U.S. grains: Wheat hits eight-month low as harvest advances

Soybeans gain on trade optimism; ethanol report supports corn

CBOT July 2020 wheat with 20-, 50- and 100-day moving averages. (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago wheat futures edged downward on Wednesday reaching an eight-month low as the U.S. harvest continues and rainfall across Europe allayed recent weather worries.

Corn prices climbed after early losses, ending in positive territory on increased ethanol use, but capped by pressure from favourable weather across the U.S. Midwest, while soybeans were bolstered by talks of warming trade with China.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was down 7-1/4 cents to $4.88-3/4 per bushel after touching $4.87-1/4 earlier in the session, the contract’s lowest level since Oct. 8, 2019 (all figures US$).

CBOT soybeans added 4-1/4 cents to $8.71-1/4 a bushel, while corn settled up 1-1/4 cent to $3.30-1/4 a bushel.

The winter wheat harvest progresses in the U.S. Plains region while in the Black Sea region forecasters raised production estimates.

Soybeans were buoyed as optimism over China’s return to the U.S. bean market overwhelmed a promising crop outlook.

U.S. Midwest weather forecasts for rain and easing temperatures in the week ahead tempered concern about stressed corn after a recent hot, dry spell.

“Corn and beans are both affected by weather as much as any demand considerations, and the weather’s looking pretty promising here,” said Jack Scoville, futures analyst at The Price Futures Group.

Ethanol output continues to increase and stocks of the corn-based fuel are decreasing, the U.S. Energy Information Agency said in its weekly report, but not enough to instill confidence, traders said.

“When you have such an overwhelming surplus, and have had weak demand, you’re not going to change sentiment easily,” said David Hightower, president of Hightower Report.

Weekly ethanol output increased to 841,000 barrels per day, with weekly stocks dropping to 21.35 million.

— Christopher Walljasper reports on agriculture and ag commodities for Reuters from Chicago.

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