Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

U.S. grains: Wheat, corn higher on short-covering

CBOT soy eases

Young Maize Corn Crops Leaves in Field
(Thinkstock photo)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. wheat and corn futures gained on Tuesday, after earlier falls, as investors covered short positions and prepared for government crop data due on Friday.

Wheat steadied after three sessions of declines and corn bounced from three-week lows. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday is expected to show smaller U.S. winter wheat seedings, in the agency’s first forecast for 2018.

Soybean futures were narrowly lower at the Chicago Board of Trade amid analyst expectations that the USDA would boost U.S. soy ending stocks and estimates for Brazilian soy output.

“Rather than rolling over, the wheat market is in more of a correction phase,” EFG Group analyst Tom Fritz said.

CBOT March wheat settled up 4-1/2 cents at $4.32-1/4 per bushel and CBOT March corn 1-3/4 cents higher at $3.49 per bushel (all figures US$).

CBOT March soybeans were down three cents at $9.63-3/4, a decline of 0.3 per cent, pressured in part by a 1.1 per cent drop in CBOT soymeal futures.

Investment funds were net buyers of corn and wheat futures contracts, and net sellers of soybeans, traders said.

The state grain buying agency for top global wheat importer Egypt said it purchased 115,000 tonnes of Russian wheat in a tender. The agency initially received no offers, and then offers for wheat at prices higher than Egypt’s last wheat tender in December.

Stronger wheat prices in Russia helped to support U.S. wheat futures, traders said.

“Premiums have been firm everywhere but Russian stuff… are finally moving higher,” a U.S. wheat trader said.

Warmer temperatures this week in the U.S. Plains had alleviated some concerns that dormant winter wheat plants could be damaged. That weighed on futures on Monday, but some dealers were on the sidelines ahead of the USDA reports, limiting participation in futures trading.

“Overall markets are awaiting the USDA forecasts on Friday, which could be a reminder of large global supplies while the impact of slow U.S. corn and soybean exports could also be seen in stocks,” said Matt Ammermann, commodity risk manager at INTL FCStone.

— Michael Hirtzer reports on commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago; additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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