Chicago | Reuters — U.S. wheat futures rose on Wednesday, led by gains in MGEX spring wheat contracts that firmed on concerns that dry conditions in key growing areas of the northern U.S. Plains and Canada could limit the size of the harvests.
Soybean futures were lower as improving crop prospects in the U.S. Midwest outweighed news of a fresh export sale to China.
Corn futures were mostly weaker after the top U.S. production state of Iowa received much needed rain, traders said.
But crops in the northern U.S. Plains and parts of Canada remained dry.
“The spring wheat crop is in bad shape, and the forecast leaves it largely high and dry on both sides of the border,” Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist at StoneX, said in a note to clients.
MGEX spring wheat for September delivery settled up 19-1/2 cents at $8.02-1/4 a bushel (all figures US$). CBOT September soft red winter wheat, the most-active wheat contract that tracks the crop being harvested in the eastern Midwest, was 8-3/4 cents higher at $6.63-3/4 a bushel.
“The weather is a tale of two cities, the east is wet, but the northern plains continue to be dry,” Charlie Sernatinger, global head of grain futures at ED+F Man Capital, said in a note to clients. “The word from the fields out there is that the wheat is toast in the Dakotas.”
CBOT November soybeans were two cents lower at $13.00-1/4 a bushel. CBOT December corn was 3-1/4 cents lower at $5.35-3/4 a bushel. “Rains across the Midwest will have helped crops, but to what extent nobody knows,” said one Melbourne-based grains trader.
The front-month July corn contract was 4-1/2 cents higher at $6.64-1/4 a bushel after finding technical support at its 50-day moving average.
— Reporting for Reuters by Mark Weinraub in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Canberra.