U.S. grains: Futures see ‘dead cat bounce’

Traders watching potential for increase grain export demand

CBOT December 2021 wheat (candlesticks) with 20-, 50- and 100-day moving averages (yellow, orange and dark green lines). (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago corn and soybean futures prices crept up on Thursday, finding chart support after sharp losses over the past two sessions on higher-than-expected U.S. grain supply forecasts.

It has been a rocky week for the corn and soybean markets. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tuesday released estimates of both crops in the United States that were above average analyst expectations, adding to supply pressure from a brisk start to the harvest season and sending futures prices plummeting.

But by Thursday, said traders, the market began steadying as investors showed some buying interest.

Wheat futures, which were dragged lower on Tuesday by losses in corn, also inched upward, underpinned by strong demand from importers and tightening availability in major exporting countries.

“What we’re seeing today is a dead cat bounce because we were too oversold,” said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Still, traders said they remain somewhat cautious about making big moves in grains due to uncertainty about what the export pace will be in the coming weeks.

“The supply side of the market is a bearish story,” Roose said. “But we’ve been seeing buying over the last two days, and that could be bullish if export sales pick up on grains.”

U.S. exporters sold 132,000 tonnes of soybeans for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2021-22 marketing year, USDA reported on Thursday.

And on Wednesday, the agency said U.S. exporters sold 330,000 tonnes of soybeans for delivery to China during the 2021-22 marketing year, and 161,544 tonnes of corn for delivery to unknown destinations during the same period.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) settled the day up 4.5 cents at $5.16-3/4 a bushel (all figures US$).

CBOT soybeans settled the day up 11 cents at $12.06-1/4 a bushel. CBOT wheat settled up six cents to $7.24-3/4 a bushel.

— Reporting for Reuters by P.J. Huffstutter in Chicago, Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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