U.S. grains: Wheat falls one per cent on fund selling, Ukraine shipments

(Lisa Guenther photo)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. grains fell on Tuesday, with wheat futures down more than one per cent on pressure from plentiful global supplies and selling by investment funds on the first trading day of the month, analysts said.

Wheat futures, which rose to a three-week high last Thursday on short-covering tied to escalating Ukraine-Russia tensions, reversed course and notched their largest two-session decline since Aug. 13.

The European Union was considering extending a capital borrowing ban on Russian-owned firms in the European Union but the Black Sea grain export hub was otherwise relatively quiet. Rising wheat, corn and barley exports out of Ukraine also weighed as data showed no disruptions in shipments.

“There’s no new story and that’s kind of bearish,” said Austin Damiani, an analyst at Frontier Futures in Minneapolis.

Most-active Chicago Board of Trade December wheat finished 8-1/2 cents lower at $5.55 per bushel, while corn for December delivery shed 1 cent to $3.63-3/4 (all figures US$).

Soybean futures gained in a bull-spreading advance amid fresh fund buying in the new month and tight supplies that supported the U.S. cash market. Soymeal was up two per cent.

“You have basis at the highest levels ever for this time of year,” Futures International analyst Terry Reilly said of strong cash bids among U.S. bean crushers. “That’s supporting the expiring September contract and giving some life to the November contract.”

Most-active November soy futures were up 7-3/4 cents at $10.32, bouncing after testing their contract low reached on Friday.

The looming harvest of expected record U.S. soybean and corn crops continued to anchor prices, with each commodity hovering near four-year lows on continuous charts.

Analysts polled by Reuters expected the U.S. Agriculture Department, in a report due at 3 p.m. CT on Tuesday, to keep condition ratings for crops at the highest levels in about 20 years.

— Michael Hirtzer reports on agriculture and ag commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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