Chicago | Reuters — U.S. wheat futures weakened for a second consecutive day on Thursday, with technical sellers pushing prices lower after the market failed to hold support at key chart points, traders said.
K.C. hard red winter wheat led the declines, sinking 1.2 per cent, as improving moisture conditions in the U.S. Plains boosted prospects for the crop that is currently being seeded there.
Corn and soybeans were also lower. Ample supplies from the U.S. harvest as well as easing concerns about weather in South America kept a bearish tone hanging over the market.
“The markets are trying to make a transition from the focus being on the harvest here in the United States to South American weather,” said Dewey Strickler, president of Ag Watch Market Advisors. “We do not have any real weather issues.”
Chicago Board of Trade December soft red winter wheat futures ended down 3-3/4 cents at $4.31-3/4 a bushel (all figures US$). A wave of technical selling hit the market after prices briefly topped the 20-day moving average.
K.C. hard red winter wheat for December delivery sank 5-1/4 cents to $4.28-1/4 cents, its third straight day of declines.
Traders also continued to lock in profits from the wheat market’s run-up to a 2-1/2 week high on Wednesday.
“Fundamentals haven’t really changed, there are ample supplies and we don’t see a big rally from here,” said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank.
CBOT November soybeans were down 4-1/4 cents at $9.71-1/4 a bushel while CBOT December corn was 1/2 cent lower at $3.50-1/2 a bushel.
Traders noted support for soybeans at the 40-day moving average. Corn faced resistance at its 40-day moving average.
Weakness in soymeal, stemming from falling values on the cash market amid an abundance of crushing supplies at processors, also weighed on soybean prices.
The U.S. Agriculture Department on Thursday morning reported weekly soybean export sales of 2.13 million tonnes, topping forecasts that ranged from 1.3 million to 1.7 million tonnes.
Wheat export sales were 390,600 tonnes, compared to forecasts that ranged from 250,000 tonnes to 450,000 tonnes. Corn export sales of 1.39 million tonnes were above trade estimates that ranged from 800,000 tonnes to one million tonnes.
— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago; additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris.