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U.S. grains: Wheat, soybeans close lower; corn firms

(Lisa Guenther photo)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean and wheat futures fell Tuesday, with soy pressured by technical selling and forecasts for good harvest weather, while U.S. wheat supplies struggled to find traction on the export market despite trading at four-year lows.

Corn firmed, with traders noting a round of bargain buying that pushed prices into positive territory after trading lower for much of the day.

Expectations of a huge harvest of both corn and soybeans kept a bearish tone over the market.

“We are looking at much warmer temperatures and drier forecasts,” said Brian Hoops, president of brokerage Midwest Market Solutions. “We will start seeing a pickup in that harvest pace and consequently we will see some harvest pressure against prices.”

The market shrugged at data from the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Farm Service Agency that showed “prevented plantings” acreage for both corn and soybeans was bigger than previously reported as huge yields were still expected to more than replenish domestic stockpiles.

“These Paul Bunyan-like corn and bean yields just continue to swamp anything you get from a positive standpoint on acres or lost production,” said Don Roose, analyst at U.S. Commodities.

“It is the wrong time of year to be positive. Historically, this time of year we continue to push lower and grind lower into the gut slot of harvest.”

Chicago Board of Trade soybeans for November delivery settled down 8-3/4 cents at $9.80-3/4 a bushel. Prices hit a one-week high during the overnight session, which spurred a round of profit taking and technical selling.

CBOT December corn rose 3/4 cent to $3.43-3/4 a bushel.

CBOT December soft red winter wheat closed 4-1/2 cents lower at $4.96-1/4 a bushel. The front-month contract hit its lowest on a continuous basis since July 6, 2010.

U.S. wheat continued to be uncompetitive despite a 33 per cent drop in prices during the last four months. CBOT December has fallen for seven straight sessions, wiping out 7.2 per cent of its value.

Egypt, the world’s top buyer of wheat, said Tuesday its General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) bought 180,000 tonnes of French wheat in its latest tender, bypassing U.S. supplies. GASC has purchased mostly Russian, Romanian and Ukrainian wheat since the start of the year.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Colin Packham in Sydney.

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