Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures firmed on Wednesday on seasonal strength as the Midwest harvest wound down and a jump in soyoil tied to an unexpected monthly drawdown in domestic supplies, traders said.
Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures fell nearly two per cent, nearing contract lows, in a technical sell-off. Corn futures firmed after the most-active December contract dipped to $3.37 per bushel, its lowest in a year (all figures US$).
CBOT January soybeans settled up 8-1/2 cents at $9.76-1/4 a bushel. December wheat ended down eight cents at $4.20 while December corn was finished up 3/4 cent at $3.38-1/4.
Soybeans rose as the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) said its members crushed 164.2 million bushels of U.S. soybeans in October, the fifth highest monthly total on record, in line with trade expectations.
Seasonally, soybean futures tend to climb after the U.S. harvest ends and farmer selling slows down, said Brian Hoops of Midwest Market Solutions.
“We are seeing a bounce, and some bargain-hunting, anticipating that. (And) NOPA came out in line with expectations, near record highs,” Hoops said.
CBOT soyoil futures surged after NOPA pegged soyoil stocks at the end of the month at 1.224 billion lbs., a decline from 1.302 billion at the end of September, bucking trade expectations for an increase.
Also bullish for futures, a senior executive at Cofco Corp. forecast that China, the biggest global soy buyer, will import 100 million tonnes of soybeans in 2017-18, topping official U.S. and Chinese estimates.
Corn futures had underlying support from commodity funds holding a large net short position, leaving the market open to bouts of short-covering.
The slide in CBOT wheat futures did not appear to be tied to any major fundamental factors, traders said.
After the CBOT close, top global wheat importer Egypt set a tender to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for shipment from Jan. 1-10. Results were expected on Thursday.
— Julie Ingwersen is a commodities correspondent for Reuters in Chicago.