U.S. grains: Soy, corn down on improved weather

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn futures fell for the first time in three sessions and soybeans fell for a second straight day on Wednesday, with prices weighed down by forecasts of dry weather in parts of the U.S. Midwest that lifted hopes for improved crop conditions.

“This short-term warm weather can lead to a bloom for these grains,” said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities.

Wheat turned upward as Canadian acreage numbers were released, and the numbers came in just below the range of trade expectations.

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Chicago Board Of Trade September corn futures ended down 3-1/2 cents at $4.49-1/2 per bushel (all figures US$). July soybeans futures ended down 9-1/4 cents at $8.94-1/4 a bushel and September wheat futures ended with a gain of 6-1/2 cents at $5.46-1/2 a bushel.

Updated weather forecasts suggest farmers may have a chance to plant more acres of soybeans this week ahead of the next wave of storms.

Hotter temperatures over the next 10 days would also help bolster crops that have been planted, particularly corn, which is well behind the normal pace of development, forecasters said.

“This weather pattern may not be a sustained change,” said Joel Widenor, meteorologist with the Commodity Weather Group. “Looking beyond the next 10 days, the weather dips again.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Monday 96 per cent of corn and 77 per cent of soybeans have been planted. At the same point last year, all U.S. corn acres and 93 per cent of soybeans were planted.

USDA also rated 56 per cent of the U.S. corn crop in good-to-excellent condition, down from 59 per cent last week and behind market expectations of 59 per cent.

Some 54 per cent of U.S. soybeans were seen in good-to-excellent condition, below expectations of 59 per cent. USDA said 61 per cent of U.S. winter wheat was in good-to-excellent condition, down from 64 per cent last week.

The agency is due to issue acreage report on Friday. This report will update planting intentions numbers from March.

Wheat prices shrugged off pressure from improved harvest weather in the U.S. Plains and Midwest, jumping to session highs after Statistics Canada released new wheat acreage estimates.

The market has also been supported by hot weather in parts of Europe and the Black Sea region.

Conditions for Russia’s spring wheat harvest are generally good or satisfactory with only a few areas affected by a heat wave that has hit some parts of the country, state weather forecaster Hydrometcentre said on Tuesday.

Reporting for Reuters by Barbara Smith in Chicago; additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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