U.S. grains: Corn drops to six-week low

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn futures tumbled to the lowest in six weeks on Thursday and soybeans fell for a fourth straight day as forecasts for crop boosting rains across the U.S. Midwest reinforced prospects for bumper crops this year.

Technical selling as futures fell below recent lows added pressure, sending some new-crop corn contracts to life-of-contract lows.

Wheat was mixed as short-covering lifted some contracts, though gains were capped by an accelerating winter crop harvest and a firming dollar, which makes U.S. exports less attractive on the global market.

Economic concerns over rising novel coronavirus infections in the United States anchored grain prices in general, although equities and crude oil markets, which pressured grains a day earlier, recovered some of Wednesday’s steep losses.

“Weather models got wetter overnight,” said Mike Zuzolo, president of Global Commodity Analytics. “The ethanol correction from the energies is adding to some liquidation pressure as well.”

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) July corn fell seven cents to $3.17-1/4 a bushel in the steepest percentage drop in two months (all figures US$). The December 2020 through July 2021 contract posted contract lows.

July soybeans settled 1-1/2 cents lower at $8.69-1/4 a bushel. The contract broke through chart support at its 100-day moving average, but closed near that key technical level.

CBOT July soft red winter wheat rose 5-1/2 cents to $4.86.75 a bushel. Deferred-month futures were mostly lower, as were KC hard red winter wheat futures and Minneapolis spring wheat futures.

Traders also squared positions ahead of next week’s U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) quarterly grain stocks and U.S. planted acres reports.

Analysts polled by Reuters expect, on average, a modest shift in plantings from corn to soybeans and the second-largest June 1 soybean supply on record.

Adding pressure to grains, the International Grains Council on Thursday raised its forecast for global wheat and corn production.

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

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