GRAINS-U.S. soybeans and corn firm but wheat weak

* Soy perks up on bargain buying

* Wheat weakens as high prices cut off demand

* Corn edges higher on soy strength; planting dulls gains (Updates with closing prices; adds analyst quote)

By Mark Weinraub

CHICAGO, May 13 (Reuters) – U.S. soybean futures rose 1.3 percent on Tuesday, rebounding from Monday’s sell-off on a round of bargain buying and some position squaring ahead of a report that will show how big demand from domestic crushers was in April, traders said.

Corn futures also were firm, following soybeans higher, but gains were capped by a pickup in the pace of planting around the U.S. Midwest following weeks of delays.

Wheat futures sagged as funds liquidated long positions on poor export demand for U.S. supplies. Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat has fallen for five days in a row, shedding 4.5 percent during that time.

“The problem is, U.S. wheat is expensive on the global scene,” said Jim Gerlach, president of A/C Trading. “We have got to find a level that makes it competitive again.

“USDA told us Friday there’s plenty of wheat globally; it’s just not going to be here in the U.S., necessarily, so buyers are going to find cheaper alternatives.”

CBOT July soft red winter wheat fell 5-3/4 cents at $7.09-1/4 a bushel. CBOT wheat’s losing streak was the longest since prices fell for seven days in a row in early November.

CBOT July soybean futures were up 18-1/2 cents at $14.83-3/4 a bushel and broke through resistance at their 30-day moving average. The closely watched July-November spread widened by 11-3/4 cents a bushel due to concerns about domestic supplies running out before harvest.

“What we are looking at is continued tightness in old-crop (soybeans),” said Chris Robinson, senior trader at Top Third Ag Marketing. “There is some thoughts out there that although we are bringing soybeans up into the Gulf, it may not be enough to take off that pressure.”

The National Oilseed Processors Association will release its monthly report on crush data and oilseed stocks on Thursday. The last report showed processors remained active throughout March, recording the heaviest crush for the month since at least 2001.

CBOT July corn was up 3-1/4 cents at $5.02-3/4 a bushel. Corn futures hit resistance at their 40-day moving average after rising during the overnight session.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Monday afternoon that corn planting was a better-than-expected 59 percent complete as of May 11, up from 29 percent a week earlier and 1 percentage point ahead of the average mid-May pace from 2009 to 2013, the USDA said.

Soybean planting was 20 percent complete, up 15 percentage points from last week but 1 percentage point behind the five-year average.

Prices at 2:19 p.m. CDT (1919 GMT)      
                              LAST      NET    PCT     YTD
                                        CHG    CHG     CHG
 CBOT corn                  502.75     3.25   0.7%   19.1%
 CBOT soy                  1483.75    18.50   1.3%   13.0%
 CBOT meal                  484.70     6.50   1.4%   10.7%
 CBOT soyoil                 41.21     0.23   0.6%    6.2%
 CBOT wheat                 709.25    -5.75  -0.8%   17.2%
 CBOT rice                 1532.50     0.50   0.0%   -1.2%
 US crude                   101.75     1.16   1.2%    3.4%
 Dow Jones                  16,712       17   0.1%    0.8%
 Gold                      1293.11    -2.19  -0.2%    7.3%
 Euro/dollar                1.3697  -0.0059  -0.4%    0.3%
 Dollar Index              80.1430   0.2420   0.3%    0.1%
 Baltic Freight                982       -5  -0.5%  -56.9%
In U.S. cents, benchmark contracts, except EU wheat (euros) and
soymeal (dollars). CBOT wheat, corn and soybeans per bushel, rice per hundredweight, soymeal per ton and soyoil per lb. (Additional reporting by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and James Dalgleish)

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