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U.S. grains: Corn, soy, wheat end higher after choppy trade

planting corn
A farmer plants corn near Ashland, Ill., northwest of Springfield, on April 14, 2016. (Photo: DMathies/iStock/Getty Images)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn futures rose on Tuesday, supported by concerns that rains in the U.S. Midwest will stall the tail end of planting, traders said.

Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures firmed, snapping a four-session losing streak on short-covering and bargain buying.

Soybean futures also closed firm after trading in negative territory for much of the day, underpinned by easing concerns about trade tensions with China as well as a strong U.S. crush report.

Chicago Board of Trade July soft red winter wheat futures settled up 2-1/4 cents at $4.93-1/2 a bushel (all figures US$). K.C. July hard red winter wheat, which had fallen for the seven previous sessions, ended flat at $5.09-3/4 a bushel.

Ample global supplies and improving crop conditions kept a bearish tone on the wheat market.

The U.S. Agriculture Department on Monday afternoon said the U.S. winter wheat crop was rated 36 per cent good to excellent as of May 14, up two percentage points from a week earlier.

Additionally, wheat stocks remained plentiful, and demand for U.S. supplies was light, keeping pressure on the market as the U.S. harvest nears.

“We still have wheat coming out of ours ears (and) the recent rains may improve the ratings a little bit,” said Dewey Strickler, president of Ag Watch Market Advisors.

CBOT July corn ended up 5-4/4 cents at $4.02-1/4 a bushel.

“Corn is stronger despite swift progress in U.S. plantings, which brought U.S. progress to around normal levels,” said Charles Clack, agricultural commodity analyst at Rabobank. “There is also worry about persistent dryness in Brazil.”

USDA pegged corn planting progress at 62 per cent, up from 39 per cent a week earlier. The five-year average for mid-May is 63 per cent.

CBOT July soybean futures ended one cent higher at $10.18-3/4 a bushel.

The U.S. soybean crush in April jumped by almost 16 per cent from the same month a year ago as soybean plants processed their largest-ever volume of beans for the month of April, the National Oilseed Processors Association said.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago; additional reporting by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago, Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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