U.S. grains: Wheat rises on weaker dollar, stocks check corn

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Reuters — Chicago wheat futures rose on Wednesday, as short-covering and a weaker U.S. dollar buoyed prices after a two-day slide, while a U.S. government report held corn in check.

Corn eked out only a tiny gain, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture raised its outlook for domestic corn supplies by 25 million bushels, more than analysts were expecting, due to weakening export demand.

Soybeans finished unchanged.

Chicago Board Of Trade March wheat gained 1.8 per cent or 8-1/4 cents at $4.89-3/4 a bushel, even though USDA raised its outlook for world wheat ending stocks above market forecasts due to increased production in Canada and the European Union (all figures US$).

“It’s a pretty neutral report. The fact that it didn’t come out as bearish as feared is bringing some buying in,” said Jack Scoville, vice president for Price Futures Group in Chicago. “The dollar (index) being down 800 points is helping.”

World ending stocks of wheat were seen at 229.86 million tonnes, up from 227.3 million tonnes in November and above analyst estimates that ranged from 224 million to 228.73 million tonnes.

March corn edged higher after earlier losses, adding 1/4 cent to $3.73-3/4 a bushel, after USDA cut its outlook for U.S. exports and raised its view of U.S. corn use for ethanol.

Corn ending stocks for the 2015-16 marketing year were pegged at 1.785 billion bushels, up from the government’s November projection of 1.76 billion. Analysts were expecting corn ending stocks of 1.768 billion bushels, based on the average of estimates in a Reuters poll.

January soybeans dropped earlier but managed a flat finish at $8.76-3/4 a bushel.

The focus for soybeans looks to be stiff global competition for U.S. supplies, with weather improving in South America, said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities.

The soybean market had reached a six-week high at the start of the week, supported by brisk export demand from China.

Rod Nickel is a Reuters correspondent covering the agriculture and mining sectors from Winnipeg. Additional reporting for Reuters by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago, Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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