U.S. grains: Corn falls to five-week low on big ethanol supply, technicals

Chicago | Reuters –– U.S. corn fell one per cent on Wednesday, extending declines from the past two sessions to the largest in 1-1/2 years on pressure from chart-based selling and ballooning supplies of grain-based ethanol.

Wheat had its sixth straight down day, pulled lower by plentiful global supplies of wheat and corn. Soybeans reversed from an earlier six-week low to turn higher on support from exporter demand for U.S. supplies despite looming record South American soy harvests.

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) corn deepened losses after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said ethanol stockpiles jumped more than one million barrels in a week to the largest supplies in about two years.

“The corn market made its lows on the ethanol numbers,” said Roy Huckabay, analyst at brokerage the Linn Group. “But it’s technical more than anything else.”

CBOT March corn finished 3-3/4 cents lower at $3.81 per bushel, trimming losses after finding downside resistance at its 100-day moving average (all figures US$).

Huckabay added that the lowest corn futures in nearly two months sparked demand for the animal feed from domestic hog producers. Taiwan and South Korea have also purchased U.S. corn within the last 24 hours.

CBOT March wheat eased 10-1/4 cents to $5.37-3/4 per bushel, about a seven-week low. Soybeans for March delivery were up 4-1/2 cents to $10.14-1/2 while the January contract expired at noon up 5-1/4 cents at $10.09-1/4.

Some investors also were moving capital from grains and oilseeds back into energies such as crude oil on ideas that the slump in oil to a six-year low was nearing a bottom.

“Fundamentals are pretty well known, it is funds that are reducing their exposure to agricultural commodities. It is purely money-flow driven,” said Ole Houe, analyst at brokerage IKON Commodities.

— Michael Hirtzer reports on agriculture and ag commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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