Chicago / Reuters – U.S. corn and soybean futures weakened on Monday on forecasts for beneficial weather for crop development, traders said.
Wheat futures also were weak, dropping to their lowest in more than a month, as sizeable world supplies countered support from drought-hit U.S. spring wheat yields.
The lower closes snapped a string of three straight higher closes for all three commodities.
The declines in corn and soybeans were kept in check by some end-user pricing at market lows. Traders also were unwilling to push prices lower until there was more clarity about final yields.
“There is enough crop stress and problems … that you have very limited downside risk until we start harvest,” said Brian Hoops, analyst at Midwest Market Solutions.
Grain markets were awaiting direction from weekly U.S. government crop ratings published after the market close on Monday for a further indication of growing conditions.
Chicago Board of Trade November soybean futures settled down 5-3/4 cents a bushel at $10.07-1/4. CBOT December corn settled 3-1/4 cents lower at $3.84-3/4 a bushel.
Market participants have been assessing weather forecasts and field reports to establish the extent of crop stress due to dry conditions.
“Weather conditions are still at the centre of concerns with small rains on the Corn Belt during the weekend, pushing traders to some selling,” consultancy Agritel said in a note.
The light weekend rain, heavier rain forecast this week in some areas and moderate summer heat may help corn and soybean crops, although the drier western Midwest remained a concern.
CBOT September soft red winter wheat futures ended down 6-1/2 cents at $4.74-1/2 a bushel after hitting their lowest since June 28.
Dry weather has been more severe in the northern U.S. Plains, hitting yield prospects for spring wheat, but large harvests in Europe and rain relief in Australia were serving to underline ample global supplies.
“Global wheat and corn supplies are ample, so it is hard to further push prices higher because of the U.S. drought,” an Australia-based agricultural commodities analyst said.
Hot and dry weather during the growing season slashed yield prospects for U.S. hard red spring wheat to the lowest in nearly a decade, scouts on an annual crop tour said last week.
But in Europe, French farmers have made swift progress in harvesting wheat and Russian production estimates are being revised up, although heavy rain in Germany is causing concern about quality damage.
– Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris.