Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn futures rose 1.9 per cent to a one-week high on Monday, recovering from overnight weakness after a U.S. government report showed that export demand for the grain remained high.
Soybean and wheat futures also were firm after trading in negative territory during the overnight session.
A weekly U.S. Agriculture Department report showed corn export inspections of 2.204 million tonnes, up from 1.673 million tonnes in the prior week. That topped analysts’ expectations, which ranged from 1.2 million to 1.9 million tonnes.
“That probably is one of the catalysts that jump-started this thing,” said Mark Schultz, chief market analyst at Northstar Commodity.
Slow farmer sales of corn in recent weeks added to the strength, showing that the market needed to rally above recent highs to pry supplies from growers in order to meet demand on the export market, Schultz added.
Chicago Board of Trade corn for May delivery settled up 10-1/2 cents at $5.49-1/2 a bushel (all figures US$).
CBOT wheat was up 6-1/2 cents at $6.45 a bushel.
Traders noted bargain buying in wheat after the most-active contract hit its lowest level on a continuous basis since Feb. 12 overnight.
But gains were limited as some much-needed rain fell in the U.S. Plains during the weekend.
“We got plenty of moisture over the southern Plains over the weekend, and especially over Kansas,” Charlie Sernatinger, global head of grain futures at ED+F Man Capital, said in a note to clients.
USDA will provide an update of the condition of the wheat crop in key Plains states on Monday afternoon.
CBOT May soybeans were up 6-1/4 cents at $14.19-1/2 a bushel.
The U.S. soybean crush was well below trade expectations in February, sinking to the lowest in 17 months, according to data released by the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) on Monday.
— Reporting for Reuters by Mark Weinraub; additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.