Chicago | Reuters — Chicago corn futures dipped to a four-week low on Wednesday as the grain markets continued to feel pressure from higher than expected forecasts of U.S. supplies, traders said.
Soybean futures fell further, a day after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projected U.S. soybean and corn ending stocks were above the average of analyst estimates.
Wheat fell on a flurry of profit-taking, a day after prices rallied on a lower-than-expected assessment of global wheat supplies.
That in turn prompted the market to closely watch whether Chinese buyers will rush into the market.
U.S. exporters sold 330,000 tonnes of soybeans for delivery to China during the 2021-2022 marketing year, and 161,544 tonnes of corn for delivery to unknown destinations during the same period, according to the USDA.
Yet overall corn exports have been easing in recent weeks, which has been a warning to traders looking closely at overall U.S. grain demand, said Karl Setzer, commodity risk analyst at Agrivisor.
“The corn crop is better than we thought, and we’re not seeing China buying much of anything,” Setzer said. “Right now, the trade doesn’t believe the USDA corn demand numbers, and we have a huge crop coming in this harvest.”
The most active corn contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) settled the day down 10-1/4 cents at $5.12-1/4 (all figures US$). Earlier in the session, prices dropped to the lowest since Sept. 10.
Wheat settled down 15-1/4 cents at $7.18-3/4 a bushel.
China’s soybean imports in September fell 30 per cent from the previous year, customs data showed on Wednesday, as poor crush margins curbed demand.
However, availability of supplies from the ongoing U.S. harvest are expected to trigger some renewed Chinese demand going forward, traders said. Rallying vegetable oil prices also lent some support on the day to oilseed markets.
The most active CBOT soybean contract settled the day down three cents to $11.95-1/4 a bushel, continuing to hover at its lowest levels since December 2020.
— Reporting for Reuters by P.J. Huffstutter in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singpaore.