U.S. grains: Futures rebound on short covering, pre-report positioning

Wheat bounces from two-month low

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean and grain futures firmed on Wednesday in a short-covering rebound from prior session losses and as investors took positions ahead of a monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) supply and demand report on Thursday.

Wheat, which hit a two-month low this week, posted the strongest advance, while improving crop weather in South America kept a lid on gains in corn and soy.

“We’re seeing some short covering ahead of the report tomorrow,” said Brian Hoops, president of Midwest Market Solutions.

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“We should see some strength going into the report as we look for small ending stocks changes domestically and globally. We could see some production decreases in Argentina and Brazil as well,” he said.

The report is slated for release on Thursday at 11 a.m. CT.

Chicago Board of Trade March wheat futures were 13-1/4 cents higher at $5.83-1/4 a bushel (all figures US$). January soybeans were up 12-3/4 cents at $11.58-1/2 a bushel while March corn rose four cents to $4.23-3/4 a bushel.

Improving crop weather in South America tempered concerns about tightening global corn and soybean supplies following strong U.S. export sales of both commodities. While soybean sales have slowed in recent weeks, corn sales remain robust.

USDA on Wednesday confirmed private sales of 257,071 tonnes of U.S. corn to Mexico, the latest is a series of large purchases by major importers.

More rain is expected across Brazil and northern Argentina in the week ahead although southern Argentina may miss out, weather forecasts showed.

“South American weather continues to be favourable enough to keep crop worries from evolving into lower crop forecasts for now,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

— Karl Plume reports on agriculture and ag commodities for Reuters from Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Sydney.

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