U.S. grains: Soy rallies to one-week high, wheat falls to one-month low

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures climbed to a one-week high on Wednesday on technical buying and data showing U.S. processors crushed more soybeans in March than analysts expected.

Corn followed soybeans higher while wheat fell to a one-month low, extending this week’s losses on forecasts for drought-relieving showers in the U.S. Plains.

At the CBOT, May soybean futures settled up 4-3/4 cents at $9.65 per bushel, after trading as high as $9.76-3/4 (all figures US$).

May wheat ended down 6-1/4 cents at $4.90-3/4 a bushel while May corn rose 2-1/2 cents at $3.76 a bushel.

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Soybeans climbed on short-covering ahead of monthly data from the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA). The trade group said its members crushed 162.8 million bushels of soybeans in March, well above the average trade estimate of 155.3 million.

However, the market pared gains after the NOPA data was released.

“While NOPA was supportive, it’s significant that it did not drive us higher,” said Arlan Suderman, market analyst with Water Street Solutions.

“The (soybean) rally we have seen the last couple days was mostly technical in nature. Long term, we still have bearish fundamentals,” Suderman said, noting that Argentina’s Rosario Grains Exchange raised its forecast of the country’s soybean harvest to 59 million tonnes, from 58 million previously.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has projected global soybean stocks to reach a record high 89.55 million tonnes by the end of the 2014-15 marketing year.

CBOT corn followed soybeans higher, with background support from worries about excessive rain slowing planting in the U.S. Southeast.

“We are probably going to lose some acres in the (Mississippi River) Delta; probably upwards of 500,000 would not be out of line,” said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Wheat fell for a third straight session, with front-month CBOT futures setting a one-month low at $4.90 as forecasts predicted rains late this week in dry areas of the Plains wheat belt.

“The wheat market continues to be anchored by the improved weather,” said Roose.

The Commodity Weather Group forecast total rainfall through Sunday in the U.S. hard red winter wheat belt at one to five centimetres, with local accumulations of up to 11 cm.

Julie Ingwersen 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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