday morning confirmed private sales of another 132,000 tonnes of soybeans to China as well as 126,000 tonnes of soybeans to unknown destinations. It was the 14th trading day in a row that the government has announced a soybean sale to China.

“The demand is ferocious,” Northstar’s Schultz added. “It just keeps coming.”

CBOT December corn futures were down 3/4 cent at $3.68-1/2 a bushel.

— Reporting for Reuters by Mark Weinraub in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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