U.S. grains: Rain pushes corn to 12 per cent weekly drop

Soybeans, wheat hesitant as dry northern U.S. still a concern

CBOT December 2021 corn (candlesticks) with Bollinger bands (20,2) and September 2021 corn (yellow open/high/low/close). (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago corn futures dipped on Friday, losing 12 per cent for the week as rain and moderate temperatures were expected to boost U.S. Midwest crops.

Wheat followed lower, but was propped up by drier conditions across the northern U.S. Plains, while soybeans inched higher on long-term forecasts returning to hot, dry weather.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) lost 6-3/4 cents to $5.17 per bushel, dropping 12.22 per cent for the week, its biggest drop since the week ended May 14 (all figures US$).

CBOT soybeans added 9-3/4 cents to end at $13.29-1/4 per bushel, but fell 4.99 per cent for the week, while CBOT wheat eased three cents to $6.15 per bushel, falling 5.78 per cent for the week.

Weather forecasts showing substantial rainfall across the Midwest along with moderate heat changed the corn market’s sentiment this week, encouraging the possibility that strong yields could offset shortfalls in planted area.

“Having all this rain during (corn) pollination and cooler temperatures are really ideal for yield potential,” said Brian Hoops, senior market analyst at Midwest Market Solutions.

Grain markets consolidated ahead of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s monthly supply and demand forecasts, expected to show an increased corn carryout.

“Does USDA lower the yield some, based on the dryness in the western states?” said Chuck Shelby, president at Risk Management Commodities. “That would probably neutralize some of the increase in acres.”

Some traders say the agency is unlikely to change yield or export projections this early in the season.

“The trade is expecting that the USDA is going to take a very conservative approach, not make any major changes to the balance sheets because it’s still early,” said Hoops.

Soybeans were supported by a daily flash sale of 228,600 tonnes of soybeans to Mexico, while weather remains a risk, as key development stages for the oilseed are still weeks away.

“The beans need more rains in August to know what their yields going to be,” said Shelby.

Weekly corn export sales totaled 371,400 tonnes for the week ended July 1, while soybeans export sales totaled 182,300 tonnes, and wheat sales totaled 290,800 tonnes, according to USDA — all in line with market expectations.

— Reporting for Reuters by Christopher Walljasper; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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