U.S. grains: Wheat rebounds on weather abroad

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago wheat futures rose on Thursday, rebounding after two days of deep losses, with support from dry weather that is expected to reduce yields in Russia and Australia.

Traders said they are monitoring wet conditions in the southern U.S. Plains and Midwest that threaten winter wheat quality, as well as the spillover impact of ongoing trade tensions between the United States and Mexico.

Thursday’s market is being driven — as it has been in recent days — by two elements: weather and trade uncertainty.

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Corn and soybean futures were faced with choppy trading as the weather outlook across the U.S. Midwest continues to show a slightly wider-than-expected window for farmers to plant crops.

Soybeans headed lower for a second straight session on a slight improvement in Midwest weather this week that could benefit planting progress.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported export sales of U.S. soybeans in the week to May 30 at 583,700 tonnes (old- and new-crop years combined), in line with trade expectations.

Corn futures also slipped early in the day after a USDA report on export sales of U.S. corn fell far below trade expectations. In the week to May 30, U.S. exporters sold 14,800 tonnes, including net cancellations of 8,700 tonnes of old-crop corn and net sales of 23,500 tonnes of new-crop corn.

The market also continued to worry about U.S. trade tensions with Mexico, a top buyer of U.S. corn.

Mexican importers, who usually buy their corn from the United States, have booked a 35,000-tonne corn cargo from Brazil amid a trade spat between Washington and Mexico City.

Corn futures recovered a bit, thanks to spillover support in the wheat market, which also helped soybeans pare losses early in the session, said Terry Reilly, senior commodities analyst with Futures International.

“Regardless of anything, the U.S. planting delays are still supportive for corn,” Reilly said.

The most active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade settled Thursday at $5.10 a bushel, up 4.28 per cent (all figures US$).

USDA reported that U.S. exporters sold 476,000 tonnes of wheat for the period ended May 30, within the range estimated in a Reuters survey.

Chicago soybeans closed the day down 0.14 per cent to $8.68-3/4 a bushel, while corn settled up 1.51 per cent to $4.20-1/2 a bushel.

— P.J. Huffstutter reports on agriculture and agribusiness for Reuters from Chicago; additional reporting by Nigel Hunt in London and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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