U.S. grains: Bargain buyers boost corn, wheat from multi-year lows

(Photo courtesy Water Management Research Unit, ARS/USDA)

Reuters — Chicago corn and wheat rose on Thursday as investors covered short positions and bought at bargain prices after the grains plumbed multi-year lows during eight-day skids on prospects of abundant U.S. and world supplies.

Most-active soybeans edged higher, halting a seven-day losing streak under pressure from an expected record U.S. crop.

Chicago Board of Trade’s most active December corn contract led the way higher, rising 8-1/4 cents or 2.5 per cent to $3.23-3/4 a bushel (all figures US$).

The September contract on Wednesday touched a seven-year nearby low.

“August was rough on commodities, with sizeable losses posted across the board. To see a slight recovery following a poor month is not that much of a surprise,” Karl Setzer, analyst at MaxYield Cooperative, said in a note.

Weak outside markets and a lack of fresh news limited grain advances, Setzer said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly export sales report showed sales of 214,100 tonnes of old-crop corn, above trade expectations, and 647,500 tonnes of new-crop corn, below expectations for 700,000 to 1,100,000 tonnes.

Corn was oversold and, at its lows, the nearby September contract was priced below farmers’ cost of production, said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities.

Chicago’s most active December contract for soft red winter wheat climbed nearly two per cent or 6-1/2 cents to $3.94-3/4 a bushel, after closing down one per cent on Wednesday, a session in which prices touched their lowest since 2006.

The wheat market is supported by millers locking in cheap supplies, even though Egypt, the world’s biggest importer, canceled a tender after receiving just one offer.

November soybeans added 3/4 cent to $9.43-3/4, taking spillover strength from the grains.

The oilseed was underpinned by lingering concerns that freezing temperatures could damage the U.S. crop before harvest, Roose said.

Brazil producers are not expected to plant significantly more area with soy in the new crop due to tight credit amid the country’s worst recession in decades and the prospect of erratic weather, analysts at INTL FCStone said on Thursday.

USDA’s weekly export sales report showed sales of 107,500 tonnes of old-crop soybeans and 1,476,400 tonnes of new-crop soybeans in the week to Aug. 25, in line with trade expectations.

USDA reported 4.604 million short tons of soybeans were processed in July, in line with the 4.596 million expected, according to a Reuters poll of eight analysts.

— Rod Nickel is a Reuters correspondent covering the agriculture and mining sectors from Winnipeg. Additional reporting for Reuters by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago, Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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