U.S. grains: Wheat up from three-month low on bargain buying; corn weak

(Lisa Guenther photo)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. wheat futures edged higher on Wednesday on a round of mild bargain buying following a 10-session losing streak that pushed prices to a three-month low, traders said.

“Wheat is due for a bounce, but any rebound may be limited unless some major problems develop on the northern Plains into Canada or elsewhere around the world,” said Bryce Knorr, senior editor at Farm Futures.

Corn futures were lower for the fifth day in a row, with the front-month contract hitting its lowest since Feb. 27 on expectations for beneficial growing weather across the U.S. Midwest.

Soybean futures firmed on technical buying, with investors buying any dips that pushed the benchmark July contract below its 40-day moving average. The weather outlook kept the gains in soybeans in check.

Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat for July delivery settled up two cents at $6.14-1/2 a bushel, its first positive session since a 1/4-cent gain on May 19 (all figures US$).

The recent 10-session losing streak, the longest in 20 years, cut 9.2 per cent from the value of front-month CBOT wheat.

“If you drop a dead cat far enough, it will eventually bounce,” said Jason Britt, president of Central States Commodities.

Plentiful global stocks have acted as an anchor on the wheat market, alleviating concerns about a drought in the U.S. Plains limiting crop production in that key growing region.

CBOT July soybeans were 1-1/4 cents higher at $14.82-1/2 a bushel after falling 1.3 percent on Tuesday.

CBOT July corn ended down two cents at $4.56-1/4 bushel after hitting a low of $4.55. Prices have dropped 3.4 per cent during the current losing streak.

Commodity Weather Group said on Wednesday that thunderstorms hit the central and northwestern portions of the Midwest in the past day, favouring eastern Nebraska, southwest Iowa and northern Missouri. The forecaster said that flooding and hail damage from the storms, which were severe in some areas, was not widespread.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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