Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Board of Trade corn futures fell on Monday for a fifth straight session, retreating from early advances as concerns about weak demand pressured the market, traders said.
Soybean futures sagged on larger-than-expected deliveries against futures while wheat futures were mostly higher.
At the CBOT, the most active May corn contract settled down 2-1/2 cents at $3.57 per bushel after dipping to $3.56-3/4 (all figures US$), its lowest level since Jan. 12.
May soy ended down 2-1/2 cents at $8.61 a bushel after falling to chart support at $8.60, its lowest since Jan. 12 as well. May wheat settled up one cent at $4.53-1/4 a bushel.
Corn was pressured in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture reporting export inspections of U.S. corn in the latest week at 737,602 tonnes, in line with trade expectations.
“The inspections were routine-type business, and not enough to change our perception of what ending stocks will be,” said Brian Hoops, president of brokerage and commodity marketing advisory service Midwest Market Solutions.
Also, USDA last week projected that U.S. corn supplies would rise to 12-year highs during the 2016-17 crop year as output gains outstrip demand increases.
Corn futures drew early support after the CBOT reported no deliveries against the March contract on first notice day.
Soybean futures fell on larger-than-expected March soybean deliveries and expectations of large South American harvests.
However, CBOT soymeal futures rose on a short-covering bounce from contract lows set last week.
Wheat futures closed mostly firm, with the spot March contract supported by smaller-than-expected deliveries. But values hovered just a few cents above contract lows set last week, anchored by plentiful global stocks and weak demand for U.S. supplies.
For the month of February, spot wheat futures fell more than 7 percent, the most since November.
“U.S. wheat is still not competitive on the international market, which will lead to higher stocks next year despite a sharp decline… in area,” consultancy Agritel said.
CBOT corn fell nearly five per cent for the month and soybeans fell about three per cent.
— Julie Ingwersen is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Colin Packham and Sybille de La Hamaide.