U.S. grains: Corn, soy, wheat rise but post big weekly losses

CBOT September 2019 wheat with 20-, 50- and 100-day moving averages. (Barchart)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn, soybean and wheat futures rose on Friday on a technical rebound as traders evened up positions after the grains market posted sharp declines during the week.

The heavy weekly losses — corn posted its biggest weekly drop in percentage terms since June 2016 — stemmed from a surprise boost to the corn harvest outlook from the U.S. Agriculture Department on Monday.

“We took it pretty hard from this crop report on Monday and we had a rough week and I think we are just getting a little bounce back,” said Ben Buie, grain team leader at MaxYield Cooperative in West Bend, Iowa. “There is a little weariness on the bearish side after running hard down for four days.”

Chicago Board of Trade December corn futures rose 9-3/4 cents to $3.80-3/4 a bushel, settling just below its session high of $3.81 (all figures US$). Corn prices fell 8.8 per cent this week.

“The market looks oversold following sharp declines,” U.S. brokerage Allendale said in a note.

CBOT November soybeans were nine cents higher at $8.79-3/4 a bushel, notching a weekly decline of 1.4 per cent.

Soybean futures rose above their overnight lows after USDA reported a flash sale of 296,500 tonnes of soybeans to unknown destinations for delivery in the 2019-20 marketing year.

Ongoing concerns about the trade fight between the United States and China, the world’s top oilseed importer, continued to limit strength in soybean futures.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that U.S. and Chinese negotiators were holding “productive” trade talks and expected them to meet in September despite U.S. tariffs on more than $125 billion worth of Chinese imports taking effect Sept. 1. China, the world’s largest soybean importer, has promised a riposte to any new U.S. tariffs.

CBOT September soft red winter wheat futures ended up 1-3/4 cents at $4.70-3/4 a bushel. The contract fell 5.9 per cent this week.

The wheat market was stymied by a firm dollar, which hit a two-week high against the euro on Friday. The strength makes dollar-denominated commodities like U.S. wheat relatively more expensive to overseas buyers.

Consultancy Strategie Grains, meanwhile, raised its forecast for European Union wheat exports, citing increasingly competitive EU prices.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters commodities correspondent in Chicago; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore.

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