Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures rose more than two per cent for their biggest daily gain in eight months on Wednesday in a bargain-buying bounce from the prior session’s steep declines and on concerns about tight U.S. supplies ahead of the autumn harvest.
Corn futures were mixed after sinking to an 11-week low earlier in the session, weighed down by this week’s rapid U.S. planting pace and adequate old-crop supplies.
Wheat fell for a 10th session out of 11, with plentiful global supplies giving stiff competition to U.S. exporters.
“Yesterday’s surprising move lower may have been a little bit overdone,” said Rich Nelson, chief strategist with Allendale Inc. in McHenry, Illinois.
Chicago Board of Trade July soybeans rose 35-1/2 cents, or 2.3 per cent, to $15.05-1/4 per bushel, recovering all of Tuesday’s 16-1/2 cent fund-selling drop (all figures US$).
Investment funds bought 9,000 soy contracts during the session, the most in about a month. Funds also bought 1,000 corn contracts and sold 3,000 wheat contracts, trade sources said.
Prices were supported by the tightest U.S. soybean stocks in a decade and persistent demand from both exporters and domestic processors.
New-crop soybean contracts rose on concerns that favourable planting weather throughout much of the U.S. Midwest this week would speed corn seeding and limit the number of acres that farmers switch to soybeans, which can be planted later.
U.S. corn planting has largely caught up to the normal pace after persistent early-season delays, and recent rains were expected to give newly seeded crops a strong start.
“The corn market is oversold after being down five days in a row, but planting progress has improved dramatically with the weather co-operating,” said analyst Jason Roose of U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa.
CBOT July corn was a penny higher at $4.74-1/2 a bushel after sliding earlier on Wednesday to $4.72-1/2, the lowest since March 4.
CBOT July wheat fell 6-1/4 cents, or 0.9 per cent, to $6.64-1/4 a bushel. The contract was hovering near key support levels between $6.60 and $6.65 that held in April and earlier this week.
Wheat traders remained focused on political tensions in major exporter Ukraine ahead of upcoming elections, although grain export volumes have remained largely consistent and importers have not shied away from fresh Black Sea purchases.
Iraq’s state grain board bought 150,000 tonnes of Russian wheat this week. U.S. wheat offers were considerably higher than both Russian and Ukrainian offers in the tender.
— Karl Plume reports on ag commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago, Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.