U.S. grains: Wheat falls to contract lows on fund selling

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures fell about one per cent to life-of-contract lows on Thursday, weighed down by investment fund short selling and abundant global supplies, traders said.

Corn futures also eased but held just above Wednesday’s multimonth lows while soybean futures gained on strong Chinese demand and as rains this week missed some growing regions in the U.S. Midwest.

Declines in equities markets also pressured agriculture commodities amid uncertainty over the Trump administration’s economic agenda and after a van crash killed more than a dozen people in Spain.

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“It’s just bearish all the way around. There’s a little bit of a risk-off (trade),” said Arlan Suderman, grains analyst at INTL FCStone.

CBOT September wheat futures notched a contract low of $4.12-1/4 per bushel, before settling 5-1/4 cents lower at $4.14 (all figures US$). Wheat on a continuous chart was the lowest since April 27.

Weekly U.S. wheat export sales of 633,600 tonnes topped analyst estimates for 300,000 to 600,000 tonnes, U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed.

But no U.S. wheat was offered to Egypt in a tender on Wednesday. Forecasters were expecting a record Russian wheat crop and the bumper volume was reflected in a long list of offers in the Egypt tender in which the world’s largest wheat importer booked 295,000 tonnes of Russian wheat and 60,000 tonnes of Ukraine wheat.

“Fundamentals are bearish for wheat, supplies are really good overall and it is a buyer’s market,” said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank, said.

Corn down, soy up

CBOT December corn finished 2-1/4 cents lower at $3.64-1/4 per bushel, above the roughly 10-month low of $3.63-1/4 from the previous session.

CBOT November soybeans gained 7-3/4 cents to $9.33 per bushel, rising for the second straight session after hitting more than a one-month low on Wednesday.

Some traders were selling corn and buying soybeans after recent announcements of soybean sales to China.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said 165,000 tonnes of soybeans were sold to China within the past 24 hours, supplies that could be shipped out of the United States or another country.

A trade delegation of Chinese importers earlier this week signed deals to buy 3.8 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans.

— Michael Hirtzer reports on commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris.

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