Chicago | Reuters –– U.S. soybean futures rose on Wednesday as concerns about rain forcing some farmers to dial back their plantings sparked a round of short-covering, traders said.
Corn and wheat futures also closed higher, supported by technical buying as well as some weather-related concerns.
Soybeans, which notched a second straight day of double digit gains, surged to their highest since May 14.
“We are finally starting to run into some bad news for the crop, in the form of field washouts and prevented planting, with rains this week from Tropical Storm Bill unlikely to let farmers into the fields in Arkansas and Missouri,” Charlie Sernatinger, global head of grain futures at ED+F Man Capital, said in a note.
Chicago Board of Trade July soybean futures settled up 11-1/2 cents at $9.69 a bushel (all figures US$).
“Whether one wants to talk about old-crop or new-crop, soybeans seem to have the cash market strength, profitable end-users, solid demand, wet forecasts, unplanted acres, tightening back end spreads and critical yield-determining plant dates already passing by,” Tregg Cronin, market analyst with Halo Commodities, said.
CBOT July corn futures rose 5-1/4 cents to $3.59-1/4 a bushel, touching a one-week high.
Traders said excessive rains also may be hurting the health of the corn, fostering conditions for disease and washing some fertilizer from the soil.
CBOT July soft red winter wheat settled up 2-1/2 cents at $4.91-1/4 a bushel.
The rains in the U.S. Midwest would likely delay the harvest of the soft red winter wheat crop.
All three commodities received additional support from a slowdown in the movement of grains due to wet weather.
CME Group declared force majeure for all corn and soybean shipping stations because of flooding on the Illinois River. A majority of facilities on the river, which are delivery points for crops traded on CME’s CBOT, are unable to load crops due to high water levels.
— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago, Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Manolo Serapio Jr. in Singapore.