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U.S. grains: Wheat climbs on short-covering, wet weather

Corn mixed, soybeans finish volatile session lower

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Reuters — Chicago wheat rose on Tuesday, lifted by short-covering and concerns about unfavourable rains for maturing U.S. crops.

Corn ended mixed and soybeans finished a volatile session lower, with corn weakened by spread trades against wheat and soybeans down on technical selling.

Chicago Board of Trade July wheat added two cents, or 0.6 per cent, to $4.64 a bushel (all figures US$).

“I think the heavier-than-expected rain in hard red wheat country is maybe giving us a pop,” said Mike Zuzolo, president of Global Commodity Analytics.

Showers in the U.S. Plains winter wheat belt will diminish in the southwest the rest of this week allowing some improvement in harvest conditions, but southeastern areas remain unfavourably wet, Commodity Weather Group said.

“Weather forecasters continue to expect more rain on U.S. hard red winter wheat crops this week,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “The market will have some concerns about quality and yields.”

Chicago July corn eased 1/4 cent to $3.97-1/2 a bushel, losing on trades against wheat on expectations that livestock operations might replace some corn in livestock feed rations with wheat this summer, traders said.

Even so, corn drew early support from strong prospects for U.S. export sales, said Dan Cekander, president of DC Analysis.

“There is ongoing U.S. old-crop corn export business, because we are competitive,” he said.

The U.S. corn crop was 86 per cent planted by Sunday, ahead of the five-year average of 85 per cent but behind an average of analyst expectations for 88 per cent.

Chicago’s July soybean contract lost 3-3/4 cents to $10.54-3/4 a bushel, having closed 1.5 per cent lower on Monday.

Soybeans were pressured by technical selling as soymeal pared gains. Soymeal, a livestock feed ingredient produced along with soyoil when soybeans are crushed, rallied last week on worries about Argentina’s soybean harvest following April floods.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported on Tuesday the sale of 140,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to unknown destinations for 2016-17 delivery, matching another sale on Monday.

The deal gave the market an early nudge higher, said Terry Reilly, senior commodity analyst at Futures International.

Rod Nickel is a Reuters correspondent covering the agriculture and mining sectors from Winnipeg. Additional reporting for Reuters by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago, Naveen Thukral in Singapore, Gus Trompiz in Paris and Jessica Macy Yu in Beijing.

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