Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn and wheat futures ticked higher on Wednesday, supported by a round of bargain buying and short-covering after posting sharp declines a day earlier, traders said.
Soybean futures weakened to their lowest level since July 14, with forecasts in key growing areas of the U.S. Midwest calling for rains that will shepherd the crop through critical stages of development weighing on the market.
The gains in corn and wheat were limited by expectations that supplies of both crops will remain burdensome.
“The grains had nowhere to go but up this morning after an ugly finish yesterday,” Matt Zeller, director of market information at StoneX, said in a note to clients “Massive U.S. crop prospects remain the elephant in the room.”
Chicago Board of Trade September soft red winter wheat settled up 2-1/2 cents at $5.10-3/4 a bushel (all figures US$).
Egypt bought Russian and Ukrainian wheat in its latest tender. There were no U.S. supplies offered in the deal.
CBOT December corn ended three cents higher at $3.23-1/4 a bushel, with bargain hunters drawn in after the contract made a new low on Tuesday.
Chart support levels and a sharp fall in the dollar against a basket of currencies helped grain futures, but analysts saw limited immediate upside to prices.
“The market is running out of time for any weather event to curb the huge prospective U.S. crop,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
CBOT November soybeans were down three cents at $8.78-3/4 a bushel.
Some wet weather was in the forecast for next week in Iowa, said Kyle Tapley, agriculture meteorologist at Maxar. The outlook eased lingering concerns about dry conditions limiting yield potential in that state.
Traders shrugged off the U.S. Agriculture Department’s announcement of a sale of 192,000 tonnes of soybeans to China.
— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.