U.S. grains: Corn rebounds in export demand, bargain buying

CBOT March 2019 wheat with 20-day moving average. (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn futures firmed on Wednesday in a bargain-buying and short-covering bounce as the market’s steep drop to six-week lows in the previous session triggered renewed demand for the feed grain.

Wheat and soybeans also rebounded after both markets hit two-week lows on Tuesday, although buying interest evaporated late in the session and prices closed well off of their session highs.

Concerns over a prolonged trade war between Washington and Beijing rattled markets on Tuesday, triggering chart-based selling that accelerated losses and broke grains markets out of recent narrow trading ranges.

Lower corn prices also unleashed a wave of demand among global buyers. South Korean importers bought about 260,000 tonnes of corn in snap tenders on Wednesday, with much of it likely to be shipped from the United States.

“After the declines in futures prices yesterday, there was definitely an uptick in grain demand and that’s one of the only supportive features in corn and wheat right now,” said Terry Reilly, senior commodities analyst with Futures International.

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) March corn was up 2-3/4 cents at $3.74 per bushel while CBOT March wheat gained 1-1/2 cents to $5.12-1/2 a bushel (all figures US$).

March soybeans were ended up 1-1/4 cents at $8.94-1/2 a bushel after trading both higher and lower during the session. The benchmark contract held chart support at its 100-day moving average for a second straight day.

Concerns about hot and dry weather in parts of Brazil and excessive rains in Argentina have propped up soybeans this month, but much of the dire weather news has already been absorbed by the market, traders said.

Brazilian agribusiness consultancy Celeres on Wednesday cut its soy harvest forecast for the country due to drought, but the 117.2-million-tonne estimate is largely in line with other analysts.

Thomson Reuters Agriculture Research on Wednesday lowered its forecast of Brazil’s ongoing harvest by two per cent to 118 million tonnes, joining other crop watchers in factoring in the impact of dryness on yields.

— Karl Plume reports on agriculture and ag commodities for Reuters from Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Colin Packham in Sydney.

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