Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures dropped 1.9 per cent on Thursday, falling from their highest in more than five years, as traders locked in profits ahead of a key U.S. government report.
Soybeans and corn also eased from recent peaks but losses were kept in check by strong export demand.
Traders said investment funds were squaring positions ahead the U.S. Agriculture Department’s monthly world agricultural supply and demand estimates (WASDE) and crop production reports that will be released on Friday. Analysts expected the report would show a lower government forecast for U.S. corn and soybean harvests.
A fresh round of export deals, which included sales to China and Mexico underpinned soybeans. Additionally, USDA said weekly soybean export sales totaled 2.591 million tonnes last week, the fifth straight week in which sales have topped two million tonnes.
“We had the great exports this morning,” said Mark Gold, founder of Top Third Ag Marketing.
Chicago Board of Trade November soybean futures settled down one cent at $10.50 a bushel (all figures US$). Prices peaked at $10.69, the highest since March 8, 2018.
Deferred soybean contracts posted bigger losses on forecasts for a big crop in Brazil that should keep global stocks ample even amid strong export demand.
CBOT December corn dropped 1-3/4 cents to $3.87 after topping out at $3.94-1/2, the highest for the most-active contract since Oct. 18.
USDA said corn export sales for the week were 1.226 million tonnes, near the high end of market expectations.
CBOT December wheat was 12-1/4 cents lower at $5.95-1/4 a bushel. Wheat rallied 6.5 per cent during the previous four sessions. The most-active contract hit its highest since June 30, 2015 overnight.
— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.