Chicago | Reuters — Chicago wheat futures slid again on Thursday, dropping to their lowest in more than eight months amid a bumper U.S. harvest and well-timed European rains.
Soybeans and corn edged higher, on technical trading and signs weather may not be so crop-friendly across the U.S. Corn Belt in coming days.
The most-active soybeans contract on the Chicago Board of Trade settled up 0.2 per cent at $8.73 a bushel; corn ended up 0.23 per cent, to $3.31 a bushel (all figures US$).
The most-active CBOT wheat contract settled down 1.07 per cent at $4.83-1/2 a bushel.
Traders said wheat futures also faced pressure from news Egypt’s state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), bought 240,000 tonnes of wheat from Russia, Romania and Ukraine in an international purchase tender.
For corn futures, traders said some weather forecasts are calling for less rain than expected in the week ahead, which could stress crops.
Earlier in the session, corn futures also saw some support from market talk of Chinese buyers potentially interested in buying U.S. ethanol, three traders said. As of Thursday morning, there was no confirmation of any such export sales.
Soybeans were bolstered by stronger than expected export demand, and the fact that South American supplies are shrinking amid aggressive Chinese buying, traders said.
“Brazil is going to exhaust their soybean supplies earlier this year than normal, and they’ve been seeing record sales in April and May,” said Joe Vaclavik, president of Standard Grain. “That is opening the door for U.S. exporters earlier than normal, and creating an opportunity — particularly for new crop beans.”
U.S. soybean exports totalled 1.92 million tonnes for the period ending June 11. They included 1.353 million tonnes sold to China, the biggest weekly total for the world’s top soybean buyer since September, the U.S. Agriculture Department said.
— P.J. Huffstutter reports on agriculture and agribusiness for Reuters from Chicago; additional reporting by Naveen Thukral and Maytaal Angel.