Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures rose on Wednesday, recouping a portion of heavy losses from a day earlier, as a lower-than-expected U.S. crop rating tempered hopes that rain will improve field conditions.
Rains from Friday into next week will offer timely moisture for corn that will be in the key pollination stage of development across much of the U.S. Midwest, according to weather firm Commodity Weather Group.
Some traders said Tuesday’s sell-off in soybean futures was overdone, however, because the crop’s key stage of development arrives in August. That means farms could still face threats from unfavourable weather.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in a weekly report issued after the grain markets closed on Tuesday, surprised traders by lowering its good-to-excellent rating for the nation’s soybean crop to 59 per cent from 60.
“The trade was actually caught a bit off guard by the one per cent drop in the condition rating and that is supporting prices,” said Tomm Pfitzenmaier, analyst for Summit Commodity Brokerage in Iowa.
Most-active soybean futures ended up 22-1/4 cents at $13.27-1/4 a bushel, after sinking 94 cents on Tuesday (all figures US$).
Corn futures dropped 8-3/4 cents to $5.31 a bushel, after tumbling by their daily 40-cent limit on Tuesday on the outlook for improving U.S. crop weather.
Wheat finished 3-3/4 cents lower at $6.22-1/4 a bushel at the CBOT.
At MGEX, September spring wheat futures jumped 14-3/4 cents, to $8.08 a bushel, after USDA on Tuesday cut its rating for the drought-hit U.S. spring wheat crop more than expected.
Traders are waiting for USDA to issue monthly data on global grain supplies and demand on Monday.
In China, farmers have sharply increased corn planting in a trend that is likely to cool the country’s recent rampant appetite for imports.
— Reporting for Reuters by Tom Polansek in Chicago, Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Canberra.