Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

U.S. grains: Wheat lifted on spring planting concerns

Near-term tightness in world supply underpins soy, corn

mgex may wheat
MGEX May 2021 spring wheat (candlesticks) with 20-day moving average (gray line) and CBOT May 2021 wheat (orange line). (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago wheat futures gained on Wednesday, following the Minneapolis Grain Exchange’s hard red spring wheat higher on concerns that dryness across the U.S. Great Plains could affect spring wheat plantings.

Chicago corn gained ahead of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s monthly supply and demand report on Friday, which is expected to show strong exports further drawing down corn stockpiles. Soybeans slid as the South American harvest progressed.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade ended 3/4 cent higher at $6.16-1/4 per bushel, while MGEX May spring wheat gained 13-1/2 cents to $6.24-1/2 per bushel (all figures US$).

CBOT soybeans fell 10 cents to $14.08-3/4 per bushel, while CBOT corn added 6-1/4 cents to $5.60-1/2 per bushel.

Spring wheat seeding across the U.S. upper Great Plains and Canadian Prairies has been hampered by extreme dryness that could negatively affect yields, said Brian Hoops, senior market analyst at Midwest Market Solutions, noting that some farmers could move away from wheat.

“They could prolong planting decisions and go to soybeans,” he said, “but they need some rain.”

Meanwhile, corn and soybeans struggled to find direction as traders watch for USDA to adjust grain usage in its monthly supply and demand assessment.

The agency may wait to see whether grain exports catch up with recent sales before reducing stocks, said Joe Vaclavik, president of Standard Grain.

“We’ve still got a lot of shipping to do, in terms of corn, if we’re going to get anywhere near these targets,” he said.

Brazil’s soybean harvest is poised for a record yield, pressuring the U.S. oilseed market.

Brazil looks to export 16.3 million tonnes of soybeans in April, up from 14.2 million acres a year ago, as well as 22,000 tonnes of corn, according to Brazilian grain export association ANEC.

The U.S. corn markets found support as Brazil’s second-crop corn planting could see yields trimmed by an estimated 3.6 per cent this year, Agroconsult said.

— Reporting for Reuters by Christopher Walljasper in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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