U.S. grains: Soybeans, corn drop as wheat edges higher

soybean harvest
(Photo courtesy United Soybean Board)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures fell on Tuesday for the second day in a row, hitting a one-week low as traders locked in profits from last week’s rally.

Corn futures sank 1.4 per cent, as the latest weather outlook called for dry conditions in the Midwest that will allow farmers to pick up the pace of seeding next week.

Some concerns about demand following the release of disappointing export data and a bearish monthly crush report on Monday added pressure to the soy complex, traders said. Improving weather in Argentina also contributed to worries that supplies will outstrip global needs as the harvest in South America progresses.

“Soybeans are lower, with modest followthrough selling developing on the heels of Monday’s bearish reversal from two-week highs,” Farm Futures senior analyst Bryce Knorr said in a note to clients. “Sluggish demand news added to weather concerns.”

The weakness in corn and soy weighed on wheat, but it still eked out a small gain on short-covering.

Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures ended down 7-1/4 cents at $9.46 a bushel, closing above session lows (all figures US$).

Monday’s “key soybean demand metrics both came in above their comparable numbers last year, but firmly on the disappointing end of trade estimates,” Matt Zeller, director of market information at INTL FCStone, said in a note to clients.

The National Oilseed Processors Association said on Monday that U.S. processors crushed fewer soybeans than expected during March at 153.06 million bushels.

Argentina experienced drier weather over the holiday weekend, and weather forecasters expect that will continue over the next two weeks, according to Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

“Consequently, it’s looking less and less likely that Argentina will see a repeat of last year’s widespread flood-related crop losses,” Gorey said.

CBOT May wheat was 1-1/2 cents higher at $4.22-1/2 a bushel. The market had traded in negative territory, but held support near the 10-day low touched on Monday.

CBOT May corn dropped 4-3/4 cents at $3.61-3/4 a bushel.

Some six per cent of U.S. corn had been planted as of April 16 compared with the five-year average of nine per cent, USDA said on Monday. Analysts had expected the planting report would show eight per cent of acreage had been seeded.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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