U.S. grains: CBOT wheat falls on profit-taking

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Board of Trade wheat prices fell about two per cent on Monday, extending their slide to four sessions on profit-taking after a run-up to one-year highs last week, analysts said.

Corn and soybeans rose in a light recovery bounce from multimonth lows set last week, and Minneapolis Grain Exchange spring wheat set a 2-1/2-year high on worries about stressful weather hurting production.

CBOT July wheat settled down 9-3/4 cents at $4.50 per bushel (all figures US$). July corn ended up 1-1/4 cents at $3.59 a bushel and July soybeans rose 2-1/4 cents to $9.06-3/4 a bushel.

Wheat posted the biggest percentage move, retreating after the CBOT July contract reached $4.74-3/4 last week, the highest spot price in a year.

“The wheat price in Chicago has fallen … as part of a consolidation process following a steep rise,” Commerzbank analysts said in a note.

MGEX spring wheat rose, bucking declines in CBOT wheat. MGEX July reached $6.75 a bushel, the highest spot spring wheat price in 2-1/2 years, before settling at $6.63-3/4. Dry conditions in the northern Plains crop belt continued to support the spring wheat market.

“There is still evidence of (spring) wheat being torn up. People have come to the conclusion that the only high-protein wheat you can guarantee yourself is taking delivery of Minneapolis July (futures),” said Roy Huckabay with Linn + Associates, a Chicago brokerage.

Corn and soybeans firmed despite forecasts for welcome rains in the U.S. Midwest this week, and expectations for an improvement in weekly U.S. Department of Agriculture crop ratings.

However, after the CBOT close, USDA rated 67 per cent of the U.S. corn crop in good to excellent condition, unchanged from the prior week. Soybean ratings fell, with 66 per cent of the crop rated good to excellent, down from 67 per cent a week earlier.

Traders continued to adjust positions ahead of USDA’s June 30 acreage and quarterly stocks reports, which have a history of jolting the market.

“We are just unwinding positions ahead of Friday,” said Bill Gentry, a broker at Risk Management Commodities. “The market is probably a little oversold and needs to recover. But making a bullish case at this point in time is kind of difficult.”

— Julie Ingwersen is a commodities correspondent for Reuters in Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Colin Packham in Sydney and Gus Trompiz in Paris.

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