U.S. grains: Corn, wheat fall for second day on harvest, ample supply

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. grains were lower on Wednesday, with both corn and wheat easing about one per cent for their second straight session of declines on pressure from the advancing corn harvest and plentiful global grain supplies.

Soybeans reversed from earlier gains to turn narrowly lower, in light trading volumes in each commodity as investors awaited news from the U.S. Federal Reserve, which was weighing the first U.S. interest rate hike since 2006 during a two-day meeting.

Traders also were digesting U.S. Department of Agriculture data released at midmorning showing increased “prevented planting” acres from a month ago, grounds that farmers were unable to sow with corn, soybeans and wheat earlier this year.

USDA data contribute to the agency’s monthly supply and demand forecasts, the next of which will be released on Oct. 9.

“It’s risky to draw conclusions and it’s a really small adjustment from the August data,” Arlan Suderman, analyst at brokerage Water Street Solutions, said of the USDA data.

Suderman said he was bullish on corn and soybeans, and that the downturn in corn was a correction after prices rose for six straight days before falling on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“When you look at the fact that corn rallied 35 cents in a matter of days, it is a pretty modest pullback,” he said.

CBOT December corn finished 4-1/2 cents lower at $3.86 per bushel, down from the one-month high of $3.95 reached early on Tuesday (all figures US$).

“Technicals are becoming more of a factor,” said Wedbush Securities analyst Helen Pound, noting corn fell below the widely watched 100-day moving average.

CBOT December wheat fell 6-1/2 cents to $4.88-1/4 per bushel and CBOT November soybeans down 1-3/4 cents to $8.87-1/4.

Soybeans earlier rose on support from a separate USDA announcement that exporters sold 184,500 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China, the second export sale of at least 180,000 tonnes of soybeans in less than a week.

Chinese buyers also were expected to sign deals to purchase millions of tonnes of U.S. soybeans during President Xi Jinping’s visit to the U.S. next week.

“There is a hesitant mood in grains and soybeans ahead of the important meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve where any decision about interest rates would be critical for all commodities,” said Frank Rijkers, agrifood economist at ABN Amro Bank.

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

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